I got really stressed out these last few weeks, and I'm sorry I wasn't active here. My old car started having some problems, and it turned out that it wasn't worth fixing the old thing anymore. So it was time to look around and get something newer. This time, however, I didn't have my usual nice budget. See... we just bought a house last summer, and weren't planning to buy any cars for at least another two years. But the transmission started slipping and the cost was frankly more than what the car is worth. And so started my adventure. We decided we didn't want to go more into debt, so instead we dipped into our emergency reserves. Unlike most Germans, I prefer automatics. So already the number of available used cars was quite limited. Then I wanted all-wheel drive (like my old one) because I live out in the country. And we decided we wanted something a little larger than my hatchback because of the two dogs. (We do have a larger car, but my husband uses it for work.) So given our limited budget, it seemed an impossible task. I started searching online and at dealers using a 200km radius as a reasonable restriction. Found a few prospects, but my husband always had an objection. Finally out of desperation I started searching all of Germany. Finally we found a car that we could both agree on, about 500 km away. It was a little smaller than I wanted, but still a bit larger than my old one. And it was one of my favourite brands - a Subaru. So now I've finally got a newer Subaru Impreza station wagon sitting in my driveway, and I'm mobile again. It was tough being without a car for a while, because public transit just isn't that convenient out in the country. A 20 minute drive ends up being over 1.5 hours using buses and in this weather isn't something to think about. And how the heck do women without cars do their grocery shopping? I can't imagine lugging a case of beer, a few litres of milk, plus all the rest using a bus. And a taxi would bankrupt me out here, since I have to drive at least 15 km to the nearest little supermarket - and it doesn't have much of a selection. Anyway... it is finally done, including all the paper work. Hopefully I won't have to think about car buying for another 8 years. Way too stressful! Cheers!