So there I was, tootling along in rush-hour traffic (collecting assorted vehicles behind me) today and it struck me. I'm really really enjoying driving Ms Livi! I've finally gotten over the listening-for-something-about-to-break, feeling-every-bump tension that had me tired out after a half-hour drive of gripping the steering wheel with white knuckles.
I've gotten the hang of the gears - both up and down. I know my braking distance (oh, how they squeal if I have to dive on them!). I've figured out how many 3-point turns it takes to get into and out of spots. I'm quite content to hurtle up the landscape side of the yellow line on a hill at 40km an hour in 3rd while traffic zooms past me (singing "Sexbomb" at the top of my lungs and waving at passing farm workers on open trucks). The timing is ticking over properly. The idle speed is perfect. Starting is coming along (though she doesn't like mornings). And my limited field of view no longer bugs me.
Fellow Landy-drivers are still skimping on the Landy-wave, but I've had a couple from guys in older models. I've had people check my cool ride out at traffic lights and in parking lots. I've had petrol pump attendants ogling her flag stickers, her tanks under the seats, and peering into her interior (a regular occurance - I've just filled up for the second time this week!). I've had old blokes tell me they dig my vehicle, and the "manne" in Autozone squiz at her out the door. She's unique, stands out in a crowd, nothing else like her around here.
But beyond that I'm now comfortable in the saddle. Although I do seem to tend to slide off toward the middle every now and then, I'm happy in the driver's seat. So what if it takes me a little longer to go places. I'm finally - really - a Landy driver.