For those of you, which is many, who don't think it is possible for the Packards to get a vehicle any worse than a couple that we have recently unloaded, you are gravely mistaken. This one has to top the cake. A Hyundai Atos (not sold in the states) it was the least expensive car available, and it was a good idea not to get anything too nice, since so many of the cars on the island are completely hammered anyway. This way there is no stress to keep it looking good an aviod the imminent accident....and this whole experience is about no stress!
The car seats five, but has a nice little hatchback, which makes the most luxurious and wonderful seat any precocious four-year old could want. In Statia, no one wears seat belts, so this is entirely possible. There is no seat belt or car seat law, due to the slow traffic. We rarely go faster than 25 MPH around here. Much of the time it is about 10 MPH because roads are so bad and also you have to watch for goats, iguanas, and cows and such creatures that might jump out of the bushes in your way!
Charles is thrilled with his new situation, altogether too aware of the fact that he dodged his final 3 months in a car seat and 16 months in a seat belt. I however, am not so thrilled. See, the car has a few problems. For one, the windows in the back get stuck and don't go up sometimes. This isn't a problem most of the time because the weather is pretty nice. But two weeks ago it was a big problem, as it rained for nearly a week off and on. And when it rains here, it pours! Most of the handles are broken and when I want to get out of the car, I have to reach my hand outside the car and open it from the outside. I can't help being polite and thanking myself. Then, the radio falls backwards and into a deep hole and I can't find it. This annoys me in the mornings when I drive the kids to school because i like to listen to the French station that broadcasts out of St. Martin, and I have to find the radio first. Finally, there are a couple of missing handles on the windows. So when someone wants to roll a window down, we simply have to ask to please pass it, you know, like passing the salt.