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Yet another Camry Hits the road


Well another aspect of DESIGIRI is buying a Honda and Toyota cars, I am a Desi so I began my dream car hunt right from day one. I checked out cars.com and craigslist.org ( be careful while typing it ) for accords and civics. Found a decent one posted by individual sellers who sell it much cheaper than dealers. There is a saying every dollar you save comes with a dollar worth of pain. The biggest problem is contacting the owner and asking for VIN, its like SSN. It would have complete jataka of the car right from day one. Looking for Honda and Toyota cars all u expect is a desi or a chinki seller. I had a hard time as I had only chinki sellers. The communication goes like this "Hello I am interested in buying u r car, can I get the VIN of the car ?". After a brief pause the reply was the paraphrase of what I said, "So you are calling to get the VIN ?". Donno y chinkis always paraphrase before they answer. After checking its carfax I got an appointment for the test drive. I had rented car for the week end. I didn't have much success neither I liked the car nor the price in all the occasions. One the way back along with my friend Yogesh we gave a visit to the Toyota of Steven Creek, fortunately he had some Honda as well. Here I liked the cars but not the prices. We desis always want good things at low price [:)].

The dealer start talking, looking at me realizing that I am a desi ,obviously a software Eng "Which company do u work sir ? ", " I said I work for E*TRADE ", he replies in a tone that would make you feel in satva asman (seventh heaven), "E*TRADE ha big money sir, why do you what to buy a used Honda, go for brand new one , it must me peanuts for your salary" or else U can go for BMW or AUDI. I can get you a good deal on that as well. As if I earn a million a year!!!!!!!!. Finally a found a 2001 Accord Lx with 54 k at 13 grand. And we Desis never fall shot of bargaining and dealers know that. We started "You know I am just out of college and have huge student loans, just came to cali and blah blah ". We started to make the atmosphere bit gloomy by tell out dard and dukhi kahanis.

He started with 13k we said 11k, as kbb (kelly blue book)of the car is around 10.5 and we liked the car so I didn't mind paying a bit more for it. He said 11.5 would be his final price of the car. I desperately wanted that car for 11k, so I told him will contact my brother and discuss about it. Basically we wanted to buy some time before we made the final decision. He was sharp "Can u call u r brother now ?", i was sharper " he lives in NY and they are 3 hrs ahead of us, so I don't to disturb at this point". It was 8 pm by then on Sunday and obviously we didn't expect any one after that, and people wont come on Mondays, so thought that car would remain there. I drove back peacefully thinking of bargaining for 11.2 or 11.3 and make a deal. I had the most peaceful sleep that night. Next day morning I was so excited and thrilled, called up the bank for loan which was pre-approved. At 2:30 pm I got a call
essa :"Hello Manish how ru ? this is essa from Toyota ", I was so excited .""
essa : I have a bad news for you, the car got sold right after you left, some Indian liked the car and bought it for 11.3k, U know its bay area good deals don't last long!!!"
Probably some other desi would have used a better strategy and purchased it. I was literally into tears, It was the saddest moment of my life. "Delays are dangerous" its true. I called up my friend he could not believe it nor could I for the next 3 days. Every time I saw an accord, my heart missed a beat (even now some times). Then I remembered the munna bhai song, "Agle din aiswarya ayi one"(hospital scene).

Next Saturday I rented a car took a look at Palo Alto Toyota, He had couple of civic and accord which I didn't like. Suddenly a Teal blue color bright glittering 2000 Year Camry caught my eyes, with only 43k mileage (odometer) it was love at first sight. Went for a test drive along with the agent, It drove smooth, good handling, not the kind of pickups accords have though, but decent one. Saw the car fax single owner, but the price was the big barrier 12k, It was 9:15 on Saturday and this had come to deals 2 days ago, and was not posted in any of the ads yet. I told him I will come back tomorrow as I needed to consult my friends. Saw the kbb and rechecked carfax, decided that I would start from 10 k and would endup atmost 10.5 and finish the deal.

Went at 11 am on Sunday , test drove again, AC was good, it had a CD player AM/FM and more imp cassette player. Again the same old bargain shit took place and deal was over with 10.6 K plus 3 months of warranty on the car. The complete set of formalities was over by 2 pm, and on Wed Aug 1 ,after getting insurance from All State drove my Camry back home.

"I am a proud owner of Toyota Camry LE, even though its termed a desi car" after all I am DESI !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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