It was slate blue. It had air conditioning (if only for a day). It was big. And it was cheap.
It was the first purchase my now-husband and I ever made together--a Chevrolet Ipanema station wagon.
We didn't think we'd live in Brazil for more than 2 years. How could we know that it would be four (and we wished it was more) and that we would take that car on so many miles in and out of Sao Paulo? Would we have bought it if we had known? I like to think so. How could you not buy a car called the Ipanema when in Brazil and young and in love?
After a particularly muddy, slightly off-roading adventure reaching the beach house we shared with friends, she was christened the Swamp Pig (it sounded good after
several many caipirinhas!). We believed she could do anything.
And we were right--she could even drive with no keys in the ignition. They fell out every time we turned a corner. After the first (panicked!) time, we just left them on the floor until we stopped.
Even though the air conditioning conked out the day after we bought her. Even though the radio stopped working the week after that. Even though it was so old that the odometer had turned over. Even though whenever you accelerated she would jerk forward and back, forward and back until finally (barely) creeping forward (it made for interesting merging). Even though we lost the gas cap and went for months with aluminum foil molded over the opening. Even though she got dented from various adventures in and out of the city.
We loved that car.
Our first purchase together. We knew we would have adventures in that car. Fourteen years later, we're still having them.