Thursday, December 4, 2008

Romanian Journey

During our stint in Romania with IICS in 2004 blogs did not exist or were not that popular, and even if they were, internet access was another subject in itself. What I did keep was a daily journal of this memorable journey. I never had much use for the journal other than our monthly newsletters; however, with my new blog I’ve decided to post once a week on our journey. I hope you do not mind.

PIAŢA DE MAŞINI


Kacee and I decided early on that we wanted a dependable car while living in Romania. This was not typical for missionaries (what is) and really not necessary considering the quality of public transportation. However, we were going to be on the run a lot with visits to several orphanages and friends that lived two hours away. Plus, how would I keep my girlish figure if I walked everywhere? We also made the decision to tour parts of Europe while we were living in Romania. We were young, did not have kids, and history was all around us. This would not be possible without a dependable car. The decision was easy, the purchase was an adventure!

The most affordable and “reliable” method of purchasing a used car in Romania is at the piaţa de maşini (car market). When you think car market, think U.S. flea market with cars! One of my favorite things about Romania was that there was a market for everything. There were flower markets, car markets, fruit and vegetable markets, meat markets, and clothing markets. One day I will have to share with you my experience with the animal market! But for now I will stick with the car market.

The car market in Timişoara was once a week and individuals from the area would bring used cars they had to sale. Most of the cars came from Germany, or at least the ones you wanted to buy. You would have to see some of the roads in Romania and how some Romanians drive (me included) to understand why. Typically a Romanian would travel to Germany, find a good used car, return to Romania, sale the car and return to Germany to buy another while keeping the profits. This was their source of income.

Our good friend Daniel took us to the market three different times before we found our car. Over these three weeks we saw hundreds of cars. With cash around my belt (cash only) we honked horns, kicked tires, turned up radios, and test drove a number of cars. Ultimately we found our “new” used car. It was a 2002 VW Passat station wagon. Of course it was diesel and five-speed. This pleased Kacee because she cannot drive a stick and she had no desire to drive in Romania, nor did I have any desire for her to drive!

Once we made the decision to buy our car we took our cash to a small van to fill out the paperwork and pay for the car. Inside the van a gentleman typed out our temporary paperwork and gave us our temporary license plates. Within 10 minutes we had our paperwork and our car. However, one stipulation was that we drive the previous owner to his home two hours away.

Though this process seems simple and it seemed simple to us at the time, things can get complicated. What happens if you don’t get your permanent license plates? What happens if your paperwork gets lost? Unfortunately, I know. You will just have to read my blog next Friday to find out!

Have a great weekend. Aspire to new heights.

1 comment:

todd long said...

....where's your TALON???