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Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Real Life Romance

Welcome! Today we are going to talk cars.

That's right! 

What are you saying? The title? Romance? Nothing to do with cars?

We are going to see about that.


The other day I was reading Zee Monodee's guest post on Real Life Romance, and it got me thinking. 

If you are going to commit yourself to spend your life with a person, should you go for chemistry, butterflies and roller coaster emotions? Or trust that your parents will choose the best partner for you?

The other day I had car trouble. That's how it usually starts. A call to road assistance here, a trip to the shop there, spare parts, bills. My patience with unreliable means of transportation is pretty limited. My time is precious, I can't be stuck. 

So the offer is on the table. A brand new company car. I would have to pay for the monthly leasing charges, and pretty much everything else would be taken care of. Registration maintenance, gas, insurance costs - gone.

While I'm typing this, I'm thinking how stupid could I be not to accept it?

The catch is - I'm not in love with this car. I test drove it last week. The driving was fine, nice even, and the parking went well, too. Even sideways and backwards ;-) It has a screen the size of an iPad!




  • It's a Skoda Octavia, the Czech Volkswagen 
  • It's reasonable
  • It's safe
  • It's spacious
  • It comes equipped with features I didn't even know existed.
  • The sales guy at the dealership is super nice.
  • The shop is a 15 minutes drive away
  • Their market share is almost 30%, so there's plenty of experience and spare parts 
  • Skoda is an important ice hockey sponsor.



However...

THIS is the one I'm lusting after the one that makes my heart race, the one I've always, always wanted!


I test drove it, too. It was over 15 years ago, and it kind of scared me. 

It was manual gear changed, and with the slightest nod of the gas pedal, that beast boosted off. It took actual leg power to hit the brake - driving that car was hard work! 

I was smart enough to take that baby home to see if it even fit in my garage, because, frankly, it was a bit wide! 

It did fit! Only the door… I could barely open it to get out of the car!!

I looked at gas milage. Not too encouraging.
Insurance? I'd have to live off mac and cheese for 25 days a month.
Official dealerships in Switzerland? There were some.

So 15 years, a husband and a son later (and a wider garage) it might be time to revisit my old dream! 

Today I went for another test drive. I can not afford a new one, so I was looking for used ones. This one is 19 years old and has 50k miles. 




Did I say I went for a test drive today? 

Let me rephrase: I wanted to go for a test drive today. I didn't really get to drive. 

See, the first thing I always do when I drive a car that isn't mine, is I have to move the seat forward. Because short legs. 

The seat could not be moved forward! The little engine that is supposed to do so is obviously broken. Also the inside looked very used. So I guess it's good-bye, old Mustang.

Back home I had a call scheduled with R, my friend and advisor in all things finance, insurance, taxes, and stuff, and I tell him everything. 

He listens patiently, feeds me with info, and when I'm done, he's like "it's funny that you mention this. On my way to the office I actually thought I saw you!"
"Really, where?"
"In front of a car dealership in W (town not far from here). I saw a lady with white pants standing next to a - now sit down - red Mustang convertible!"

Unfortunately I currently don't fit into my white pants anymore, but hey, everything else? Could have been me. 

So my test drive in W is Saturday. God have mercy!!