Actually, we bought another car. Alicja already had a car here. It is a Suzuki Swift. It is a small car. A VERY small car. It is so small that you don’t “drive” it, you put it on and go. It is a nice little car and has been a very dependable one.
But, she convinced me that we needed to update and get one a bit larger. So, we did. We bought another Suzuki. Suzuki does not sell cars in the US. Not anymore. They stopped selling in the US in, I believe, 2012. But, here in Poland, they are a strong brand. Notable for quality and reliability. And, Alicja really likes Suzukis. So, we bought one. An SX4 Scross. It is larger and roomier than the little Swift. And, it is a nice little car. I say little because compared to the Chrysler 300 I sold before moving to Poland, it is still quite small. But, even large cars here are small by American standards.
Buying a car here is nothing like buying one in the US. First, you go to the dealership and talk to them and, perhaps, test drive a demo. But, they do not have lot full of cars from which to choose. After deciding what you want, you order it. For the Suzuki, we told them what we wanted and the options we wanted and they ordered it from the Suzuki place in Warsaw. It took over two weeks for it to be prepared and come to the dealership in Elblag. Then, when it arrived, we had to pay for it. Then, after receiving the necessary paperwork, we had to go to the city office here in Malbork and register th e car. At that point, we got the registration and the tags for the car. The tags are good for as long as we own the car. Then , we went back to the dealership with the tags and registration to get the car. THEN, we had to buy insurance because you cannot even drive the car away without insurance. Finally, we were able to take the car.
It is a nice little car. Little by US standards, but I would say it is mid-sized by European standards. It has nice options and is enjoyable to drive. We picked it up on Wednesday, February 11. We had ordered it back in January.
The following Saturday, I suggested we take a short road trip just for fun. We decided to go to Stegna on the Baltic Coast. Alicja agreed. It was a nice short drive and the weather was good for this time of year. Stegna is a beach area and is very active in summertime. But, I think we were both surprised by how many people were out and about there. It is too cold for any summer activities, but there were a lot of people out. We had lunch at a little restaurant Alicja knew. Their specialty is fish. I was told they buy their fish from local fishermen each day. I believe it. It was incredibly good. I ordered the local fish with frytka (fries). It was so good, I ordered another fish. I cannot describe how delicious it was.
At the beach at Stegna:
After that we drove home. We crossed a drawbridge on the way.
Me with the car at Stegna:
Now, driving in Poland is not exactly a fun experience. The roads are narrow and the signs/markings are not exactly intuitive. There are almost no stop signs. The ones I have seen are only at railroad crossings. Otherwise, you rely on road markings which are often faded or nonexistent.
Some signs, for instance, indicate you are on a “main” road and others must yield to you. Or, conversely, you are on a road that must yield to main road traffic. And, speed limits seem to be more advisory than imperative. I will NOT say that Polish drivers are aggressive. But, I will say that Las Vegas taxi drivers are wimps in comparison.
Regardless, I am learing to cope. I drive around Malbork when I need to. And, so far, I have succeeded without incident. Thank God.