Sunday, June 6, 2010

our first car

Friday I picked up our first car here in argentina. its the chevy zafira - not available in the states but very popular here and all over europe. actually most american families would probably find it too small for a minivan but for us, its enormous. we've managed just fine via public transit and taxi's for 3+ years but with the 2nd baby on the way and a hell of a lot more stuff to lug around, it was time to get mobile again. buying a car here is not easy. i had to remind myself many times over the past month why we live here, why we stay - its not because of the ease of doing business, no that's not it. in the us you can walk into any dealership and drive away with a car that day. the guy checks your credit online, a quick call maybe and you've financed for 3 or 5 years the locomotive of your choice. there's no financing here - for cars or homes which makes buying them much more complicated. we had to transfer money into the country 3 different times, navigating the banking systems of both sides over two weeks. multiple documents signed all in spanish, none of which i understood. frustration, resignation and more frustration. finally the process inched forward. i could barely believe it when i sat behind the wheel for the first time. its also the first time either of us has owned a brand new car. i always bought used in the us and its so easy to buy and sell via craigslist these days. no way was i going to delve into the used car market in a 3rd world country. i just imagined myself broken down on the side of the road in the middle of nowhere with valen in the back seat crying, me 8 months pregnant and emotional and no idea how to get help. no thanks. the new car with all the warranties, roadside service and a few less mechanical issues at this point in the game is key. in a few weeks we will take our first roadtrip with baby, dog and gear in tow to our favorite estancia la candelaria.