09 January 2012

Car shopping, round one

After too much "cruising-the-Internet" looking and not enough "put-on-your-shoes-because-we're-going-out" looking...on Monday, we went car shopping.

We headed up to Petionville to a place called Kavoom! They're near my favorite grocery store, and they've often posted cars online that are similar to what we're looking for. All morning, we'd been making a list of essential and non-essential characteristics for a car.

Four-wheel drive with self-locking hubs? Essential. I've been stuck in a river once on the way to Cap Haitian, and without self-locking hubs, it could've been ugly.

Power locks? Essential. Nobody wants me to get kidnapped. I'd be a horrible hostage.

Air conditioning? Essential. And this one seems pretty self-explanatory.

We agreed that it needed to be a model we can get parts for, and we were willing to compromise on manual vs. automatic. (If only this city wasn't built on a series of mountains. Oy.)

Upon arriving in Petionville, we found Kavoom! (I love writing that.) There was no parking. We passed one spot on a one-way street, but couldn't get back to it. (Don't you hate that?) Finally, we pulled up onto the sidewalk in front of a bank, put it into park and called it good. (We only did it because we saw a Haitian guy do the same thing. When in Rome, right?)

Two blocks up and two blocks over, we found Kavoom! again. The small lot had cars parked so close they were touching. The big metal gate was open. We decided to take the opportunity to look around before someone started hassling us. There was a Jeep that looked like it was in good shape, but peeking in the window, I couldn't see the mileage. It was time to go in search of someone to hassle me.

I walked into the office, and an automatic doorbell rang. Good--someone would hear and come out...Nope. I knocked on the door to the inner office. Nothing. I peeked into the inner office windows. Empty. I stood in the doorway so the doorbell would ring some more. No effect. We hung around a few more minutes, but it was pretty obvious that no one was home.

So we left. Lesson Number One in Haiti Car Shopping: "Make an appointment."

Which brings me to Lesson Number Two...on the way back to the car, I remembered that a second place was on the same street we were on. One of us was determined to find it...the other tagged along as protection. We walked the street from top to bottom...and then from bottom to top. No dice. Lesson Number Two: "Bring directions."

Haiti 1, Harms 0.

I'm making appointments to go out again on Friday...prayers are much appreciated.


  1. Even in Haiti customer service is a thing of the past!

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