We finally got a car! Woohoo! This tastes like sweet, sweet freedom after roughly 2 years (3.5 for my husband) of being confined to using the tram system.
It is a 21 year old Vauxhall Astra, dark green, wobbly, with manual windows and a retractable aerial (state of the art in the mid-90s; I remember when people used to snap them off for seemingly no reason at all, so it was perfectly normal to just stick a wire coathanger into the socket and drive around with it like that. If you were really lucky, your disgustingly cute boyfriend might bend it into a heart shape for you. Yeah, the past, it was a different country and all that.)
Anyway, it is super exciting to us. We can drive to France on a whim! Visit waterfalls! Go to the supermarket and buy as much food as we want rather than being limited to how much we can carry or fit into the wheeled trolley thing.
Of course, it broke down two days after we picked it up. Husband and son stranded on the side of the motorway in 33 degree sun with no shade and only one bottle of water. That was when DH discovered that he had no idea of the procedure for calling ADAC, the German breakdown people. Faced with a recorded message in German, he panicked, tried to leave me a facebook message (which I didn't get for about an hour) and, eventually, sat and waited.
Eventually, I wondered where he was, checked my messages (did I mention I also left my phone on a train this week, so I also had no portable way to contact him?) and ended up asking my boss for advice. She was stumped that the ADAC hadn't worked, as they are the only one in Germany, so she called a local garage for us. They towed the car, for €200, taking an hour longer than promised, to a garage. We went back on Monday and they fixed it, but it cost even more money. However, we now have a working car! And when we calculated the repair costs on top of the money we paid for the car, it was actually still within budget, so not too bad.
We have a freaking car.
(And I found my phone.)