I was working with an older adult the other day whose primary caregiver was someone with health problems of her own. The caregiver was feeling very down about her declining abilities and the need for greater assistance with the patient.
"I'm getting a new car next week," she stated. "Under the Motability Scheme, we're getting a car that can meet our needs."
"Well that's great!" I responded.
She looked crestfallen. "It's an automatic gearbox. I can't believe I have to drive an automatic." Of course being from the USA where manual transmissions are nearly extinct, I didn't understand her response. My look must have conveyed that.
"Automatics are for pensioners and disabled people!" She explained. "I know it's different where you come from, but here, having an automatic means you're not really able to drive anymore."
It is funny how such a thing can be viewed so differently between cultures. I never would've thought that driving an automatic has the equivalent impact of getting one's first invitation to join AARP.