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Other stories by UberAsian:

  • Dear UberAsian: I Live With My Parents, Have a "Bowl Haircut" and Haven't Had a Date in 10 Years
  • How Do I Achieve Ultimate Asian Status
  • Imposter Asians and the Chopstick Dilemma
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    Tips on Buying and Maintaining a Car
    The column for the unhip Asian geek

    Blast San Francisco Bureau

    Dear ÜberAsian: As an Asian car buyer what are my options? I was thinking about buying a Chevy Camaro or Plymouth. Will my Asian friends laugh at me?

    – K.Wong in Los Angeles.

    Answer: Yes and no. If you lived in Michigan or Kansas, I'd say the Camaro would be okay. If you lived in the mid-west, there wouldn't be enough Asians around for you to have Asian friends anyway. You would cruise the main drag in your Chevy listening to John Cougar Mellencamp and your nickname would be "Zeke." Your parents would own the local restaurant. You would date a cheerleader, drink domestic beer brewed in Colorado and the only time your race would come up is when your friend's parents ask you if you've had your eyesight checked because you squint too much. However, you live in Los Angeles where you are required under California law to own a Japanese import. Your choices are clear: Honda or Acura. If you want to be a rebel, slam a VW GTI. It's obvious you are as lost as a non-Asian in a 99 Ranch Market. Here's a few basic tips in an FAQ format.

    Q: What is the legal limit on window tinting in California and how dark should I make it?
    A: California law limits the window tinting to 10 percent, however a clause allows minorities and street-looking white kids to tint their cars to 95 percent. What's the justification? Probably the main reason for limiting the darkness comes from the Coalition of California Peace Officers. Police officers are reasonably justified to feel nervous when approaching a car at night with dark windows. The belief is that officers cannot see what people are doing inside the vehicle and thus it is a safety risk. Because peace officers are nervous whenever approaching a car full of minorities or street-looking white kids no matter what, the window tinting clause is waived. The rule of thumb in window tinting is to make it so dark, you have to ask your passenger to get out and make sure you don't back into objects when trying to back out of a parking space.

    Q: Why should I lower my car and how much?
    A: In general, Asians are short. A lower car means you don't step up as much to get in. Lowering a car will improve the handling characteristics of a vehicle. A wise friend of ÜberAsian once said "A true Chinese guy will look at a bus in Chinatown and think of how it would look lowered." You should lower your car to the point where you can just barely get over a speed bump.

    Q: Why must I have a canister of deodorant shaped like a tiny Japanese car on the dashboard of my new car? What other knick knacks can I buy?
    A: The answer is obvious. Although it's a brand new car with that new car smell, two or three trips with grandma and a pink plastic bag full of dried fish will stink up that interior faster than you can drive with NO2. Other knick knacks to consider: A tiny LED dash light that gives off no light. Any Keroppi items from your girlfriend. Although you'll have two very good cup holders built into the car, you should buy the cup holders that clip into the fan vents. You'd be safe buying anything that has Japanese handwriting on it at an outrageous price. Be advised, avoid fake items made in the other parts of Asia with bad English translation such as: Real Reather. You've got a Japanese car, buy Japanese stuff for it. (Except for the MoMo steering wheel of course.)

    Q: Is the exhaust pipe on my Honda/Acura a sign of insecurity with my penis size?
    A: Yup. But it still sounds cool doesn't it?

    Q: What is an FOB car and how can I avoid making my Honda or Acura look like one?
    A: We should all have some sympathy for our foreign brothers. How would they know how to properly outfit their car, they just got here. Still, riding around in your cousin's FOB car is really embarrassing. How can you tell? Although ÜberAsian knows this person directly he will not name him. First, homey bought a Hyundai. Because he couldn't afford the professional window tinting job, he tried to do it himself. Of course he bought that tacky purple tint from Sears. There were bubbles everywhere but it didn't seem to bother him. Then homey bought the chrome gas door and chrome mud flaps. He didn't put just one Triple A insurance sticker on it, he put three. No rims of course. He bought the special wheel covers from Kragen. Should I go on? Let's not mention the red good luck charm hanging from the rear view mirror or the covers mom made for the head rest and seats.

    ÜberAsian has this special request e-mail for a man looking for a woman he'll probably never see again.

    Nov. 10, 1997.

    I was driving south on Interstate 880 in my VTEC Honda during the morning commute. You were driving a beautiful yellow Acura Integra. You looked at my two-day-old 98 Honda, I looked at your Acura and wondered if it was factory paint. We parted ways. I never saw your face but I'm sure you were a babe.

    If you're reading this, please contact me.

    VTEC in Oakland.