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what a day! (i’m still a bit emotional, so may rewrite this post at a later date)

i wrote this around 11am today:
another day, another dollar. getting rid of ushi has been much harder than it should have been. much of the fault lies with myself….for talking to the wrong people (and even worse, believing them). today, i was ready to head back down to iguazu….but gabriel came through at the last minute. we spoke to a guy at the receita federal who said there was a way to transfer the car for free (….although, if you account for the last week i’ve wasted in curitiba, it’s been a bit pricey). so, another day here. i’m so frustrated. it’s a shame that this experience with incompetent brazilians will foul my memories of the country. but, a huge thanks to gabriel! especially true in latin america, it’s all about talking to the right people.

this part was written later today

the receita official told us to provide two forms: one written by gabriel stating that he would pay any fines associated with ushi (in case there were any pending ones, in which case i would reimburse him) and another from some legal person stating that i was handing over permission of the vehicle to the brasilian government. well, gabriel got a friend to do the legal part….but he was really busy….and by 4pm, we still didnt have it. (receita closes at 5pm).

so, i just decided to go over to receita to plea my case: i’m giving them a car for free. i’ve been in curitiba for 1 stressful week already. i don’t want to spend the weekend here unless i know that this process will work. so, i begged and begged. finally, we spoke to the head of receita in curitiba. and, eventually, they said ok! who would have ever thought i would be so happy to be parting with ushi….and for free.

so, at 4:48pm (local time) and at mile 172,673 sentradiaries is over!

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it’s hard to think back on the beginning of this trip. every day has been a new experience and, after a while, everything just blends together. i vaguely remember where i’ve been and rarely know where i’m going….in fact, the only thing that i’ve always known is where ushi and i are (in the present). as i stand here today, handing over the keys of my trusty companion, it’s hard. i understand that car’s are inanimate, but ushi has been like a security blanket. anywhere i’ve been, ushi’s been there for me. and now, i’m handing over the car to a stranger.

when i first proposed the trip, most people thought i was crazy. when we began the trip, most thought ushi would die far short of ushuaia. on the contrary, the trip has been a great (and expensive) experience and ushi has held up masterfully. who thought a sentra could drive through a flooded street and survive? or up through the high-altitude andes (twice!)? ushi is a tough little car. which reminds me: i always complained that nissan sentra’s have no character. they’re simple, small and look just like the honda civic, toyota something-or-other, etc. i never really minded too much, though; and, actually kinda enjoyed not having to worry about dents/scratches. i also learned a great deal about car mechanics (how to replace brakes, fuel filters, etc.).

but, after this trip, i see ushi in a different light. most cars would have died long ago (or been too expensive to repair). most cars would be too nice/fancy to drive through the terrain we did. plus, ushi now has the tattoos to prove it.

it’ll be hard to find another car to drive. i’d feel a bit like i was cheating on ushi. i might just have to bike for a year or two until i’m physically (i’m really out of shape after driving for 6 months) and emotionally ready….plus, the environment could use a break. hopefully by the time i’m ready, yush will have already bought a new car.

p.s.–a big thanks to my parents for gifting me the car several years ago

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