Right now my kids take the bus to school, I drive our SUV to work and my wife walks to the grocery store during the day and carries the daily shopping home in the heat. If she has to go somewhere, she takes a bus and if she has something big to carry home, she takes a taxi. Considering that our SUV just sits in the parking lot at work, we pay about 9000 dirhams a year (about $2500) for the bus, the natural solution was to buy a new vehicle.
With the end of the school year and a lot of teachers leaving permanently over the summer, we've had our eyes out for something older that I could drive to and from work and occasionally put a bike in the back of. After a few false starts we saw something for sale in our kids' school newsletter. It was about what we were looking for and since it was though the school, we wouldn't be buying from a complete stranger.
As it turned out the person I called to find out about the truck recognized me from my voice. She's someone that I do triathlons with and she teaches my son's grade at his school. I knew her right away, but it's amazing that we never connected that she taught at his school. Between the triathlons and school events, you'd have thought that she would've seen us together at some point. (People who know me might say that it's not that amazing and that she was just avoiding me whenever she saw me, but she did seem genuinely surprised when she found out who my son was.)
After looking at the truck, I gave her money for a down payment and now am the proud owner of a 1997 Jeep Cherokee. We'll do the paperwork for the exchange at the end of the month. Now my wife can have our Trailblazer to take the kids to school and run errands during the day, and I'll get the Jeep with the broken parking brake (which my wife needs but I never use) to go to and from work and transport my bicycle. What's more, we paid just a little more than the cost of our kids riding the school bus for a year.