After one month, one lost check, one stopped-payment fee, hours spent wondering why CarMax asks you to enter your SSN into their phone system only to have the operators ask you for it, phone calls and faxes to VA, and zillions of recitations of my address/cell phone number/work phone number to various CarMax operators, I've finally sold my car. If you've ridden in it, you may fondly remember its myriad bumper stickers and the fact that it said "Hello" to you when you started the engine. Well it's now in Tuscon, AZ where it shall cart around one of my friends during her job training period there. I didn't even have to remove the "Virginia Tech Alumni" license plate frame -- it applies to her also :-) And who knows, it might end up back in Austin within the year, haha.
Happy trails, mon ami!
Many people were curious why I wanted to sell my car when my contract in Shanghai is for only six months. It just seemed silly to hang onto an expensive piece of machinery that I wasn't using for six months. I'd be paying several hundred dollars a month for just about nothing. (Okay, you could say that it would have been going towards owning the car eventually, but I'm young enough to not care about that sort of thing just yet.) If I'm not getting active use out of something, it seems silly to hang onto it like that, especially when it continues to drain your wallet.
I also have a small fixation with not accumulating vast amounts of "stuff." I bet this is a side effect of moving so often -- at least once every two years -- since 1999 when I shipped off to college. But I also don't like to think that I'm contributing to the consumption-centric lifestyle to which so many people these days fall victim. So I figured that moving to Shanghai, for however long, was the perfect opportunity to take these ideas to their logical extreme. I'm kind of proud that I fit my entire life into a 10x10 storage unit (and 3 suitcases to China). And I know plenty of people who would take up even less space. Maybe it's some kind of badge of yuppie honor.
Obviously when I return to Austin I'll have to get a car. But right now I'm kind of enjoying not having to worry about driving, gas, or maintenance here in Shanghai. Putting my life in the hands of Shanghai cab drivers is not even that scary anymore. We'll see how long that lasts :-) But for now it's good.