Sunday, February 20, 2011

I did it!

A few months ago, we bought a Fusca.

I love it. I love having the ability to drive around. And at the same time, it is such an experience to drive here. Brazilians drive like they are racing to get in line, crowding, pushing all in together. Right hand turns are occasionally made from the middle lane, cutting of those driving in the far right lane. The road are bumpy, not to mention the quebra-molas.

I feel pretty good about driving to the kid's school (close within our neighborhood) and to the grocery (again, pretty close). I've driven to Alphaville for work twice. But tonight, I had to go pick up Dora at a birthday party in Buritis. It's only about 20 minutes away, but I'd never been there. And I had to bring 2 other kids back as well. I spent probably close to 45 minutes online, studying the map, looking at Google street view, and I wrote down 2 FULL PAGES of directions. My husband gave me a pep talk, and we bought gas, and I gave myself 45 minutes to get there. And I did it! No problems getting there. On the way back, I took the "long-cut" (as opposed to the short cut), but I made it. I feel so proud of myself!


  1. I haven't met you, but I have so enjoyed reading your blog. I do not live in Brazil, but spend about a month there every year with my husband and his family, and so although I cannot relate to all, I can relate to many things you talk about... especially this one! So, even though I don't know, I am still proud of you!!! Driving in Brazil is crazy-talk for me. This past December my husband asked if I would be willing to drive one car from Sao Paulo to Ubatuba, and I looked at him like he was speaking Martian, there was NO WAY. So, congratulations on doing it and surviving to tell about it :)

  2. Hi Shelley.

    Love your blog. I would like to ask a Fusca related question :do you pay IPVA tax on your vehicle? I have been told that a car owner is exempt from IPVA if his or her car is above a certain age. The last Fuscas made in Brazil were assembled in 1996 during the last year of Itamar Franco government's Fusca Revival Policy( yes, I know, a prez gets a company to relaunch an old personal favorite oh his, OH Brazil). Below an article about this.

    Anyway I am speculating that you are not paying the car tax, or are situated in the lowest bracket for IPVA. Is this accurate?

    I ask because I am considering going Fusca myself so to avoid this tax.

    BTW I got myself a subscription to this and find it very useful. They test products plus have special issues on certain topics like insurance policies, hidden banking fees, etc.

    Oh, any other useful Fusca related info is much appreciated.

    Obrigado and have a nice day.

  3. Thanks for the comments! Gritty Poet: we did pay the IPVA, but a very small amount. I actually know very little about Fuscas! We got it because we told a few people that we wanted to buy one, and a friend of a friend was selling. My brother got us the book, "How to Keep your Volkswagen Alive," and it's got everything you would ever possibly want to know. Good luck!