If not now, when?

One American woman. Twenty acres and a 1650 farmhouse in Tuscany. Random introspection and hilarity, depending on the day.

29 October 2005

Finally. A new man in my life.

Okay, so for all of you hoping-against-hope that I finally am going to dish the dirt on my sex life (omg, get a life if you're waiting for THAT!!), I'm getting the suspense over with quickly: my new 'man' is Simon (in Italiano, "Simone" (pronounced Si-moan-ay).

He's a Lancia Y10, born in 1993. Only 40,000 kms on him (for the conversionally challenged, less than 25K miles). He's only been with one other woman his WHOLE life(really, at my age I have to expect that...), and she only used him to do 'normal stuff' (errands, etc.) around town. He does have a coveted "Firenze" (Florence) license plate.

He's british racing green, purrs like a kitty, and quite possibly (god, I hope this turns out to be so... knocking on wood and throwing salt over my shoulder and all that) the best bargain I have ever gotten.

Oh, I know, some of you playing along at home are wondering ... why now?? WHY did I buy Simon? Long Story Short: I'm at the end of my five-and-a-half-month 'long term' French auto lease. For some reason (oh, overoptimism on my part?!?!), I thought somehow I'd be a LOT more settled here (read: have my shit together, including all my @*#&*@$! visa paperwork) by now than I actually do.

The French-auto-lease thing is a tourism promoter, a gov't program (and it's all prepaid.) Hence, they can't extend the great terms beyond 6 months. But, if you want to do a long term 'rental' of a different car, you can do that - the quote I got was 71 days for $2100. *(not bad if it really IS a rental - about 250 a week!! - but, multiply that out ... and realize I've got NO equity at the end of it, it seems that 2100 could be better spent on a downpayment on a car I'll have to buy at some point anyhow.) Except the catch is that without all my paperwork in order, I can't actually buy/register/insure a car here.

Enter ... you guessed it, Il Cavaliere (really - he IS my knight-in-shining-armor on so many fronts.) I explained the problem. He in turn called *his* good friend, Silvano (who, conveniently, sells cars.) If you ever wondered if the Italian system REALLY is all about "who you know and who THEY know" - or does that just sell good movies - the answer is YES, it really does work that way.

Anyhow. Just the day prior, Silvano had received the car-now-known-as-Simon in his lot. We left the office immediately to go meet Simon for ourselves.

He's darling. (already said but worth repeating just 'cuz it sounds so sexy): British Racing Green. A little boxy in his rear-end, but really - don't we all deep down have body issues about something?! He's in nearly-pristine-for-a-12-year-old-car (oldladywholovedhim) condition. He doesn't have power steering, but I affectionately am calling that my daily 'upper body workout'.

And, cash-out-the-door (including tags, title, registration, and a new CD player - because apparently his former owner was, um, deaf?!? - I can't imagine why else she wouldn't have had a stereo ... ) he cost only

(oh, the suspense is killing me.)

(Actually, I already know. Rather, it's killing you!)

1500 Euro (1800 dollars or so at the current exchange.) Crazy, I know. Bald Eagle, when I told him about Simon, commented that it wasn't a car, it was a collectors' item! 93 was the last year they made this model. And there actually are collectors' websites out there devoted to them. Though, really, there are websites for ... um, ... everything... and a LOT of stuff that I wouldn't want to own.

Including a year's worth of insurance, I'm out the door at E2500. If Simon lives that long (and really, I have NO reason to believe he won't!!), it's still 294 days longer than the next 'long term car rental' which I would also have to drive back and forth from France (6 hours each way.)

Please, please, please (for the love of all that's good and holy), let this be one of those things that actually IS as good as it sounds! I could use a lucky break.

And if it's somehow not, I do already know the family who owns the gas station / mechanic shop. As always... optimistic, but covering my bases.

The Happy Couple...


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Congrats! I am having flashbacks of the renault. Hopefully Simon is better to you. DS

8:46 PM  
Blogger Viaggiatore said...

You *said* it, sistah!! So true; Renault flashbacks are definitely haunting me. Except it was a hot little number right up until its engine went tilt every time I turned right...

I'm hoping an Italian car is a way better deal from a functional perspective than a French car. What's that joke about heaven and hell?

In Heaven: The cooks are French, The policemen are English,
The mechanics are German, The lovers are Italian, The bankers are Swiss.

In Hell:
The cooks are English, The policemen are German, The Mechanics are French, The lovers are Swiss, The bankers are Italian.

8:51 PM  
Blogger The Mom said...

I'm looking forward to meeting the happy couple.

11:12 PM  

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