Family Magazine

Why Having Two Cars is Probably a Good Thing

By Sherwoods
Last week I used the car.  Right now we only have one car, and in fact we've only ever had one car for the entire duration of Brandon's and my marriage.  We technically owned two cars while in language training for Dushanbe, but since they were on two different continents, I don't think that counts.
When I use the car, Brandon can't use the car.  This mostly doesn't cause problems - he gets a taxi to work, he catches a taxi to come home.  But it wasn't that simple last week.
I spent the morning at horseback riding with the children.  The lesson went long, so I went home, stripped off my sweaty riding clothes, changed into regular clothes, and headed to the embassy for a medical appointment.  I had a few (non-emergency) things to discuss with the FSHP which took awhile.  I was finished around 12:30.
The plan was for me to get a taxi home and leave the car keys with Brandon, who had a dentist appointment in the afternoon.  So I met up with him and we walked out to get me a taxi.  Tashkent has a really great app, MyTaxi, which allows me to set up the pick-up and drop-off point when ordering a car.  I searched for a taxi, but there were none available.  I searched again, and again, and again.  No taxis. 
We thought about flagging a taxi off the street, but Brandon wasn't confident in my ability to correctly direct the driver back to our house.  Tashkent taxi drivers are simply people who drive you places, not people who know how to get where you are going.  If you don't know the directions to your destination, you're usually out of luck.  It doesn't help that our road has two names and is about a quarter of a mile long in a small neighborhood so nobody knows of it.  We spent two hours one night convincing a delivery driver that yes, our house really existed.  Nobody knows our road unless they actually live on it. 
The next logical answer was to have Brandon drive me home.  We live the same distance to the embassy here as we did in Dushanbe - three miles - but the speed limit is slower and there are almost ten times the number of stoplights.  Instead of taking 15 minutes, it takes about 25 minutes to drive home from the embassy. 
This would have worked fine on a normal day, but Brandon's dentist appointment was at 2:30, and he had to leave by 2:00 to get there on time.  In addition to his dentist appointment, he also had to get cash out at the cashier.  We were in the process of buying a car from someone leaving post, and they wanted the money in cash.  Their flight left Sunday night, and this was the last day Brandon could get cash out.  Unfortunately, the cashier was closed for lunch and didn't re-open until 2:00.  It was 1:15 when we realized this. 
So Brandon went to his office to finish a few things.  I had some lunch since I wasn't going to be getting home any time soon.  Then I texted the housekeeper to let her know that I was going to be gone for quite a bit longer and told her to go home when her work was done.  Next I texted the Russian teacher to let her know that I would be missing my lesson, but to go ahead and teach the children their lessons.  After that I texted a friend and cancelled our play date for that afternoon.  And finally I called Kathleen and let her know the situation: 1. I would be gone for several more hours 2. Make sure everyone was somewhat behaved 3. Don't kill anyone. 
Then I read a book.
At two, Brandon got the cash, and then we both went to the car.  I (poorly) navigated him halfway across town, getting us to the appointment only ten minutes late.  We had no idea how long everything would take, so I spent two hours watching old Soviet movies (it was a very strange experience watching the peasants singing and bringing the harvest in and realizing that I was in a place where they were the good guys) and reading while Brandon had filling stuffed into his tooth roots. 
And then, finally, I got to go home - only five hours after I had intended to be home.  The children were all intact, the house looked fine, and William was very relieved to see me. 
I've debated the past few months whether or not we really needed two cars.  I know that I'm very happy that we will have them, but my miser side has insisted that it's a poor use of resources.  But after Friday, I'm pretty sure that I can tell my miser side to quit complaining.

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