Wednesday, April 22, 2009


Kilometers that is. 43,810 happy kilometers on our trusty Hyundai Matrix that we sold today to a used car dealership. We received in payment less than half of what we paid for it, yet enough to purchase a wide variety of cars in the U.S. I'll leave you guessing at the actual amount.

When we bought the car four years ago, it was at the encouragement of our boss, a Singaporean, who told us the C.O.E. (Certificate of Entitlement - the license to own the car, required for any car in Singapore) would never be lower. At the time it was $16,000 Sing. Last fall it hit $2. So much for that prediction (I think it's back up to $12,000 now).

On our maiden voyage to pick up Erik at the airport, I managed to get stuck against a post in the car park in such a way I had to ask someone else to drive it around the corner for me. Months later, I did the same thing again, on the other side. The night after we put it on auction last week, Erik did it a third time. I blame Singapore and its tiny car parks.

Despite the book ends of tragedy, those 43,810 km have meant countless cross-island trips to Jurong, the Woodlands, Changi, and Sentosa (aka west, north, east, and south), and even several trips to Malaysia (once all the way to Kuala Lumpur). Some of those miles have been added by friends who borrowed the car. Some were driven in torrential downpours, some down highways so beautiful you can't believe you live on this tropical island. I can't tell you how many times during those kilometers I've thought, "I'm SO glad we have a car!" It's saved us hours of waiting and walking, and given us freedom to go places we wouldn't have gone otherwise.

When I drove away today, Megan cried. That's not unusual - she's our emotive one. But after I turned in the keys and walked away to get a taxi home, I got a little emotional too. We're so thankful we had it! Now we're back to taking public transport like everyone else. It was good while it lasted.

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