I Wish for a new Caren . . .

In Uncategorized on October 15, 2014 at 5:04 am

Long time readers will remember Caren (metric for Karen).   She was the little Stockdale and my occasionally and sporadically reliable method of transportation for our three years in Korea.



Karen was purchased for 6,000,000 KRW (metric for $6,000 USD) in cash, denominated mostly in a six inch high stack of ten dollar bills.  Sometimes when you buy a car with ten dollar bills you are a drug dealer, sometimes you a just in Korea.   It all depends on geography and whether or not you are maxing out your ATM transactions every day for a week or performing a service for customers.

Shorty after purchasing Karen three years ago, she ‘required’ some ‘maintenance’ that increased her ‘value’ to approximately 7,500,000 KRW (metric for $7,500 USD).   Suffice to say, let the Dale Stockdale beware.  However, once she received her ‘maintenance’, she became much less unreliable.   In retrospect, I should have paid about $3,000 USD (metric for 3,000,ooo KRW) for her.

For the three years Karen served the little Stockdales and I, we did not treat her well.   She was rarely washed, had two oil changes, and was routinely grazed against a large cement pillar in our parking garage so that Mrs. Stockdale would have plenty of room for her fancy company car that always started, was rarely dirty, and was routinely serviced by someone who came to Mrs. Stockdale’s desk, retrieved the keys and returned the car to her at the end of the day.  As a bonus, every summer when the little Stockdales and I would return from Lake Lotsastockdale, the interior of Karen would be covered in mold.

When it came time to part with Karen due to our relocation to Singapore, the big little Stockdale’s teacher told me about a ‘guy’ who buys and sells cars to expats.  The ‘guy’ met me the next day.  We agreed on a price – 1,500,000 KRW (metric for $1,500 USD) without the GPS and 1,700,000 KRW (metric for $1,700 USD) with the GPS.   (Please note that Karen’s value increased by more than 10% by including a buggy piece of electronic gear that rarely provided accurate directions.)

The DMV happened to be located right down the street from our apartment.   The ‘guy’ and I went to the DMV, he made a photocopy of my identification card, I signed one piece of paper and by the time I walked home, the 1,700,000 KRW (metric for $1,700 USD) had already been deposited in my bank account.   Here is the Korean part.  I no longer owned Karen.   She belonged to the ‘guy’.   However, I got to keep her for ten more days till we left for Singapore.   All the ‘guy’ said to me was ‘don’t get any tickets.’

Watch for Episode II (metric for 2) of the adventure – BUYING A CAR IN SINGAPORE.





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