My Final Words on the Panda


We didn’t get anywhere near Mongolia.  We couldn’t donate the car to the charity.  I hope the best for the great people I met along the way, but it really is terrible that I had to junk it due to the engine failing.  We’ll still make donations to the charities and such, just heavy-hearted that the engine exploded and though I was willing to pay to replace it, apparently a right-side driver Panda engine is a rare commodity on the Continent, and given the time-frame it was impossible to proceed and make it out of Mongolia in time to meet our various obligations.

Lotte Laserstein, Evening over Potsdam, 1930

There certainly is consolation to be found in art.  When I encountered this painting today at one of Berlin’s art museums, I thought, “This sums the feeling up… particularly the guy on the right.”  But with some contemplation, I cannot find the word, but it is not so bad, maybe I feel more like the guy on the left looking off into the distance with a beer in his hand.

I came to this realization later in the day when I was reviewing some of the photos taken on the trip thus far.

Nobody was harmed.

It is a photo of me in the driver’s seat of the Panda at the shop and I must pause.  I look at myself and I think, “Sure, I’m smiling, but how many people, sheep, and who knows what else did I nearly take out in the Greater Alton area while driving that thing?” Jason never got to experience the peril of me behind the wheel of that little thing– we were waiting for things to flatten out in Ukraine or Poland.

In the grand scheme, I must admit, that this might have been for the better.  What if the engine died in Siberia?  I have a hard time admitting this.  But at least I can say, nobody was harmed in this ill-conceived scheme, and for that, I am grateful… and I’m glad I tried.


2 Responses to “My Final Words on the Panda”

  1. Dude. You are my hero. What an awesome endeavor!

  2. 2 lex

    sorry to hear the death of your fiat panda. you can join us in spirit at


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