I am never one to get myself into debt. But things happen and things happen.
Last month, I got myself a car— no, a tank. Raquel. And while I'd like to talk about the circumstances around my desire to get her and plunge myself into almost 2 million Pesos in debt, I would rather talk about the experience of getting my first tank.
I initially wanted to get myself a motorcycle. There is a Ducati Scrambler for sale at a lot near Sta. Lucia that I had my eyes on. But as things went, I forgot to take care of myself and contracted pneumonia. It was an ordeal, to say the least. But when I got out of confinement, I thought that it would be best if I travelled with a roof over my head and some air conditioning when it's too hot and when it's raining.
On the 31st of March, I took Taffy and Toundjis to the Toyota dealership at Marikina. By then, I've already decided to get the 2019 Fortuner— after arguing at length about it with Melmac, Annette, and Shogun. The only problem that we had was getting a good deal for the car.
I don't think we had the best deal but Mark, the sales guy, was good to talk to. And to be honest, he's a fine aftersales person as well. He took care of us and made sure that we were getting the best service on that Sunday and all the other times that I had to come back after that.
The following Monday, I had to make a request to our office HR and Accounting for some business documents. While I was waiting for them at work, the banks started calling. Apparently, I have or had a good credit rating. It didn't take long to get the car loan approved. Mark and I decided that we will go with PS Bank to honour them for being the first to get the loan going.
Things didn't go smoothly after. By the following Tuesday, Mark called to say that we can get the car out of the dealership the next day, April 3rd. Of course, this being the first transaction of this kind that I've ever done, I didn't know that getting the car released can take such a long time. I thought I could just come to the dealership, pay up, and get the car rolling. It took me somewhere around 7 hours; because of all the paperwork and the physical runabout of the car. There was also an orientation about car care, insurance, and the like for new car owners.
Suffice it to say, I got into trouble at work. But that's a story of another time.
The next problem that came about was my lack of a driver's license. So, the solution that I came up with was to get a personal driver. Getting one took two weeks because it wasn't easy to find someone willing to drive me to work at 1PM and pick me up from work at midnight. It's really a good thing that I found Mang Nestor.
Mang Nestor worked for one of my friends. He used to drive delivery trucks and is used to handling large vehicles, which is great. Although, one of the first things that got me upset was that he wasn't used to driving modern vehicles. He crashed Raquel on some parking barriers on his second night while backing up. All is well now. He still has a job. And for the last three weeks, I am very grateful for his service. I think we will be working together for a long time.
It might come as a shock to my friends why I had to have someone drive me around, especially those who know that I can drive. But part of the plan is for Mang Nestor to take Raquel home after taking me to work so that the people at the house can use her for things like buying groceries and taking Melmac to her doctor when she needs to go. It's all good. The fuel cost, though, is something that needs looking into. But the people at home do their part and give me gas money if they ever had to be driven around.
It feels nice, making this decision to get a tank.
I thought about giving friends a ride home if they leave at midnight. In the last couple of weeks, I've had Jen, Aaron, Patrick, and Neil ride with me as their places are on the way— sort of. It's great that we can talk about things. Things that we might never get a chance to talk about at the office. Good things, not-so-good things. Things that we can forget when the ride is over.
Getting Raquel and hiring Mang Nestor seem to be the best decisions that I've made last month. And I have made some awful decisions then. I hope I'm making the right ones now.