So….I recently bought a Chevy Suburban.
Well let’s back up a little –
I started furniture refinishing in 2014 and it got serious in 2015. For those years I was relying on borrowed vehicles from work and sometimes paying for deliveries to get my furniture to my house (now my warehouse) for refinishing. That was getting old.
Both Ron and I owned tiny cars. Ron has an electric Nissan Leaf. Yes, it is 100% electric, no the government didn’t bail out Nissan, no they are not known to catch fire, and no it’s not practical unless you live in San Fransisco or something.
Luckily it’s leased and we will be giving it back to Nissan in October of this year.
I have owned a Nissan Versa since 2012. Before then I have owned two Toyota Corollas and a Mitsubishi Lancer. You see my pattern, right? I have always owned tiny matchbox size Japanese cars. Because I am Indian!! More on that in a minute.
So it was really inconvenient for our now fused family of 5 to have two tiny cars. When we went out together we would be either squeezed really bad or just take two separate cars. That was getting old too. And the teenager was turning 16 soon *insert scream here* She was going to need a car.
Notice my hobo nails there? That’s my normal.
I knew I was going to have to get a bigger car. And with our upcoming plans, to be a part of the super-fabulous Dallas Flea, it needed to happen fast. I didn’t want to spend money on a rental, and then buy the much needed vehicle two weeks later. Plus I work better with deadlines anyway.
I thought of buying a minivan, but Ron wasn’t a fan of that idea, neither was I. Minivans are not good for towing a 12 ft Uhaul. I knew I was going to have to get an SUV and possibly an American brand like Ford or Chevy.
So I started looking. On Craigslist, like I always do. For everything.
I came across a 2009 Chevy Tahoe. It looked like it was in great shape. One owner and all.
I said to Ron – We should go look at it.
Ron said – It won’t be big enough.
I thought he was out of his mind.
We went to look at it, and in newer model Tahoes the 2nd row seats don’t fold down or come off. They just fold and get propped behind the front row seats. So you lose a good 18″ space. With that limitation, I couldn’t fit a 70″ dresser in there and that was my requirement.
Ron test drove it. I was too scared. I just measured it.
The Tahoe was too small. Ron was right.
Ugh!! Which meant I needed to look at a Suburban. I had two main reservations about it.
First of all, I have loathed HUGE SUVs for close to 20 years of my life. I find them offensively large, gas guzzling beasts. I have judged people who drive them.
You see, I am from India. We measure “petrol” in liters not gallons. Just to explain in picture the comparison –
India is a mileage obsessed nation. I remember throughout my childhood, if anybody bought any new vehicle -a new bike (bikes are primary means of transportation ) or a car, the first question my dad would ask – kitna deti hai? or Kaay average?
Meaning how many miles per liter it goes. James Bond or Batman won’t able to impress an Indian with their cars if they don’t give awesome gas mileage. And I bet they don’t. Sorry Mr. Bond, your car sucks.
Suzuki has made commercials about India’s mileage obsession and they are spot on. Here’s one of them.
Yes, the guy asks the same question that my dad asked, “kitna deti hai? He is not impressed that it will go to Jupiter in one year. He is totally, 100% hung up on it’s mileage. That is the quintessential Indian question.
There are more of those on YouTube if you like.
I just couldn’t bring myself to buy a car that big with that terrible of gas mileage. It was against my principles, my racial stereotype, my DNA.
Secondly, like every Indian I thought only Japanese cars last. American cars fall apart. And it is true to some extent. I mean there is reason why Japanese car companies are doing better. But even I couldn’t deny that you can’t drive on the road for more than 10 minutes without spotting an older model Suburban in that time. They are everywhere and they seem to last.
If you ever drive by the Hindu temple in your town, you will see a sea of Toyotas, Hondas and Nissans. Some IT people and Indian doctors will have European cars, but they are very few. Indians generally don’t buy American made cars. That’s a fact.
My furniture friends Christina and Kayla were enabling me to take this plunge. And my Indian DNA was getting destroyed by all these forces – logic, sheer need, the temptation of comfort/space, peer pressure. Ugh!! I needed a BIG car to haul people, furniture and sometimes people and furniture.
I found a 2008 Chevy Suburban on Craigslist, advertised by a local dealer.
We went to look at it. This time I got brave and actually drove that beast!
It was HUGE.
It drove like a sporty car. Duh Sucheta! It’s a SUV – Sport Utility Vehicle.
It had soooo much room
It was gorgeous for being 8 years old.
