Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Small and flexible for cramped roads

Chiang Mai restaurateur swears by her Honda Jazz - and does her own maintenance too

Published on November 14, 2007

Small and flexible for cramped roads

Honda Jazz

In the fast-changing business world, adaptability is the crucial issue that allows some to get an edge over others.

That's why Phuangkaew Bunnak, the owner of Huan Chow Ying at Baan Thawai - a restaurant in Chiang Mai province - decided to pick the Honda Jazz, a compact car, as her city vehicle.

"I'm an adaptable person. It is my character and I can't change it," she said.

She said that she chose the Honda Jazz as it gives her a flexible feeling.

"I like my car to be unique. I had it decorated with a body kit and added 18-inch mag wheels. I also replaced the air suspension with conventional suspension to allow me to either lift up or lower the car. This make it distinctive," she said.

Before going into the restaurant business, Phuangkeaw drove a Honda Accord.

"The Accord was too long. It wasn't suitable for a business that involves contacting other people. Chiang Mai's roads are even more congested than Bangkok's. Driving a compact car is more flexible for me. But the Accord, which she still has, is good for any long trip," she said.

Phuangkaew said her friends ask her if it is difficult to own several cars.

"It is not difficult for me in terms of maintenance, because I can handle it myself, like men do. I love driving fast and am quite interested in engines and suspensions. I pay a lot of attention to the suspension because it's the part of the car closest to the road," she said.

"A problem with an engine is not usually dangerous. But if something goes wrong with the suspension it can easily lead to an accident.

Tyres are very important, too. There's a good chance that an accident will crop up if the car has bad tyres.

As I have to drive out of the city a lot, I change the tyres every year or two even if the tread looks all right.

"Good maintenance will prolong any car's life. You should either repair or replace parts that are malfunctioning even a little bit before the problem leads to something serious," she said.

"Maintaining a car is like running a business, especially a restaurant. It requires attention. The fact that I'm like a boy helps me in running my cars and the restaurant."

Thanadol Rila

The Nation

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