A Tale of Two “Cars”

I had recently come back from a two week vacation. Planning for the trip, I had thought I would spend the first week traveling and exploring the area while on the second week I would sit on a beach to enjoy the pleasant temperatures and the breath taking scenes.

Hence, I thought I would rent a “fancier” car for the first half of the trip with the hope it would be more robust and trust worthy as I whizz across motorways, and a modest car with basic options to get me from point “a” to point “b” for the second half.

As I arrived to my first destination I picked up my first car which was German made and fully loaded, with leather seats, a navigation system, and a radio with cd changer. As I started my trip the radio was playing in the background. It was truly a pleasure to drive. After about an hour into my trip, however, I noticed that the radio was getting more staticky since I’m leaving the coverage area of the radio station. I fiddled with the tuner knob till I found another station with something I like. Some more time passes and the same thing happens again. At this point I’m fed up of searching for radio stations and I start looking for an access point through which I can connect my mobile phone to play my pre-compiled Summer playlists. To my surprise I discovered that the car does not have a jack or a USB for an AUX connection nor did it have the ability to connect a media device through Bluetooth. And thus, I was forced to spend my travel time either in complete silence or listening to music through the built in speakers of my mobile phone which are not very good. I was not really happy with either option.

As with all journeys in life, at some point they come to an end. The lack of music left a poor taste that took away from the completeness of this part of the trip.

I moved on to the second part of the trip and a new destination. After my hard learnt lesson with the car I insisted I see this new car I was about to rent before picking it up. The car rental lady told me “inspect or not, this is the only car we have”. So I sat back down in my chair, all pouty, like a child whose paretns refused to buy him the toy he wanted! I sign the contract and the lady and I head outside to inspect the car for damages. It was a white Japanese car that barely fit two people, with modest specifications. Everything in it operated manually. In the first instance I thought it is impossible for this car to have the capability to connect to an external music player and I will be facing the same problem as I did with the first car. However, I was pleasantly surprised to discover that it had multiple options to connect a media player. Hence, I was able to enjoy my playlists and my short trips became something I looked forward to. The trip eventually ended and I can honestly say that my most memorable times were while driving the “crummy” car and enjoying the amazing scenes, in pleasant temperatures, as the air blew through my hair while listening to my music.

Now, why have I told you this story?

I had come to realize that in-spite. of paying four times the amount I paid for the small car to rent the fancy car, this did not guarantee having a good time. Therefore, in “some” situations, money does not buy happiness.


Dr. Mohammad J. Albanna is a consultant cardiac surgeon at the Chest Diseases Hospital, in Kuwait. He has completed his medical training at the University of Leeds School of Medicine, his residency at the University of Toronto, Canada and a fellowship at McMaster University, Canada. He is a fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons of Canada. For further information, visit www.DrMJAlbanna.com

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