The price was right.
We almost got it on the spot, but I think Ron as too hungry to sit there to do the deal so we got out of there. Ron has his priorities in a certain order, and eating beats almost anything any day.
We went home. I toiled over the decision for days. I had nightmares of it falling apart on the road like it happens in cartoons. Yes…car turning into a pile of parts in a blink. Yes I did.
Finally on February 29th 2016 I took the leap. We went back to the dealership and bought the beast. I affectionately call her The Burb or Burby.
I had a mini heart attack when we first filled it up. THE GAS METER KEPT GOING! And going, and going! It finally stopped at like $50 or something. OMG! Even when gas was $4 a gallon my tiny cars took $40 worth of gas. And even that used to hurt.
I told my IG friends, if gas ever goes back to $4 a gallon, which I am sure it will, and if I get quiet, you can safely assume I died staring at a gas pump that won’t stop rolling.
You have to realize how big of a deal this is for me.
Growing up in India, this is how I used to go to school – Till 2nd grade. Then I started walking to school.
Yes, that was my “school bus” Picture borrowed from the internet
This is how my family and I used to go to places in and around town –
No, that’s not me or my family. Just another borrowed picture from google. My dad never wore a helmet. My mom is actually chubbier, I was a lot smaller than that girl so it added up to be about the same volume back there. My little brother (he is 7.5 years younger than me) would sit on the gas tank. I would be sandwiched in the middle between mom and dad.
You might say – That is dangerous and uncomfortable!!!
To which most Indians will give you a completely confused look. Like – WHAT!?
You have to tightly pack humans in/on vehicles or Indian roads will rattle your organs.
And here’s me at 39, in case you missed the earlier picture –
Yes, I stare at the gas needle constantly when driving. Getting gas in it an in event inside my head. I fill it up when it’s 1/2 way thru just to avoid the shock of the meter running awry when filling from empty to full. I know it’s 100% illogical and hilarious, but I can’t help it.
No, it did not fall apart on the 1500+ mile round trip to Dallas. In fact it handled a 12′ Uhaul trailer LOADED with furniture beautifully. We hauled –
6 dressers (5 you see, 6th one is hiding behind the green tallboy)
2 tall dressers/lingerie chest
2 of us and our stuff
I do love my Burb. I am very happy that I bought it.
I have been meaning to do a post about this for quite some time now. I keep talking about my “SO” like he has no name or I want to hide him or he doesn’t like the spotlight on him. None of it is true, he most certainly doesn’t mind the attention 😛 I just didn’t know how to introduce him.
Meet my boyfriend, my SO, the muscle behind this whole endeavor – Ron
He is the man who cooks almost all the meals that get served in our household. He is a darn good cook, I tell you. He packs everybody’s lunches. He makes the best eggs in the world.
He moves all my furniture, effortlessly. The other day I sent him to pick up this dresser –
It’s a Kent Coffey piece. Pretty heavy I would say. He managed to bring it home by himself and unload it in the garage. No help. I was at work. I don’t know how he did it, but he did. When Craigslist sellers tell me, “This thing is pretty heavy. I hope you have someone to help you load it in your car.” I smile. I say, “Yes, I got someone.”
Being the…ahem…youngest child that he is in the household, he is also popular among the kids. The little blonde guy next to him is Hugh, his nephew. They look related, don’t they?
Saayli, Hugh, Ron, Kate and Shreeya
He has a physically demanding job that also requires him to be on his feet all day and yet, he has to hit the gym 4-5 days a week to burn the pent up energy. It’s crazy! I know. That’s why the whole wood carving hobby thing didn’t really work out for him :D.
We went to India last October. Ron had a blast. He got to experience many crazy things like a rickshaw ride, random animals on the street. He got to see the Taj Mahal and other exotic places. He also got to fulfill one of his childhood dreams of holding a cobra in his hand –
He looks like a very happy man with that snake in his hand, doesn’t he?
Hey! I did it too – just for fun.
I wouldn’t have gotten in this business if it wasn’t for his unconditional support, his unlimited energy and his faith in my ability to do things. I am very very lucky to have him.
The math wiz, my grammar corrector, food inhaler, gifted teenager who needs her mom to open a gallon of milk. Oh well, we all have our strengths 🙂
The little worry wart, super picky eater, doll collector, gamer nerd, very imaginative writer.
Noodle slurper, free spirited child of my Significant Other. Hot pink + animal print = her signature style. She can also drop down and give you 10 effortlessly.