I am not a car person. I don’t care about fancy cars or how expensive they are. I don’t pay attention to detail like some people do. I can see a red 4-door car and think, “Hey, is that Jessica?” It might not even be a Volvo, but if it’s red and has four doors, it might be her! (I used to see black Suburbans and think, “Hey, is that Anna?” even when I lived in Colorado and she was in North Carolina… Apparently I see the big picture, not the details.)
But I was attached to the Goldrush 3. And today was the day I had to officially see it leave our family. I guess the silver lining is that the van is going to a Polish family about to have baby #3… a girl is due in one month and she has two older brothers waiting excitedly for her. Polish vehicles are teeny-tiny and three car seats will not fit in their current car, which is why they peruse the website I had mine for sale on: BIG AMERICAN CARS FOR SALE, and CHEAP!
The guy was scheduled to arrive Thursday but, when he was an hour late he texted to say that he was still 350 kilometers from here. He decided to stay the night in Frankfurt and meet me the next morning (today) at 10:30. This was fine, but I had really hoped to have the deal over and done with by COB Thursday. He arrived a few minutes late, but at least he had a trailer and 3 friends to help load the van.
His English was actually not bad. He wasn’t as fluent as his brother, the one who had called and discussed the transaction with me, but his English was better than he gave himself credit for. That came in handy.
The first almost-problem was that when I showed him the registration he stuck it in the Goldrush. I didn’t pick up on this as I was wrangling 4 kids, but about 5 minutes later it hit me. I nonchalantly walked over to the van and got it out. When he realized this he asked where the registration was and I told him that I had placed it with the rest of my paperwork so that when we got to Customs it would all be together. He then told me that his friend, the van driver, had to get back to work and they didn’t have time to go to Customs.
That was a problem. He HAD to go to Customs or he couldn’t buy the car. Kind of law. I had clearly stated this in my email to him (through his brother). See?
He discussed this with the van driver and they decided they could, after all, make the time to go to German Customs. (After driving 1400K to get here, I’m glad they made that decision.)
He paid me in hundred-dollar bills… it was fun being on the RECEIVING end of cash this time.When he started the van up he tested the transmission and found, as I had stated, that it didn’t work. Fortunately, when it was time to get the Goldrush up on the trailer, it went right into gear and the buyer was able to drive it right up. He yelled out the window, “I’ve got magic hands!” HA!
We made our way to German Customs and we were very fortunate one of his three friends speaks German fluently. So, Friend talked to Customs-Lady in German, Customs-Lady responded in German, Friend translated the German into Polish, Buyer translated the Polish into English for me. Seriously. Go back and forth a few times and this gets complicated. I was able to understand Customs-Lady when she asked me Parker’s age and then told me her child’s age in German (her child was 16 months… see!!). I can do simple conversation, especially regarding children and numbers, but start talking about vehicles, taxes, etc. and I’m lost.
The only big mistake was mine… I was under the impression that he would not need title since it was a US title and he was not going to be taking the car to the US. Turns out that he did need it to take the vehicle into Poland. I had to run home and grab it really fast as he waited at Customs, but that wasn’t too big of a deal. (In hindsight it’s not a big deal… in the moment I was pretty stressed and really kicking myself for not having it with me. I know. You want to kick me, too. Big DUH moment.)
When I returned to Customs I snapped this picture of Goldrush 3 riding away. Tears are close to the surface as I write and think about it. How can a person get so attached to a car?!? I didn’t realize quite how attached I was until it officially died and now I’ve written more about it in the past few months than I have anything else! I’m sure there’s a therapy session waiting for me sometime in the future. Sentimental. It may be that we’ve had it since Carson was an infant. It may be that it was something of “home” that we brought to Germany. It may be that I had that van sitting in the driveway of the first home we owned in North Carolina (shout-out to Ferry Road!); and in the second home we owned in South Carolina; and in our Fort Carson house; and now in Germany. It wasn’t just a car. It was part of our family.
The next couple of hours were also busy but easier, as I was no longer dealing with a language barrier. I left Customs and headed to return the plates that I had so easily memorized thanks to Jessica pointing out that each thing represents something easy to remember:
WI ZK 217 – “WI” is Wiesbaden, “ZK” for Zak, her husband, and “2/17” for Carson’s birthday. I wish I could transfer the plates to the Silver Surfer… Evidently Jessica’s a detail person as she had this memorized before I did!
After Vehicle Registration I headed to Mainz-Kastel to deposit the wad of cash in my wallet and treated the boys to Burger King. (I detest Burger King’s food but it was a reward for the boys… they loved their burgers and nuggets.) They had been amazingly well behaved… While there I checked out the price of a second car seat to leave in Matt’s car for Parker. Didn’t find one for free, so I left and headed to Power Zone to check the prices of pianos. It’s time to get one for Carson as he’s going to start lessons in three weeks. Didn’t find one for free but I did check out the info on the one and only one they have. I’ll see if the teacher approves of it before I buy it.
After those errands on MK we headed home to a surprise: MATT WAS HOME FROM GARMISCH EARLY! He had expected to return around 8 pm and we were so glad he made it in time to watch Carson’s and Bailey’s soccer game.
We sent them to rest in their rooms for about 45 minutes while I called USAA and had the Goldrush removed from our insurance and then got a few minutes to unwind. I felt like I needed to stare at a blank wall or something. My version of that was to catch up on FB. And all too soon it was time to go to soccer. In the rain. On the way I stopped and got this… comfort food to beat all comfort food.
Goldrush 3 and Silver Surfer.