A little over two years ago we made our first ‘big’ decision and bought our first car together as a married couple. A 1999 Daewoo Matiz for the price of $200. Now I realize that it doesn’t look all that great on the outside…or the inside for that matter. When buying your first car as a married couple, you’re not typically dreaming of rust spots, no air con, and having to sit sideways in the back seat because it’s so small. Oh and when we first bought it, anytime it would rain, we had to push start it. Nothing says ‘First Year Bliss’ like pushing a clown car in the pouring rain on the way to work. Don’t worry, we eventually got this fixed.
We bought the car for a mere $200 from some friends who were upgrading (I don’t blame them). When we purchased it (aka us handing them cash and them handing us the keys…how official) we had anticipated that it would only last through the summer rainy season, another two months. For less than what we spend on groceries in one month we thought it was a great deal. Little did we know that our little blue Matiz would still be chugging along two years later.
The only negative with our dream car is that it wasn’t exactly legal. And by ‘not exactly’ I mean not at all. We bought it from friends who bought it from a teacher who was leaving and who never gave them any paper work in order to unsure or title it. So in the two and a half years that we had it, we never had it insured and it still technically belonged to an owner who was long gone by that point. Not the smartest choice but one we willingly made for the chance of a cheap car in a different country.
We honestly weren’t too worried though seeing as how in the almost three years we’ve lived here, we’ve never gotten pulled over and even if we were, many times cops in our town do not know much English and don’t want to deal with waygooks (foreigners) so they usually wave you on. We were golden…
Until…I walked out of class one day to my boss telling me he had very bad news. And of course I stared sweating thinking he was angry with me for playing Hangman in class…again. Turns out I had parked illegally right outside of the school (weird seeing as how there were dozens of cars surrounding mine and they were just fine) and my car had been towed. Oh and better yet, he started asking me ‘Who’s Matthew?’ Apparently they had figured out our little secret. So after a very awkward car ride with my boss to the tow station, we grabbed our things and said goodbye to our love. They wouldn’t let us take it because well…it didn’t belong to us…technicalities. But that’s ok because we found out that there were over 70 tickets linked to the car from us and previous owners. But thankfully we didn’t have to pay those…because it didn’t belong to us.
So what started as our trash car, quickly turned into our favorite and we’re sad to see Ol’ Blue go and get impounded at the end of the month. We’ll be framing the key to always remember our first little clown car in Korea.