Tuesday, July 04, 2006

In which we surrender

The Lovely Katherine and your correspondent have a long-running disagreement as to whether we live in "the suburbs" or not. In a political sense, we live well within the boundaries of Guatemala City. In an aesthetic sense, there's not much in terms of street-level retail, pedestrian infrastructure, or other markers of true urban living in our neighborhood. In a criminal sense, some not-too-distant neighbors were recently followed into their garage by armed goons and tied up while their jewelry and electronics were stolen, which seems pretty urban to me. (Note to worried relatives: we live in an apartment building with security features that would make such a robbery attempt much more difficult, and thus extraordinarily rare.) In the end, it doesn't matter whether we classify as "suburban" or not, and I keep up the semantic fight just because my inner urban hipster is screaming about the implications of living in the suburbs: that we're old and have had all our rough edges sanded off.

But it's impossible to fight the facts any more. Katherine works at a school a few miles north of the city proper (but decidedly not suburban), and the last bit of her daily commute is on a dirt road that gets pretty treacherous during the rainy season. We also do a fair amount of bumping around the precipitous, unmarked speed bumps and domestic-appliance-sized potholes of Guatemala's highways and small towns. Which is all rationalization, powerless to stop the pure cold facts of our yuppie-dom:

We bought an SUV.

It's a small SUV, but an SUV nonetheless. A departing embassy employee was trying to unload his Kia Sportage before moving back to DC. The car does not meet US emissions standards (and also has windows tinted well past what seems reasonable, but I'm not sure if they would be technically street-legal in the US or not), so keeping it wasn't an option for him, and he was in a mood to sell. I don't suffer any illusions that a Kia Sportage is a particularly manly SUV (especially if you pronounce it in the French manner - "sport-AAAHJ"), it just seemed like a smart purchase in terms of safety. Of course, I'm sure that's just what you would hear from my SUV owning brethren, cruising the highways of America in their Expeditions and Yukons and Hummers.


EEK! said...


MLE said...

*points* [nelson muntz]Ha ha![/nelson muntz]

Ma & Pa Stokes said...

I think I could still put in the back of my diesel pickup! Mom's Honda looks like it would fit.

Hulkster said...

I'm tempted to call you yuppie scum, but I don't think that Kia ownership qualifies you for such. If it was a Jeep Liberty or a Nissan Xterra or somesuch, we'd be in business. But for now, you're just poseur yuppie scum.

Ma & Pa Stokes said...

Ha! I won't *even* post what I think the next logical step is.
With love from your Mom.

Gil Carmel said...

Nice try, hiding behind your funny prose. YOU BOUGHT AN SUV!!!!!