Today we bought a car. It is a Volvo V70, 7 years old, with 183,000 km on the clock (that’s nothing for a Volvo, everyone says). The V70 must surely be the commonest car in Sweden. It was the one type of vehicle we were determined not to have during our Swedish sojourn, and here we are, the new proud owners. We bought it from one of Maria’s work colleagues, and it really seemed a godsend, although it is too long a story to tell.
It is our third Volvo. The first was an old white 240 station wagon, which we bought for $3000 when we lived here in 1999. We spent nothing on it except for petrol and sold it 8 months later for the same price we had paid. It was a bit of a tractor, but we liked it so much we decided when we went back to Australia to buy a red 740 station wagon, which a friend of ours was selling. We paid about $19,000 for that car, but by the time we sold it we had spent another $10,000, which included buying a new motor, and we eventually sold it for $12,000. It was a financial disaster. It is also too long a story to tell, and a bit depressing. We were determined to never buy another Volvo.
But we finally gave in. Our dream was a Saab 9-5, but we couldn’t find one we liked enough which we could afford. We also would love to have had a 7 seater, perhaps a Volkswagon Sharan, and we looked at a few. But the price was higher, as were the running costs, for a car of the same age and mileage. So we finally settled on this very nice blue V70. Now we have had a red, a white and a blue Volvo. This one was around $14,000. It is the epitome of normal, common, ordinary, here in Sweden. Perhaps rediscovering the ordinary is why we have come to Sweden…
The car will get its first workout on Sunday when we head north to Dalarna for 6 days. The kids are off for a week and we are all keyed up for some days of skiing. Jeremy is joining us from the UK. Its even colder in Orsa than it is here but there is only about 30cm snow on the ground. Hopefully that should do.