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Sunday, October 25, 2009


I bought a 2006 Chevrolet Trailblazer today. It has 25,000 kilometers on it (about 15,000 miles) and with buying it from a dealer included a year warranty. In the past, I've used the words "car" or "truck" to refer to the vehicle I've intended on buying. This has only caused confusion. I've been corrected on this several times, but I have a hard time saying "I'm buying an SUV."

I gave up on the car loan even though I was about a week away from qualifying. I had a bad feeling that even though I almost qualified for the loan, I was a few weeks away from actually having the money to exchange for the car. Instead, I transferred some money from savings. As it was, even that was painful with all the getting accounts set up for transfers and exchanging money. This was a process that I started about three weeks ago. The most difficult thing was the ridiculously short hours at the bank meant that I could only go on Saturdays. At least now my accounts are set up to move money easily.

The whole process leading up to me driving the car off the lot has been so painful that I was pleasantly surprised with how smoothly things went over the past few days. It seems that while banks will pretend that they want to give you the money for a car, they make it difficult to actually get the money in hand. Car dealers, on the other hand, will make it very easy and convenient for you to give them money in exchange for a truck.

First I had to call to arrange insurance last night. They didn't know what a Japanese gold license meant, but when I explained that it means no citations or accidents in the past five years, I was able to get a pretty good deal on insurance. (2590 dirham, about 82,000 yen or about $700 for 13 months) They checked it out then I was good to go.

Once I had the insurance, I could go pick up the car. The dealer sent someone to take me to get it registered. Once there I got my license plates. I was even given a choice of plate size. While I was waiting for my plates to have holes drilled through them so they could be fitted on my truck, an Emirati asked me how much I paid and told me I paid too much. When I told him about the low mileage, another guy said, "Well then it sounds like you got a good deal because it's like new," while giving his friend a look to tell him to shut up.

I drove it home and wasn't used to driving on the right side of the road and really not used to driving a big car. I stopped for gas and had no idea how much it would cost to fill up so I gave the attendant all the money I had on me, 60 dirhams (about $16). I was happy to see that it filled it about three-quarters of the way. While the fuel mileage probably isn't that great, gas is only 5.75 dirham a gallon (about $1.55) so it won't be that bad.

When I got home, I handed my wife the key and told her to try to find it. Even though she had a general idea of where it was, it was funny watching her from the balcony as she walked in the opposite direction, then watching her jump as she pressed the alarm button and it started beeping at her. Then she couldn't figure out how to turn off the interior lights.

All in all, I'm pretty happy with it. I've had about three weeks since I put the initial non-refundable deposit on it to come to terms with everything. I'm just happy to not have to rely on taxis anymore. I figure if we did pay a little more, it was for the low mileage and the year warranty. I've had people either tell me I got a good deal or that I paid way too much for it. The worst is when people say, "Well as long as you're happy"


  1. Hey, when its all said an done, what really matter is whether you're happy with the car. ;-)

    Happy driving!

  2. It was nice driving to work today, though it seemed a bit of a waste for me to leave my apartment and arrive at work at the same time as my friend who I usually catch a ride with. Maybe once the novelty wears off, we can organize a carpool.

  3. Once Mineko starts driving, you mean.

    If Allah favors our plan, I'll be buying my own this weekend.

  4. I'll be interested in seeing how she reacts to driving here. She's not keen right now but I have a feeling she'll adjust quickly.

    Good luck with the car.

  5. Not used to driving a big car eh. You couldn't drive a little car. GOOOOOOOOD LUCK. That thing is going to get beat up real soon.

  6. The good news is that no one here can drive so I fit right in.


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