there are some places in the world where you dont really need a car to get around. Sunnyvale is not one of them. being careless here in this large sprawling suburbia isn’t easy, especially when you’re girlfriend lives in a city that is an hour away by bus and when all of your friends live in San Francisco which is at least 1.5 hours away by a combo of bus/train. for the last few months i’ve been trying to get by bumming rides off of people, begging my parents to use the car, and by attempting public transport. if i was living in SF now, i dont think i would need a car as urgently, but living down here, my situation was grim.
during my trip, i had made up my mind that i would buy the cheapest car possible when i got back here. i hoped to buy a beater for under a thousand bucks and to run it into the ground until i desperately needed to buy something else. but, as time went on, i worried that buying an old piece of shite might be more trouble than it was worth if it ended up breaking down in 5 seconds flat. i decided that i’d put in the extra money and get something decent. not something new by any means… my plan was still to buy something super cheap, but something that was from 2002/2003.
trying to buy a used car was an insanely agonizing process for me. i’m one of the most indecisive people on the planet, and even tiny decisions like choosing what to eat at a restaurant are agonizingly difficult for me… i never seem to be able to settle on anything. so, trying to narrow down what brand i wanted, what year, what exact price, etc etc was utter torture. night and day i read about cars, looked at car ads, checked out car ratings, and stopped by dealerships. in the end, i decided that i would get a ford focus. everything i had read online had said that these cars were hella good despite being made by ford. of course, i still had some doubts, especially since pretty much every friend i had told me i was *nuts* to buy a ford.
after going on a few test-drives, i started realizing just why everyone hates car dealers. sure, some of them were actually allright, but a lot of them were the slimiest bastards you could ever imagine. every word that spills out of their mouth was either flat out bullshit or something used to kiss your ass. dealing with these people was exhausting and ridiculously frustrating. luckily, it wasn’t too long till i finally found the car i was going to buy. a 2003 light green ford focus. it only had 25k miles on it, excellent condition, and was still under warranty. quite a bargain for only nine grand. after driving all the way down to halfmoon bay a few times and investing a ton of time into this, i had my dad put money into my account to buy the car.
but at the last second, the deal fell through. it turned out, that the salesman had lied to me and told me the wrong price. we had a long argument over the phone where he told me everything he could to drag me into the dealership nonetheless, but i wouldnâ€™t budge. i couldnâ€™t believe it. i was literally *minutes* from buying this car, and now i wouldnâ€™t get it. i was insanely pissed. after hanging up, i called back to talk to the manager. and the manager, no wait, the *owner* of the dealership, flat out lied to me on the phone. he told me that he had heard my conversation with the salesman when i was there and said that the salesman never made the offer that i *heard* him make. unfuckingbelievable. ok, i’m not surprised to have a salesman lie to me, but i couldnâ€™t believe that the owner of “James Ford”, who supposedly values the reputation of their dealership so much, could lie to me. dont ever buy a car from James Ford.
after all of this, i was back to square one. crap. unfortunately, now there was a new factor to consider. i had made the irreversible mistake of test-driving a couple new cars. oh man. slowly, all my resolve to buy a crazy cheap car was starting to crumble. i had been saying for ages how people in the states are way too materialistic, too obsessed with flashy cars etc, and waste too much money on them instead of using money for what’s really important… but all of a sudden my morals were disintegrating before my eyes. i mean… i could buy a new car if i didnt buy an *expensive* new car right? it’s not like i was dropping $40k on a bmw or something. i could spend $15k on a new compact car and not sacrifice all my values, right??! hrm.
in the end, my choice fell to two cars. the Ford Focus ST, which is the super fast version of the focus or the Mazda3. it was a really tough call… they’re both really nice cars. i liked the focus a lot… but as soon as i actually sat down and test-drove the Mazda, i was totally blown away by it. i felt like i was driving a little race car. this car looked ridiculously beautiful both inside and out. but… it was $2k more than the ford. i agonized for a few more days. i went to look at the focus, then the Mazda, then the focus, then the Mazda, and then the focus again.
finally, i made the choice. i picked the Mazda3. i just couldn’t resist that car. even after deciding, i still had a few doubts, but that’s just the way i am.. and i had to push them aside. i called my parents, who had graciously agreed to loan me money for the car so i wouldnâ€™t have to pay financing charges. they drove down, and within an hour, i was the proud owner of my new car. unbelievable. to say that i was ecstatic would be an understatement.
i’m way psyched on this car. first off, it just looks so dope. i love the color and i love the styling. inside, i love the sporty way that the dash is laid out and the stereo looks cool too. also, i ended up getting the 2.3L version which has way more power. the first time i drove that car, i was practically flying. i hit 60 mph before i even got a chance to change out of second gear. the car is so damn fun to drive.
so that’s it. after 3 months of being back, i finally have a car of my own. i’ll be honest, there’s a tiny part of me that still wonders if i should have bought a beater car… but whatever, i love my new car. every time i walk out my door and look at it, it puts a smile on my face… and that counts for something.