Sunday, April 24, 2005

The Debate Resolved

It's funny how one minute you're swearing up and down that you will never own a car in Singapore, that it's unnecessary when the public transportation system is so wonderful and cars cost the same as your child's future college education, and a few months later you find that you are now the owner of a brand new Hyundai Matrix. Let me explain how that happened.

A few weeks ago, I mentioned that the COE (certificate of entitlement) was at an all time low. So we poked around. Poking led to investigating, which led to serious thought, and some wise words of wisdom from Erik's Singaporean boss who knows the car market here (I believe his words were, "If you're ever going to buy a car, do it now!" or something to that effect. He can be a pretty persuasive fellow).

But the straw that broke the camel's back, or at least our bank account, was the day I couldn't find Ethan's ez-link card, so we took a taxi to Plaza Singapura. When we got there, a huge sale was happening so the taxi queue was 30 people long. We took the MRT back, but the machines to buy a one time ticket wouldn't take my money, so I just snuck Ethan through (he's right on the edge of height so they don't notice. And that's all the justification I feel I need to give). When we started up the escalator on the other end, we heard the rain. This was the kind of rain where you walk out two steps and back in and you are soaked to the skin. We waited there for 20 minutes until we could walk the 1/2 mile home. We walked by the Hyundai dealership and I swear if that Matrix outside had been the right color, I would have bought it right then.

So we got hooked up with a great car dealer who is a believer and gave us the best deal he could. We went through the "bid for the COE" process which I won't begin to explain. We changed a lot of money into Sing dollars, and did a whole lot of hoopla, and now we have to wait a week to get the car. It is starting to feel like the longest week of my life. Singapore, the hardest place in the world to obtain a car.

In the meantime, a strange thing has happened to me. The public transportation system I enjoyed before has become the bane of my existence. We went to the park on Friday, and when I saw that an entire school had taken over the playground I thought, "If I had my car, I would drive somewhere else!" but having spent S$7.50 to get there, I felt we had to stay to make it worthwhile. It's things like that. I have discovered a whole new realm of discontent.

1 comment:

Gina Marie said...

I don't think they sell Matrix in the states. It's like a really small mini-van. I'll post a picture when I can.