By races I don’t mean the scale of treatment the government affords the South African people. By races I mean dices from robot to robot, endless left turns around a track or F1 cars abusing porcupine-shaped stretches of tar.
By cultures I also don’t mean the languages and rules and rituals that are supposed to sustain us as people. I mean the different cultures of automobile lovers, for example lovers of bikes, old scraps of welded metal with wheels, shiny classics, 200km/h breakfast runs or just the safety of your family on the move.
By colours I don’t mean that of your tacky nails, grand furniture, walls, kômmin bachelorette outfit, cell phone cover or retro Smeg fridge. I mean the colour of your personal transport; the colour you like just for the sake that you like it, or the colour you choose that will make people turn around for a second look or not.
But by personality I mean just that: your personality. That what makes you you.
The thing about your personality, though, is that it’s influenced (and defined in a way) by your race and culture. The expression your personality usually happens through (amoung others) colour, whether it might be trough your nails, furniture, bachelorette outfit, cell phone cover or retro Smeg fridge.
Your motoring personality, then, is a combination of these three aspects. You might belong to the left-turn race and the 200km/h-breakfast-run culture, but have your car’s interior in dull beige everything.
What it comes down to is that your car is the only thing that you can unashamedly dress up all the time, 24/7.
We are bound to dress codes our whole lives. Work demands its own set of outfits, as do our social lives. Some social establishments have such dress codes that make you have two different sets of social cupboards. You have separate drawers for you gym clothes.
We are forced to pretty much have different clothes for every occasion, which forces you to have several different closets for your whole life.
Your car, however, doesn’t have to live through such hell. It is pretty much the only thing in your life with which can express you personality uninterruptedly. You never had to re-dress it. Only a quick spit and polish and it’s good to go anywhere. No one ever tells you that your car isn’t welcome at a function or at work.
No one will tell you that you have to remove the spoiler on your boot or roof, even less to replace those pink-eye-inducing, shiny 20-spoke mags with simple ’decent’ ones because they might not be appropriate for a certain situation.
As I’ve said, the above-mentioned characteristics mix in their own individual ways inside every person and it’s interesting to try and figure it out while sitting in traffic.
A guy driving a ‘boring’ white family SUV with insane after-market mags and inch or two too big usually tells me that he belongs to the race that races pimp-out fast cars (part of the robot-to-robot dice scene when he was young), yet is a caring father in culture and he choose the white because it makes him more sensible and responsible on those enormous wheels (or to keep the wife happy, but that’s a whole other column).
Which brings me to the picture in the article.
I was out with friends over the weekend and we came across this motorbike, painted with all the colours of the rainbow in neon.
To be frank, I loathe it. I think it’s way too over-the-top and begs for attention harder than a Kardashian (it works though). But I also love this bike for the simple reason that it belongs to someone who can paint a bike this (for lack of a better and more diplomatic work) flamboyant and park it for the whole world to behold.
The owner may not know it, but I think he is a perfect blend of race, culture and colour for the simple fact that he is uncompromisingly who he is. Love it or hate it, he wants this motorbike to be seen and admired, whether that be positive or negative. He knows that his bike won’t ever be subjective to a dress code, so why be dull?
That is individuality in its very essence.