R.I.P. Cockroach

The other week, we got the sad news that we’d lost the Cockroach – to an engine leak.

When Study Abroad was still only a dream, my biggest goal to get out of the year was to hire a car and travel everywhere with the people I was with. I thought I might have to seriously convince people to share a car with me, and I was ready to do so – had thought up arguments for and against and was ready to go. However, I wasn’t prepared for how necessary it is to own a car in Albuquerque.

Luckily, I was talking to one of my friends on one of the first days in ABQ and she mentioned that she was planning on buying a car from a friend who was living nearby – and less than a week later, we and two others were the proud owners of the car we decided to name Cockroach. I’m still slightly unsure as to how the name came about, but it definitely stuck.

As well as ferrying us to and from Walmart, the Cock was indispensable in our road trips. Cheap petrol compared to the UK was a bonus. Our most ambitious trip was a Thanksgiving long weekend in Austin – over twelve hours in the car each way. Getting there was as good as it could be, considering the distance and that we managed to split it in half, staying somewhere overnight. Things started to go wrong on the way back from Austin… less than an hour in, my friend noticed that the engine heat was increasing pretty dramatically – to the point that we were driving around 30 mph with the windows down trying to keep the car as cool as possible. (The photo above was taken around this point.) Amazingly, we made it to a mechanic, who told us that our radiator had a leak, and that we needed to buy “at least 5-6 gallons of coolant” to get us through the rest of the journey home. A little worrying.

We decided to start off by buying two to get us through the first bit, and buy more when we needed to. We only ended up getting through one. Our journey home was a little more stressful than the way there, but in what is now quite a funny memory – we’d stop every couple of hours and everyone would have a job to do: G would fill up the petrol, Charlie would pour the coolant, and I would tell him when to stop.

The Cockroach survived for another day. (after we bought him a new radiator)

Unfortunately, it was not to last. Four months later, when our friend was driving to the airport in Denver, the Cockroach decided that enough was enough and refused to bring her home again. It’s very sad – and mostly, to be honest, because I never got to say a final farewell to it – but as the saying goes: life goes on. I guess this cockroach didn’t live forever.