Tuesday, February 27, 2007

How to be a millionaire

This morning I had to undergo a most traumatic experience - renewing my annual season ticket with First Great Western. I gave them so much money, I would officially be a millionaire if I lived in Vietnam. Or Venezuela. Or Indonesia for that matter. Okay, I've chosen some pretty weak currencies, I'll admit it, but I also looked for something for an equivalent price in the UK and came up with a nice 2000 Volkswagen Golf 1.6.
I have to say, it's tempting. Sometimes, the need to get back into a nice comfortable car and leave the freezing wet lateness behind is overwhelming. The stupid thing is that I do own a car. And I pay all the attendant costs that go with it. I spend hundreds of pounds on insurance, tax and maintenance every year and the thing sits on the roadside gathering bird poo, while I tramp about from platform five, to platform nine, and back again, trying to find a seat on a fast train from Reading to London.
Why on earth do I do this? Because the roads are congested, the car parking is non-existent and the fuel prices are inflated.
But I can't sell it. Because if I ever really need to go somewhere, I can't rely on the train. So I pay for the equivalent of a nice 2000 Volkswagen Golf 1.6 every year, for a service that doesn't work as it should.
I'm going to stop thinking about it now. It's enough to make a person sell up, move to Vietnam, and embark on a millionaire's spending spree that would put Victoria Beckham to shame.
I bet their trains work better than ours too.


Anonymous said...

If you only keep the car 'just in case' or for the odd trip elsewhere you might want to look at hiring or these new share schemes - e.g. as mentioned by http://thegreenguy.typepad.com/thegreenguy/2007/02/why_my_collecti.html - though I haven't seen a share scheme covering Berkshire.

Richard said...

Or...if you don't like the Golf, you could always buy a BRAND NEW Peugeot 107, EVERY YEAR.

I'm tempted. Then I'll go for the custom paint job and put your "I hate First Great Western" logo on the bonnet.