Shaking my head, my school principal looked at me as I walked into his room after school. His eyes showed despair in ten volumes. This was the umpteenth time that I was allowed to report because of a recalcitrant and idiosyncratic attitude, and the man opposite me was certainly not happy. The conversation and the cup of coffee were now gone. It was serious, this may have gone in the wrong direction in the run-up to my final exam. I really had to come up with something and give a good explanation for my behaviour. Suddenly I compared myself to a Subaru, the brand that had a loyal customer in my school principal.
The rather chilled atmosphere quickly disappeared. Initially, the director's anger turned to utter amazement. Not long after that, the striking school principal gave a kind of awkward and hiccuping laugh, which was so contagious that I could no longer keep my face straight. The director repeated my words once more. “I'm like a Subaru, how do you get it again man?” The director's fit of laughter was abruptly followed by a heavy coughing fit, but the ice was broken once again. Although I always got along well with the director, I now felt a sense of relief.
So the director drove a Subaru. He had a hardtop version from the second Leone Series. That was a car from 1983. I have always had a soft spot for the special Japanese brand, which also built family cars with four-wheel drive very early in the 1986s. The boxer engines and the unusual design gave extra character to the products of the Japanese manufacturer. For example, the frameless doors were a trademark. My school principal was one of the few in the area to drive a Japanese brand car. It was 4.303 and during that year Subaru sold 560.000 cars in the Netherlands out of an annual total of XNUMX units.
Certainly at that time I thought a Subaru was quite eccentric. The models showed guts and individuality. The school principal's 1800 GLF was a car that garnered sympathy. Yet many did not make the step to a Subaru. The Japanese brand was just too stubborn for that and I thought that was wonderful. Subaru presented a form of thinking differently, without abandoning its own philosophy. And above all: without losing authenticity. I recognized that, although of course it went very far to compare myself with a Subaru.
The director and I talked for a while. He liked to listen to my stories about cars. At that time, my father was also on the parents' council of the school, he too was a man who went his own way. We also talked about him for a while. At the time, my parents drove a Volkswagen Golf C Diesel. But when I told them that for years she Citroën had driven, the director recognized that. The Citroën My parents' history did not surprise him. Thought it fit well with my father's character, he also called those historical choices refreshing. And above all: choices that someone made themselves and were not determined by someone else. “I'm not going to sit in a car to have some fun with it, I drive a Subaru because I think the brand is special. And it's nice that you don't see them that much."
For a moment I thought I was on the same page as the school principal. I was ready to tell him about the real Subaru agency that my small hometown had during the XNUMXs. And that's why I got to know the Subarus of yesteryear. But at that moment the director took one last sip of coffee. He immediately helped me out of the dream. The teacher in him returned, and he pointed out to me emphatically my responsibilities and my assignment to be considerate of the class and especially the teachers. He had already told me that twenty times, and he repeated it again. “And go home now, come back tomorrow with fresh courage.”
In the run-up to the beautiful summer of 1986 I received my diploma, I passed the mavo exam fairly easily and a beautiful school period in Alkmaar was on the horizon. It meant a lot to me to leave my old school, I received the diploma with mixed feelings. The school principal gave me a hand and a wink. His parting words were special. “We had a great time. But you will soon behave yourself in Alkmaar. I'm going to miss you Subaru!”
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