Of cars and journeys…

So I am on the lookout for a new (actually used) car.

I had sold my earlier car just before COVID hit us, and I didn’t see the need to buy another one given that we already had one in the family.

But now, as activity picks up, the need for a set of wheels arises.

But which set of wheels?

I am a different buyer than I was back in 2019. The world is also pretty much different. Work from home seems to be the way ahead (for me at least) and I am not too fixated on the brand of the car (my friend Neel would beg to differ with me on this one).

And so, I set out to seek the perfect car for my needs – should have been easy, given that the world wasn’t traveling around much. Or so I thought.

Turns out, my timing was a bit off. 6 months off to be precise. The United States and China have been quarreling, and me the innocent bystander has been affected in this aftermath. As ridiculous as it sounds, there is truth to this fantastic accusation.

Seems like there is a chip shortage across the automative industry, thanks to the increased number of cellphones and laptops that we have been purchasing since we started working from home. Its surreal how the world is connected in so many myriad ways! Nevertheless, this, coupled with the trade wars between a superpower and an aspiring one, has left a big dent (pun intended) in both the used and new car industry.

One consultant also told me to book a car fast, since shipping costs were also increasing manifold. Hmm.

Then there is the usual confusion about the kind of car one needs. I started with a different list of specs, and now have arrived at a different one. Neel, and his son Adi, our resident car enthusiasts, have been tearing their hair in frustration as we go from model to model, and trim to trim. I guess they will soon start avoiding my calls and ignoring my texts, given the number of times I have changed requirements. Ahem.

Which begets the question – what is more important – the car, or the journey?

It’s easy to say the journey, when you have company to tag along. But when you are alone, the car matters as well. Or maybe it doesn’t. Point A to point B – fast, reliably and safely. Anything more and you end up having this decision quandary that seems far from being resolved. Or you end up spending much more than you wanted to spend when you started.

If I seem as confused as I was at the beginning of this post, well, I am. Any thought to help me out here?