My Quest For A Baltic Van

For roughly two hours, I was in the market for a used car. My previous car, a 2003 Hyundai Sonata — best known for its omnipresent check-engine light and the dead beetle I never removed from the back window — died in November. It wouldn’t start: the transmission was on its way out, not to mention the fact the heater always pushed a gas odor through the vents and the beetle in the back window had recently undergone a growth spurt, despite the fact it had been dead for nearly four years.

Initially, I was disappointed the car had died. For starters, I never made love to a woman in my Hyundai Sonata. Every cliche television sitcom over the years always made it seem as though, in order to become a man, you have to elope with a female in your first gas powered automobile.

Even Ray Romano pounded some beav in his first car . There is an episode of Everybody Loves Raymond where Deborah makes him sell his old car and he gets pissy about having to sell it and then Deborah and him hump in the car. For a show marketed at people aged 40 and older, that episode had a lasting impact on my view toward what you should expect from a first car.

Any who, when I realized I needed to buy a car, I was hoping to purchase a Soviet-era van. I wanted a van that said “this guy doesn’t want to kidnap your kids, but he’s from the Baltic states and can be a bit of a wild card when you hand him a pack of big league chew and a box of fireworks.”

I searched the internet for two hours, hoping to land the van of my dreams, but alas I found nothing. It would have cost too much money to have a van shipped from Latvia to the continental United States, and Estonian and Lithuanian websites are difficult to navigate on account that they don’t exist. The internet has yet to reach the latter two nations, so my search for the ultimate Baltic van hit a snag.

Luckily, my grandmother bought a new car the same day I was unable to secure a Baltic van. She told me I could have her 2000 Volvo S70 — a very tidy, grandmotherly car with leather seats and a Josh Groban cassette stuck in the cassette deck. The car only has 55,000 miles, so I won’t be searching for a Baltic van again any time soon. Though, this does give plenty of time for Estonia and Lithuania to access the internet and Latvia ample opportunity to lower delivery costs.

In the meantime, I’ll be cruising around in a car fit for a Swedish King.


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