Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Car Buying in Italy Sleeping Angel Summer Sale

Dear Art Lover,

     How many friends does it take to help a girl buy a car in a foreign country?  Well, in my case, in Italy, I would say more than a handful.  I was not really prepared to buy a car just yet.  I mean, that I WAS, after having gotten my international driver’s license when I was in the US and I gave myself three weeks to research and find a car to buy [before the license went into effect] so that I could go to the quarry and start carving a new stone sculpture.  But after falling and breaking my wrist, the need for a car so soon drove away.  

     Then it was suggested that I use my healing time to at least start researching what I wanted.  I asked on my Facebook page for much advice from locals.  That posting led to a friend tagging me for an old car for sale in my area.  It looked ok in the photos, one owner (a 90-year-old woman), less then 75 kilometers (which is pretty amazing, especially if you change that into miles!), and decent looking tires [but bad spare under the hood].  

     However, I was nervous and did not feel ready yet.  I did not respond to the ad for about a week.  In the meantime, I did more research, vacillating about whether or not I really wanted to take action now.  I am still paying off my trip to the US after all and I cannot physically drive yet.  But, hey, I might as well go see it and re-learn what to look for in a car.

     The man selling my future car met me at the bus station in Montecatini Terme, a town perhaps 40 minutes by transport from my home.  But he was in a hurry and I worried it was a scam.  I sat in the car, turned on the ignition, moved the gears around, but was unable to drive it (time and ability).  I took a few photographs that I thought my helping friends could use.  I asked where to put the oil into the engine, as well as where to check it, but stupidly did not even take a look at the oil myself.  Sheesh, what was I thinking?  

     This is only the second vehicle that I have ever purchased myself.  Before I got married, I usually drove whatever old car my father had to give me.  Once I got married, my husband made all the car decisions, often surprising me with a new-to-us Volvo 240 when he deemed the time was right.  But after college and before meeting “the man,” I moved to the big city of Austin, Texas, and bought a 1979 GMC Dura Van.  That was in 1987.  I paid $3,000 cash for it, with a partial loan from my father that I paid off sooner than later.  I had had a long-term dream to finish college, get a dog, buy a van, and drive to Oregon.  I did those things and in that order, coming back to Texas as an engaged woman.  In 2015, I gifted my van to a friend who does art restorations in Austin.  I loved that vehicle!

     Back to 2017 in Tuscany (and single again):  I returned to my new hometown in the hills of Italy via bus after my short visit with the 1998 white Fiat Panda.  I had a conversation with my landlord [and his brother, who recently replaced his old white Panda with another] and showed him some of the images I took.  Later that evening he spoke on the phone with the seller and then me.  Trustingly, I committed to buying the car that night, but it was not for two more days that I returned to Montecatini Terme to do the title transfer and get driven home.  My landlord was there and looked over the car [saw a weld in my future] and met the man he had spoken to a couple of times by then.  I was handed the keys as the man and his friend drove off in a little Smart car.

     I had bargained some, but gave all of my remaining cash towards the new car.  For those curious, the title transfer cost me 370 euro in cash [since I have no bank in Italy].  Had the size of the motor been larger, the fee would have been higher.  That is more than half of what I paid for the car itself!  My landlord took these snapshots of me with my new vehicle.

Artist with new old Fiat Panda art sale car buying in Italy

Artist with new old Fiat Panda art sale car buying in Italy

     I am still not driving. Although my landlord and another neighbor helped me get an amazingly low quote on car insurance for when I am ready, I am postponing buying insurance, hoping to sell some art first.  But also, my right wrist is still not strong enough.  I could not even take off the emergency brake!  Another neighbor, who really encouraged me to get a car and helped a lot in the research, came over to take a look.  He later drove it over to his property:  it is illegal to park a car without insurance on a public road.  So, the Panda is safe there and I can even see her from my windows.

     I am still thinking of a design to paint on her.  I bought a small can of blue paint for metal.  As I told the man in the hardware store, “I just bought an old white Fiat Panda.  Everyone seems to have one.  How will I ever find my car in the parking lot?”  I want a design that helps me recognize my new baby, but not one that shouts, “Kelly just drove by.”  You know, in case I do something stupid.  [Oh, and the low insurance price came in part because the agent will install a scatola nera [black box] in my car.  It will know where I am driving [so it knows the local speed limit] and monitor my driving habits.  So, perhaps the first year, I will be constantly taking an exam.  And towards the end of this year, I need to take the Italian driving class and exams and earn my Italian driver’s license.  So, I get to feel like a teen all over again.  Joy.

     Ok, so here is one way that I hope to earn that insurance.  But really, anything I still have in stock or even many of the products, such as my book about street painting in Florence, or shower curtains, pillows, a phone case, prints on metal, etc. would help me while giving you something that I hope enriches your life… check out some of the art products here:  https://fineartamerica.com/profiles/1-kelly-borsheim.html

Sleeping Angel original pastel painting on art sale car buying in Italy

Summer SALE: Original pastel, framed in wood, with glass and acrylic spacers [to protect pastel from touching the glass] $1500 [o 1200 euro se sei in Italia/Europa], world-wide shipping included. As usual, payment plans accepted.  Offer ends 31 August 2017.

"Sleeping Angel"
[Caravaggio-inspired original art]
18" x 24" [framed with glass and acrylic spacers, black wood]
Pastel on UART Acid-free Premium sanded paper
© 2010 - 2012 Kelly Borsheim 

I look forward to hearing from you. 

Kelly Borsheim, artist
Go shopping and share with your friends:  http://BorsheimArts.com
Thank you!

Sleeping Angel original pastel painting on art sale car buying in Italy

Sleeping Angel original pastel painting on art sale car buying in Italy
Detail 1:  Soft texture on the male figure to contrast with...

Sleeping Angel original pastel painting on art sale car buying in Italy
Detail 2 : I really tried to rough up the texture in the sheets.