Today I picked up our car from the Toyota Dealer. Gaby and I are now the proud owners of a 2005 Toyota Echo, complete with a mighty 1300 cc engine! It’s interesting to note this cylinder volume is only moderately larger than the average water bottle we put in our pack when we hike. The Dealer was quick to tell me this car could easily do 180km/hour. I can’t imagine how SCARY that would be! Actually, we both wanted a good, economical car, and Toyota had just want we needed. I was very impressed with the whole car buying thing here in New Zealand. The entire process was the antithesis of car buying in the U.S. I simply walked into the dealership, asked to take a test drive, and was handed the keys. The salesman then said, “I’ll see you when you get back.” When we decided to buy the car, we walked into the office and I asked how much the car would cost to buy, and he informed me that the price on the sticker was the price of the car, with everything included. No taxes. No delivery fee. No extras whatsoever! When I picked up the car today I wrote a personal check for it. Pretty low key.

Note that the steering wheel is on the right.

It’s either gear or Gaby when we go on trips šŸ™‚