Sunday, May 27, 2007

The Decision

“It’s a hard choice, what car to get,” Ranni told me. “How are you supposed to know?”
After all, you don’t know which cars are lemons and which last forever until ten or twenty years down the road. And with prices in Israel roughly double those in the states, and operating costs (taxes, licensing, etc) probably triple, it really ups the ante. “You should ask about it when you’re davening [praying].” Good advice

So, while doing my morning shacharit davening, I asked.
“Ephraim,” the reply came in a booming mental voice, “I want you to get something sporty. The Mazda 3 is big enough to be safe on the roads with these crazy Israeli drivers, but small enough to drive in the city, and it’s good on fuel. It also has ABS and handles well. Plus, it’s Japanese, and you remember how great the rust rocket held up back in the Old Country. And make sure it's the one with the big engine.”
So, with divine assistance, the decision was made. But, whereas in the Old Country, good old Walnut Creek, you can walk into a dealership, take a test drive, and walk out with the car, here, it’s a bit more involved. Just getting the test drive, as I soon learned, can take months.
Meanwhile, for the next couple of weeks, it was back to the jerking, lurching vomit express, the number six bus, to get to yeshivah. Taking my test drive on Jerusalem Day, screeching through Har Homah and East Jerusalem at warp speed, I started putting the pieces together.
“Why did it take so long to get a test drive?” I asked the sales lady sitting in the passenger seat next to me.
“The waiting list was very long.”
“Let me guess,” I asked her, “there’s only one Mazda 3 for test drives in all of Israel, and it gets moved from one dealership to the next.”
“Yes, that’s right.”
”So if I wanted to buy one, when could I get it?”
Back in the sales office, she clicks away on her computer.
“If you put down a 2,000 shekel deposit now, we can have it for you in a little over a month. But there’s only one spot left on the boat, so you have to get it RIGHT NOW.”
I snorted, suppressing a laugh. The other dealers all gave me the same hustle.
What the heck, I grabbed it. After all, God told me to get a Mazda 3. So now, the wait is on, with June 10th the day that my life is expected to get a whole lot better. But the way things work in this country, I wouldn’t bet on it.

1 comment:

Ephraim said...

Yup. I'm glad he didn't tell me to buy an Oldsmobile or something. (Do they still make those?)

Yeah, I'm not counting on actually getting the thing on June 10th. Like anything in this country, it's a struggle, but well worth it.