For some people, an impulse purchase is buying something unplanned off of a display at the grocery store (me)…or a candy bar in the checkout aisle (sometimes me, too)…or an expensive Celine Dion concert ticket in Paris because you just moved to Europe (also me). Hmmm…are we sensing a theme? I can be a little impulsive when it comes to purchases big and small.
However, I think even I took things to a new level last week with my impulsive behavior…
While I was living in the temporary apartment, I was a 7-10 minute walk to the office and a 3-5 minute walk to the train station and grocery store. Then, during the move to the permanent apartment, I had a rental car for a couple of weeks. This was great for hauling purchases home from IKEA, exploring a few places off the beaten path with my mom, running errands to purchase more things than we could carry on the walk back to the apartment, etc. After that, I left for the States for two weeks.
Last week, it was back to my new reality…living a solid 12-15 minute walk from the train station and roughly 25 minutes from the office. There is a bus stop outside of my apartment, but it’s not a direct route to the office, and it comes every 15 minutes (a little too infrequently for my liking). I know this isn’t much for my friends living in mega cities, but in tiny, little Vevey, it’s just a wee bit too far. (And just to add one more piece of justification, the walk home is basically up the mountain.)
I’ve been debating what I should do about a car since before I moved to Europe. I kept waffling…do I REALLY need one? Think about how much money I would save by not having one… I’m getting so much extra exercise by walking everywhere… Why didn’t I just ship my Volvo over from the States? (You get the point.)
Let’s just say the waffling ended on day 2 of my new reality. When I had to sprint to catch the train for church Sunday and then walk to/from work more than I planned the first couple of days of the week, because I kept missing the bus outside my place, I decided I needed to buy a car immediately to give myself a little bit of freedom. The very next day, I checked the advertisement space on our internal intranet and saw that a friend posted her nearly brand new car on the site. Done.
I went to see it a night or two later, filled out the paperwork required by HR and the Swiss government, requested insurance, and as of this morning, transferred the license plates into my name!
So yes, I officially own a car in Switzerland….a 2012 Peugeot 207 with 20,000 km.
My only real stipulation was four doors, since I will likely have passengers more often than not and definitely plan to take some roadtrips. And I figured a Euro car kind of added to the experience. It needs a bath, but that means I have to find a car wash in Vevey. (Don’t worry; I know they exist, because I’ve seen them, but tonight I couldn’t place exactly where.) Sorry to debut it while its dirty (especially to my mama who is obsessed with having a clean car), but I had to let you know about my biggest impulse purchase to date.
And for the record, I think it is so fun that I have European license plates!!