The Guessing Game
When I was in elementary school, we lived in Brussels. There, my parents owned a little convenience store on a corner of a busy intersection. During the summer, my younger brother, Amin and I spent a lot of time there. On the slow days, my dad would set up chairs and treats outside the store, and we would play games.
My brother loved to play the car guessing game. Every car that drove by the store, we had to guess the make and model, and my dad would give praise to the one who could guess correctly first. Amin was really good at this game. He could name the model no matter what direction the car was coming from. I wasn’t as quick or as good as he was, but I desperately wanted to be included in the game, and receive my fathers' words of encouragement.
At first, I would get really angry when Amin would shout out all the names and models so quickly before I even had a chance see the badge on the car. “How do you do thaaaaaaat?” I would whine. They would laugh, but then they would teach me. “Look at the headlights,” they would say, or “notice the front grill.”
Soon I started to see the difference in lines and shapes. I could tell that the 93 Honda Accord had straight lines and the headlights were more rectangular as opposed to the 93 Honda Civic where the lines were softer and curvier.
Over time I got good at this game, and I even beat my brother a couple of times…well maybe, actually I don’t remember, but that’s not the point. The point is that keeping up with my brother and getting my dads approval was so gratifying.
Of course, at the time I didn’t know that I was training my eyes for what gives me my edge and enthusiasm today. I truly enjoy the art and design of automobiles. It’s fascinating the research and innovations cultivated by each brand. How manufacturers are continually trying to be so different while staying true to their image and motto.
While I’m eager to see the advances in modern day concepts and technologies, I’m more intrigued to watch who will follow the stream of trends and who will go against the flow to maintain years of accumulated loyalty.