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One car down

Updated: Nov 17, 2023




Today we dealt with the long standing issue of the cars. We have debated for months the fate of our two cars, Hannah's 2010 car and my 2018 one of the same make both bought new. While I was working we traded up regularly but in retirement we have fallen behind.


Each time we laid out the options we lost track and gave up. There were too many, eg: trade my 2018 car for a new one and keep Hannah’s; trade in both cars for one new car leaving me to ride a bike; keep the 2018 car and sell the 2010 one, another bike option; and most recently keep the 2018 car and trade up the 2010 car. If you are lost, I have made my point.


Hannah is 67 and I am 66. She is four months older and later this month we are re-united in age. After five years of retirement we seem to have reached a crossroad and a number of questions have presented themselves for urgent consideration. Should we move house and where? Will our two old cats survive the move? After 2 ½ years will our daughter take back her dog, now that her daughter is two? How much we should travel and when and where?


There is also the existential question, particularly in retirement, but that will never be answered and nor should it.


But today we resolved the car question. Yesterday we worked to bring them to showroom condition. We shared the work. I took them to an automatic carwash and Hannah vacuumed and cleaned the interiors. This morning after reading the digital newspaper I Googled cars. Emboldened by caffeine I completed a dealer’s enquiry box and he rang. At 2pm Hannah would test drive his car and he would look at ours.


That was two hours ago. She test drove his demonstration car. It roared like a rally car. I thought we were in second gear but it was an automatic. Still, Hannah was keen.


Even so, on our return I raised the topic with the dealer . His reply: “I don’t want to be dismissive but what you’re saying makes no sense to me at all. I’ve never heard the complaint before. These are excellent Japanese cars and we sell hundreds of them.” I said he was being dismissive but it was okay.


Actually it wasn’t okay. And he would pay only $3000 for our pile of crap car (as he thought it was). When we began to drift away he became more interested in allaying my noise concerns but we kept going. What was the bloke thinking? He told a senior and presentable buyer that he was talking nonsense and disparaging a good car.


We might not have bought the car anyway.


On the way home Hannah swerved into the wholesale car yard at the bottom of our street. “Let’s find out what these people will give for my car.” A nice down-to-earth lady who was about to collect her daughter from school said, “Have you got any idea what you want.” I thought I was cheeky asking $6K, after the jerk’s offer of $3K but she offered $5,000 and we took it. When her mechanic can’t get the bonnet open, the price went down to $4,400 but I pressed the catch sideways instead of down and brought the bonnet up and the price back up to $5,000. In doing so I reprised the brilliant mechanical work of Uni days when I fixed my Simca’s starter-motor using a housemate’s hairpin.


The nice lady took our bank details and told me to look at my phone. The money was in the bank. We walked home. On the way I said:


“Now I will get to ride my bike more.”


“Are we going with one car?”


“Ignore what I said.”


Resolving the car question was the first slice of the polony. When you have a lot on your plate, take the first slice. Hanna has gone to the shops in my car. I’m going for a bike ride and okay with that.  

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