What is an ideal life?

This article is reproduced from the autocarweekly WeChat account.

Author: Shu Shu

Although the year is just a human-made concept to divide time, as December arrives, looking back, summarizing, reminiscing, bidding farewell to 2021 are all on schedule, maybe in our hearts, maybe in our journals, maybe on social media, oh, there is also Christmas in between.

Have you been living your ideal life now that 2021 is about to end?

I asked myself the same question, and the answer is that I had only the ideal during the first half of the year, and only the reality in the second half.

Well, even the old and clichéd story of Titanic told us early on that when Jack and Rose were about to achieve their ideal state of being in love, the ship sank. Was it because the fresh-faced Leo wasn’t handsome enough? Obviously not. Was it because Rose wasn’t rich enough? Clearly not. Then, did James Cameron have to direct a tragedy? Every director facing such a problem would plead innocent, and their explanations were all similar: reality is often more absurd than drama.

Perhaps for us simple three-dimensional creatures, the ideal and the reality are paradoxical, and striving for one will inevitably lose the other. Of course, we can’t dwell on this too much, thinking too much tends to be tiring, and when our minds are tired for too long, that’s when problems arise and we end up on the front pages of social news.

I got it, the ideal life requires us to spend our whole lives pursuing it, and the moment we achieve it, it’s easy to reach a conclusion. No wonder nowadays people like to travel and camp, as compared to the former’s elusive and intangible nature, the latter can more easily achieve the ideal state that the human body needs in an instant.

So in this December, I drove an ideal ONE, with half of the company’s personnel (a total of 6 people), chasing after a brief ideal life in the outskirts of Shanghai.

Leaving our current life is like telling our girlfriend that we’ll take a few days to cool off and get in touch later, gaining a brief moment of empyreal time with infinite possibilities. Those who understand, understand, and I am the woman who chooses never to look back after a few days of cooling off.

Ideal ONE is a good companion when leaving, and I chose it because there are too many things to bring.

A 24-inch suitcase for a subsequent business trip, a huge tent that can accommodate 4-6 people, a set of picnic tables, chairs, and stools, a pot, a tripod, a lot of happy fat water, countless hotpot ingredients, snacks, and six packs of personal belongings.

There are so many things, but the trunk of the Ideal ONE is very spacious and comfortable, no wonder the experienced fathers praise it.

The chosen camping site is not far, just in the suburbs of Shanghai about a dozen kilometers away from the city center.

In an era where environmental protection is everyone’s responsibility, it took quite a bit of effort to find a camping site where we could park our car on the grass, and we also had to pay several times more than usual for the venue. What we gained was the ownership of this lawn for one day, and we instantly became like landlords. The feeling of an ideal life surged up when we were nailing the tent stakes into the ground. Apart from being a little expensive, everything was a good start.

It was my first time setting up a tent myself. When we unpacked the tent, the five of us girls looked at each other without knowing what to do. I knew then that we were all people who had never pursued an ideal life alone, or at least had never set up a tent before.

Just find the center point, prop up the poles, and insert a few pegs into the grass, and a camping tent can be perfectly set up. It made me realize one thing: the things you think are difficult may not be that difficult, even if it’s something that can become a “home” in a short time, which is just five steps in the instruction manual.

We set up the tables, chairs, and benches for the picnic. I sat outside the tent with ONE as my background, looking up at the blue sky and thinking about why my mindset could be so different just by leaving home for a dozen kilometers.

To quickly move on to the next step of eating hot pot, I gave myself a simple and perfunctory answer. Maybe all we need is just to leave, to leave a few kilometers away, even a few kilometers is fine. What’s important is to cut off the familiar air and everything beyond the cut-off point is considered to be a distant place.

Thinking of this, I couldn’t help but smile and feel confident that the automotive industry will take it to the next level next year because people need to leave. Whether it’s a short or long journey, cars, as a means of transportation, are necessary to a certain extent.


The definition of winter is from Bai Juyi’s poem “Asking Liu Nineteen”: “Green ants, new wine, red clay, small stove. The snow is about to fall in the evening, could we have one more drink?”

The definition of an ideal life on this day is from ACW editor Shushu’s nonsense in “Asking My Colleagues”: “The green car can be recharged and has a long battery life. Winter is infinitely good, let’s have a hot pot?”

Being able to enjoy hot pot multiple times without compromising the car’s battery life is the second reason why I chose the IDEAL ONE and why we chose to invest in an expensive lawnmower that can support the car. IDEAL ONE is not just a means of transportation, it is also an important part of living our ideal life. It can be our shield, like Captain America with his shield, our claws, like Wolverine with his adamantium claws, our chains, like Ghost Rider with his iron chains, or even our pants, like the Hulk with his green pants, enabling us to save the world and enjoy a hot pot at any time and in any place.

Of course, hot pot is just my choice. If you prefer barbecue, it is also a feasible option. The electricity that comes out from the IDEAL ONE’s charging port is no different from the one from your home’s outlet. We just pour water in and wait a few minutes for the pot to heat up, then we get to enjoy a tasty hot pot.

Someone told me before that eating hot pot must be a group activity, otherwise, it would just sound like the sound of boiling water, “lonely, lonely”. I completely disagree with that. Therefore, I sarcastically retorted, “then just eat more meals so you won’t have so many problems”.

Before we started our hot pot, the IDEAL ONE showed a range of 655 km. After consuming six portions of hot pot for two hours, the range dropped to 628 km. According to this calculation, if we only ate hot pot while driving the IDEAL ONE, we could still enjoy about 23 more meals.

Lonely? What a joke! Who would feel lonely when they are able to enjoy outdoor hot pot meals this frequently and easily. This is the ideal life we are pursuing.

Our colleague Yuanyuan is excited and said, “Being able to eat hot pot so conveniently, I need to have a serious talk with my husband when I return home. This is it!” It seems that on this day, she was deeply touched and warmed by IDEAL ONE.


What else did we do later?

We simply played around, took pictures, played with the sheep raised by the campsite owner, and teased the small dog named Kiki from the neighboring campsite. We sat around on picnic mats, snacked and waited for the sunset. When the night fell, we used the sound system to play “There are so many people in this world” on loop.

We didn’t actually stay overnight in the tent because after dark, we found that the winter nights in the suburbs of Shanghai were really cold and wet. So, we got picked up by the Ideal ONE that brought us there and sent back to where we came from.

It was a brief ideal state that satisfied us for a day.

Of course, to avoid spreading anxiety, I must say that this kind of day is not truly ideal living. However, with the addition of this day, I gained a few ideal hours in December and a day in 2021. In the twilight years, when we summarize whether our life was ideal, the answer is certainly made up of such small certainties day after day.

Since most of this day was brought by the Ideal ONE, when I got off the car at home, I couldn’t help but look back at it a few more times. I hope that Yuan Yuan will really buy it, and we can drive it to eat hot pot when we have time.

This article is a translation by ChatGPT of a Chinese report from 42HOW. If you have any questions about it, please email bd@42how.com.