Monday, April 28, 2008

Car Shopping

Well, the search is on. I need to buy a car for West Africa, as the pristine Avalon will not hold up over there. When we were in Kenya in 1999, the roads were pretty rough. Basically, even in Nairobi (which is the capital). the paved roads all ended right at the edge of town. People, cows, goats, carts, cars, buses, and tractors all shared the road at the same time. You need to keep your wits about you! You also need a car that can handle huge pot holes, water holes, and rugged terrain in general. I'm looking at a Land Rover (Discovery model), Toyota Land Cruiser, Toyota Rav 4, Toyota 4x4. Can believe that I have never actually purchased a car all my myself? That must be come kind of record! When I was 18, my dad helped me buy my first car; and he basically picked it out. Ugh! It was not what I wanted, but it worked. (It especially looked better after I installed an 8-track player and yellow carpet on the back hat rack!) When I was married, my husband picked out all our cars. They were fine, but I never had the pleasure of actually choosing. Now I have about three weeks to not only find a CAR, but a USED car, a car that I have to ship to AFRICA, and a car I can AFFORD. Oh joy. I have met some interesting people, for sure. Today this nice Hispanic man came and picked me up and drove me to where his car was located for sale. It was a sweet looking car; Range Rover, shiny black exterior, leather, upgraded wheel rims, two sun roofs, (can roofs be plural?? or is it rooves, which rhymes with hooves??) Anyway, I felt a little unsafe getting into his car and being driven to a strange place. When I got in, I asked him (sort of jokingly) if I could trust him. He said, YES OF COURSE and then he motioned to his two little kids in the back seat, along with his brother. Way cool! I got to smile at the baby all the way there! That was a more pleasant experience than yesterday, when I test drove a 1993 Toyota 4x4. The guy picks me up to show me the car. OMG. He must have weighted 400 lbs. which is no problem, except this truck did not have running boards and it was REALLY HIGH UP! The poor guy had to heave himself into the truck and for a while there I thought we might have a medical emergency. The accessibility (or lack thereof) was one of the main reasons he was selling the car. His mechanic bought it at auction....it was a piece of crap! The check engine light came on while we were testing it, the back window would not roll up, the odometer was broken, etc etc. Oh, did I mention the interior smelled like the inside of a bar? No thanks. I have a great lead on a 2000 Range Rover Discovery II model for sale for $5000. Guy on the phone sounds nice. He is being deployed with the military and needs to sell the car in the next 10 days...good for me. I'll let you know.

Tonight I baked cookies and the apartment smells homey and wonderful. (I guess you can take me out of Minnesota, but you can't take the Minnesota out of me!) I gave some of the cookies to the night manager at my apartment complex. Yesterday, he gave me a ride to the Metro station because it was raining. It was not part of his job or anything; he was just being nice. He has done other things above and beyond, so when I filled out the general "how are we doing" survey, I mentioned his name. Apparently, he got a copy of it because he stopped by my apartment to thank me. I had just taken the first batch of cookies out of the oven, so it was perfect timing. I thought later...I wonder if he ate one of the cookies as soon as he left my apartment, or did he wait until he got back to the office? Yea, I don't think he waited...the cookies were delicious!

Today in class we learned about classification of documents. I learned that everything I create/write/send in my new job is considered "property of the US Government." In fact, the emails I send, or cables I send, or the letters I write, will some day be archived and stored in permanent storage in a government facility. They becomes available for public viewing sometime around 10-99 years from now. How cool is that?

I miss a few things about my Austin life....like my friends, my fellow Realtors, my dog. Don't miss the big house and all the yard work, but do miss he comfort of my own bed and the ambiance of the windows and trees outside my bedroom. I miss my car sometimes; especially when I got lost yesterday (in the rain) trying to find the movie theatre. Walked about 4 blocks out of my way...But the good news is that I'm getting lots of exercise and my clothes are still getting more loose. Yea!

Better get to bed. Still am having a hard time with the east coast time change.

Love to all,
Becky Boo

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