Well, we finally finalized our purchase of that VW fusca (Beetle) and thought we would say goodbye to some memorable times on the Uruguayan bus system.
For almost a year, we have enjoyed the buses in UY. For the most part they are clean, and if you don't travel during rush hour, they are spacious. During rush hour, the buses operate on standing room only, and Uruguayans do not have a "space" requirement. They are happy to stand packed (and I mean packed) back to back, side to side and every which way for up to an hour. And more space can always be found for the new arrivals.
During a bus ride, you may be treated to: guitar music, offers to buy candy, gum, band aids, socks (among other things). On one trip, 2 local actors played out a scene from a local melodramatic production (very badly, I might add- way over acted). We won't have that type of entertainment in the VW.
The bus drivers decorate their own buses in their own style. Here you can see fuzzy dice. Hmmmmm- apparently there are no revue boards for decorations.
However, now, we will probably be doing more traveling in our little Fusca. We found the car on MercadoLibre (UY's version of Ebay). We saw the vehicle and agreed to a price of $3600 for the '87 bug (we did get $100 off the price). That was over a month ago. At that time- we turned the deal over to our escribano. Escribanos handle all kinds of title transfers, including houses and apparently, cars. You would be hard pressed to do the paperwork yourself. They get certificates from police departments, tax offices and other offices to certify that the car has no liens against it. In fact, the process is almost exactly like transferring a house (and almost as complicated).
Because the car was registered in another county, the escribana had to pay an agent to do the paperwork up there, and it took shy of 4 weeks before that paperwork was sent back. Then, since it had been so long, our conscientious escribana ran the documents a second time, in case the situation had changed in the last month. Satisfied they set up a meeting last night, and the title document was read and signed and the keys were turned over. The deal was not completed, however, since the papers need to be sent back on last time to finish it up.
The cost of the transfer was higher than anticipated. I had thought $200-$300 would be expected, but it cost over $575 for the fees. A good portion was the notary fees. We might have saved some money using another escribana, but this is the one who did our house sale and we were comfortable using them, so we have no complaint, merely a mild surprise.
The seller drove us back to his house, which was close to the Rambla and we took that home, since driving in Montevideo, at night, in a new car (or any car during the day for that matter) is a hazardous affair. I am happy to say we arrived home safely, and after freeing the dog and cat from their enforced confinement (and cleaning the floors)- we turned in for a good night's rest.
This morning, after making a thorough inspection of the Krispy Kreme, I am pleased that it is basically in good shape. I took it to a local Gomeria (tire store) for 2 new tires (Pirelli's for $70/each) as well as a basic tune up and oil change. It was kind of strange driving around. This is only the 2 time I have driven in this country and we plan to be doing much more, now that Denise and I can travel together with ease. I am putting the motorcycles up for sale (I think the mechanic who is working on the car my put them in front of his shop) and we will be happy to be able to drive without helmets, gloves or other safety gear. Hey- with traffic in Montevideo being what it is- maybe I should keep the helmets to wear while driving in town.