July 10, 2010

Being automotively inclined....

I've always had a problem with saying or hearing the phrase "I like cars"/"You like cars"/"Liking cars"/etc. Or maybe even just saying "cars". Sounds kiddish. Something only little children holding toy Hot Wheels cars would say. To hear a little kid say "I like cars" is fine by me, but at this age, leaving our teen years soon, I just cant agree with that. Not that it's wrong, it just doesnt suit me. Being automotively inclined sounds (even if it isnt a real phrase) much more matured, shows that one is properly passionate and at the very least, somewhat respectable depth of knowledge about the automotive field.

And you know, being automotively inclined is not one hobby that I can easily relate with friends. There are so many technical terms, mechanical functions, the physics, technologies and histories about automobiles, it's very difficult for the average Joe to pick up and instantly get acquainted to. And then there are so many branches in the automotive field; manufacturers, key personalities, motor sports, makes and models, and all the various types from sedans to saloons to sports cars. Even after starting off this hobby at around 6-7 years old, there is still heaps to learn as each year new knowledge about new automobiles is unveiled, not to mention as I said earlier, the automotive field covers a very, very big scope.

Its very hard you know, finding friends that have a true, undying interest in automobiles. People that actually study how parts work, models and specifications, and the like. From the top of my head I can only think of 5 such friends; Imran, Aidil, Martin, Lau and Yusuf. Only 5. Out of the 250+ friends I have. One lives in Kedah, one lives in KL, and another lives in Singapore. That is how small the ratio is, and how uninterested the majority of my friends are with automobiles. It makes things especially difficult from a social perspective. If I were to walk up to any of the other 245+ friends and start blabbering about automobiles, they'll just go "Huhh??? Whaaa???? I dont understand!!!", that's because they just dont have any interest like I do. All my other friends can share more, should I say, common hobbies like playing the piano or dancing or just recently coming up, photography. These people are so fortunate they have parents providing money to fund these (for me) rather pricey activities. And they can spend their free time working on their hobbies, improving and sharing with their soooo many other friends and then they get the oohs and aaahs (that they deserve of course).

What about me then? How can I share my interest with friends and actually use it as a way to socialise with them? The simple answer is I cant, because the rest of them just arent interested, neither do they actually admire or take notice!! As a result, I sometimes feel that this hobby-incompatibility makes me a sort of social dud.. I dont get friends admiring how great I play the guitar or how professional my photography skills are. All I get from them asking about my hobby is, (even if they do ask, which I cant remember in a while they have) "What car is this?". And at the very best, the reply I'll ever get is "oo, looks nice leh". That's all. Even if that's not the case, what activity on earth can I join that will make me feel at home with other automotive enthusiasts? And more so, how can I afford them??

Being automotively inclined is a very difficult hobby to share indeed. People can instantly admire a beautiful piece of music or art, but they'll need a thorough explanation on how an engine works. It's all technical and understanding the way things work. Which, in the automotive field, can get very complex. Unlike say somebody playing the piano, you just close your eyes and let your ears enjoy the melody, and praise how good he/she is. Anybody can do that. But not anybody can listen to a Ferrari engine and want to learn more about the Ferrari itself. The most they'll comment on are the looks and the sound. Full stop. It's also hard to find people who really really have that keen interest, to learn about revolutionary technologies, ground-breaking new models, the glorious history of some certain car models and/or their feats in motor sports, or even how different setups of different parts affects performance. Maybe what I know is only a teeny weeny little speck compared to how much there is to learn, but I think it's quite safe to say I know quite a lot more about the automotive sector than my other friends, except for the 5 automotive-inclined ones I mentioned. You dont meet these kinds of people (at least at this age) easily. They arent a dime a dozen like photographers and musicians. Some may say we're a unique batch of people, I think we're simply lacking in numbers. For the most part, people will just slap on a picture of a car they like, say that "they like cars" and elaborate by saying "ooh, this car is nice.... oh, I oso like that car.... eh this car oso is good leh". Way amateurish. I really hope one day to break free from this secluded social enclosure and get to really enjoy my passion with other people.

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