Don’t Judge Me, Man!

Don’t Judge Me, Man!

Prejudice is a bad thing. Much is made of the various ‘ists’ and ‘isms’ that make the world a nastier place, but this week I have been learning that on a day-to-day basis, people make many little ill-informed calls based on nothing more than preconceived notions.

Take the small, wrinkled, near-death dog attached to a small, wrinkled, near-death old lady that I encountered whilst out jogging on Tuesday. As it was slightly patchy in the fur department, walked with a limp and sounded heavily asthmatic, I simply dismissed it as being incapable of rapid motion without the aid of electric probes. It was only after the old biddy had mysteriously chosen to release its lead and – despite my best efforts at a sprint after 5km of waddling and sweating – fifty yards down the road I still had a furious ball of fur and teeth attempting to remove my ankle bones, I realised that an error of judgement may have been made on my part.

Then there was the e-mail received from my sister informing me that she had bought a new flat in Blackheath, London. This is a pretty salubrious area of England’s capital where even the most broom cupboard-esque of crash pads commands a serious price tag. She assumed I would find the sums involved staggering because being in remote little New Zealand, where civilisation cannot possibly exist because we are a good twelve months behind in Coronation Street, I could purchase a house for what most people would splash out on a Chinese takeaway.

This is of course, ridiculous. As anyone who is currently trying to scrape together enough money to put a deposit down will tell you, Aotearoa isn’t exactly giving houses away at the moment. Prejudice sets you up for making bad decisions and looking a bit silly; particularly if it means you attempt to enter Auckland’s housing market with change found down the back of your sofa.

And all of this is why I’m very excited about the day I can finally get behind the wheel of a Great Wall ute.

Thanks to my experiences with early Japanese and Korean cars, I have some niggling doubts about certain aspects of the output from the fledgling international arm of China’s motor industry. While they may be cheap, I suspect that it will be a good number of years before their products become as polished as more established competition.

And while this may cloud my thinking with regard to their cars, polish has never been a quality that was too high up my list of priorities when it comes to a ute. These are vehicles built with work in mind and if through their appearance or general lack of cosseting they happen to give me the rugged appeal of a man who’s communication skills are limited to grunts and the phrase ‘Good on ya, mate’, then that is a bonus.

So with prejudice nullified, the Great Wall utility range presents me with what will probably be a once in a lifetime chance to make a thoroughly unbiased assessment of a car and that is something which makes me very excited. And while I’m hopeful that keys to many varied and interesting cars make their way to me in the future, nothing else will come with the unique thrill of a genuinely clean slate.

Of course you may well think that getting all frothy about the prospect of driving a Chinese ute is just a little bit sad. Well I supposed you’re entitled to your opinion, but if I’m being honest, your prejudice sickens me.

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