“Oh, so you’re a motoring journalist? That’s cool! It’s quite rare to see a lady with a passion for cars…” That’s a common reaction I get when people ask what I do. Then the frequently asked questions follow…
1. What car do you drive?
Being more familiar with cars than the average person, motoring journalists would know how to choose their cars. Unfortunately, the costs of car ownership are so high here that not everyone can afford to own a car, let alone owning a car of their choice. I had a pink Honda S2000 for a year, but had to let it go as it didn’t make sense to hold on to it anymore (too expensive to maintain!). So I’m back to my trusty pink Mitsubishi Lancer that I’ve had since 2005 – uh huh, its COE expires end of next year, sigh.
2. What is your favourite car?
It’s very hard to single out a favourite car to be honest. There are cars I like for sentimental reasons or cars I like for their design/drive. Cars that have left impressions on me include the Volkswagen Golf GTI, Audi S5, BMW Z4, BMW M6 and more. Of course, I like my JDMs too.
3. What is your dream car?
This is where the supercars usually come in – McLaren 650S, Ferrari 458 Italia, Bugatti Veyron, Audi R8 etc.
4. What is the best car you’ve driven?
Er, I really can’t single out one car.
5. Do you have free tickets to F1?
NO I DON’T! PLEASE STOP ASKING ME.
6. Can you apply a media pass for me so I can go for free?
No I can’t. Go buy your own ticket if you want to attend the event. You also need to represent a media title if you want photographer access.
7. I also want to write for car magazines and get to drive nice, nice cars. Can you help me find ‘lobang’?
I don’t write about cars just to get to drive the latest cars in town. It’s a perk of the job, just like how every job has its perks. I get annoyed when people do things for the wrong reasons.
8. You’re so lucky, always getting to drive expensive, luxury cars. Come and pick me, then let me drive leh!
No, I can’t let you drive it. Maybe I can pick you up and give you a ride in it, but I really don’t have so much time to do that. PLUS, we don’t drive supercars every day – there are the bread-and-butter cars too!
9. Your job is so fun – you get to see and drive new cars first, and also get to travel. Can I be your assistant?
If I need an assistant, I will get one and it won’t be you. You only see the fun side of the job because that’s the side I choose to show. I don’t think you would be interested if I were to keep complaining – you’d probably just tell me to quit then.
10. Ask them to sponsor you a car lah!
When I tell some people that cars are expensive in Singapore and of course I do wish to own a better ride, I get replies like, “Why don’t you go to one of the car companies and ask them to sponsor you a car?” Sigh, we are not entitled to be given a car for free. Sure, tech journos get to keep mobile phones and laptops and what not, but we are talking about a car here!
There are more questions I get, but these are the ones that I encounter most often.