Sunday, September 5, 2010

Cars Licences and Taxes by Emily

Hi everybody,

I hope you don't mind, but I was writing a letter to Elaine (and Robert. Dee him in the background?), and I realized it would be easier to forward it to you than to write another whole update. Check out what she wrote at the bottom first. It's really incriminating!....

Hee hee hee. First of all, I do laundry just about EVERY day (have for the last several years), but I'm touched you were thinking of me. But right now we are up to our ears in boxes (did I mention our lift came last Thursday?) I haven't had any time to update everybody, as I keep trying to get to the bottom of boxes and to find our floor. Laundry has become just a minor annoyance. Today we came very close to buying a car AND a fridge!! (and I think we have probably at least decided on which ones). The car is a whole big thing because we can't buy it until we have Israeli licenses, which is a whole production. Ross already got an eye exam and a doctors exam, and now he has to go to Haifa for a driving lesson, which apparently costs a fortune, and after the lesson, the teacher (yes, the guy who gets paid for the lessons) determines whether or not he needs further lessons in order to take his test. So that'll be fun. (I'll do this too one day, but probably after we have the car already). Then hopefully at some point soon he'll have a license, and then we will go back to this dealer (presuming we indeed still want this car), and it will take a MINIMUM of 14 business days from when we buy it AFTER we have the license. It's really unfortunate, as we have a rental for exactly 2 more weeks, so we will be either without a car or shelling out another little fortune to get us through the licensing process. But I can't complain, since we will be getting a brand new car with ONLY 75% sales tax instead of the Israeli 135%, which is a difference of around $10,000 for us!!! (and twice as much as we have ever spent on a car in our lives, for a car half the size of our Odyssey). But I'm not bitter. This is all part of the fun of Aliyah-- stories to tell the grandkids. These are way better than the stories the aliyah grandparents used to tell-- of malaria and no indoor plumbing and wars and stuff like that....

And the most amazing unbelievable part ever: (Really I just can't believe it!!!!):

THERE'S NO HAGGLING TO BUY A CAR!!!!!! My dream (you can ask Ross) used to be to buy a Saturn just because there was no haggling with them (that and the commercial with the baby seat in the back-- remember that one?)

We went to this one "dealership" and he insisted that it is not a dealership. I can't remember the word he used, but he said they are all offices of the central Honda sales in Israel, and prices are standard, and he is not competing with any other Honda stores. (Unfortunately, the Honda which seemed to be the best car for us is no longer being made, so that was just an example. The car we are hoping to get is a Toyota, which is what we looked at today. Neither of these cars is available in the gas-guzzling US of A-- they're little cars with special roof racks for small children... OK, not really roof racks, but squishy seats and little storage space).

Then again, when we left the salesman asked to take our number, and said he'd give us a call if any special deals came along. So maybe there is haggling and I am just being a naive American. Uh oh. I am still holding off on buying a dishwasher in case it comes free with the car!

Anyhoo, I am off to bed. Today was good. Today was fun. tomorrow is another one (anyone know the reference? Anybody?)



PS Hint: From there to here, from here to there, funny things are everywhere

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