Friday, March 7, 2008

I finally got a decent car!

After two months filled with bad luck and time-consuming car searches, I finally got a decent car. Last weekend wasn’t very successful: after going to the DMV last Saturday (it’s almost like a tradition) where I passed my Leaner’s Permit test, I was told that the state of Pennsylvania had changed the law the day before, meaning that I was no longer eligible for a Driver’s license! In other words, this is going to cost me about 30% more on car insurance.

Bureaucracy is the only factor in the way here. Insurance companies think I am more dangerous than a 16-year old native American, who has to pass 18 simple questions and a short driving test (to give an example: what should you do when you want to make a left turn, but there is oncoming traffic? (a) hit the gas; (b) make a u-turn; (c) make a left, hoping that everyone stops; or (d) yield.

Saturday afternoon seemed more successful: I found a very nice Honda Civic, it only had to get detailed so I could pick it up Monday morning at 9:00 am. When I arrived at the dealer, he told me he sold the car to someone else!!

Tuesday night: another try. This time it was really successful, I found a very nice Honda Accord! After two months, I know how to play the game here: check the Carfax report, check the VIN Number on the car, and if the dealer doesn’t agree with your price, just drive away (he will jump for your car to get you back!). I could pick up the car on Wednesday night, but colleagues were sure something had to happen to keep my bad luck in shape: a plane will probably fall down from the sky on my Honda. However, it was still there, and I really like the car! So what have I learned in these two months?
• Don’t trust any car dealer!
• If you want to go live in the US, please don’t move to Pennsylvania – they make insane laws and hire retarded people to execute them
• Keep smiling – after rain, the sun will come up! (literally translated from a Dutch saying)

I also realized that I am not yet Americanized: I went shopping at the IKEA (exactly the same as in Europe), I bought clothes at the H&M and Zara instead of the Macy’s, and during lunch breaks I still don’t eat chips or pizza. And, I don’t drive an American car anymore, but most of my colleagues don’t do that either!

This weekend, I have a birthday party in Philly, an ING Direct soccer game and next week I’ll be watching the Philadelphia Flyers again! I’ll also have a dinner with some Dutchies in Philly and Friday my parents are coming. Time flies!

Check the Honda pictures! And there’s also a picture of my new shower curtain – bright orange :)