Jian Shuo Got His New Car

About 6 years ago, I posted this entry: Jian Shuo Got His Car. The little car (I gave it the name Goudaner) has been with me and my family for 6 years.

This week, we got our new car – a Nissan Teana 2.5L XL with V6 engine, and CVT transmission. Today, Wendy went to the dealer to get the new car back (I hope it was myself who went there, as I picked up Goudaner 6 years ago). I quickly had my dinner and rushed down to see it. Then I drove to the nearby department store with Yifan and Wendy – just for a test drive.

Photograph by Jian Shuo Wang

© Jian Shuo Wang

So far, so good. – Did I say exactly the same thing when I got Goudaner?

The Change of A Normal Person’s Life

I spent few minutes to read all the blog entries of Goudaner. That articles brought me back to 6 years ago, when I was still an engineer in Microsoft, with a limited circle of friends, and a small world to handle. Obviously I had much more time to spend, have simpler life (no Yifan!), and surely younger than today. The life 6 years ago is very familiar to me (since it was my who wrote those articles) but at the same time, seems pretty distant from my current life.

The car is an example. It upgrades with the owner. With the arrival of Yifan and the change of our life, our need for cars also change. That is reflected honestly on this blog. Wendy and I am the type of person who are easy to get satisfied, and be happy. Our expectation to life is not very high. We buy things that we just need, and nothing more than that. Many of our friends bought Volkswagen Passat, or Honda Accord 6 years ago when we bought Goudaner (a FIAT compact car). Now, we finally upgraded to a bigger car, that is still just right for us, financially, and functionally. That is the type of life we enjoy.

I never shy away from sharing my personal life with my readers, with just one hope that people can have some real feeling about what the life in Shanghai, in China, or in the beginning of the 21st century looks like from an individual person’s view – his joy, his dream, his life, and his happiness. I am sure that differs from country to country, and from decade to decade. I hope my honest record of this fragmented, and detailed life can be of some value for others and for the future.

I hope the Jian Shuo 6 years later can get back to read what I am writing today, and still be able to feel the exact moment I am writing this.


I listed my first car, my favorite car, and my good friend Goudaner on Baixing.com to sell it. Quickly my friend saw it and we made the deal. Goudaner will find a new home next week. I am very sad that I cannot keep Goudaner with the new car.

The story with Goudaner started with a comment from my reader Nina in San Francisco:

Congratulations from San Francisco! It’s a very nice-looking car and I’m sure you will enjoy it.

Are you going to give the car a name? I don’t know whether there is enough of a car-owning culture yet in China to have developed the custom of pet names for cars. I think I’ve read that about 25% of Americans have named their cars and supposedly, cars that have names last longer and are more reliable, although presumably this is because the sort of people who name their cars usually take good care of them, rather than by magic. The most popular name is “Betsy” or “Bessie” and the speculation is that this was a common name for a cow back at the time when people first started owning cars, and the habit transferred over. Of course, this was when cars did not go much faster than a cow. You probably want to have a snappier and more elegant name for this little beauty.

Posted by: Nina on March 17, 2004 2:16 AM

That comment inspired me to give my first car a name. Nina is 100% right that when you give it a name, you treat it as a person, and then it becomes your friend. Goudaner was an excellent car, lasted very long, and never gave me hard time. Is it because I gave him a name?

What Nina didn’t told me, though, was it is so hard to sell it when you have given it a name – I do hope I could keep my Goudaner, which Wendy had told me to be not realistic.

OK, let me move on. I will spend time to give a name to this bigger white car.

What should I name it?

25 thoughts on “Jian Shuo Got His New Car

  1. Congratulations, looks very nice. V6, it should be pretty fast.

    Can you transfer the plate from Goudaner to the new car? Or does the plate go with the car? And if so, does the price of the car go up over time because the plate is more expensive now?

    By the way, what happens if there is a crash and the car is destroyed? Can you keep the plate for the new car, or is that fee lost? That would be very bad indeed.

  2. The Goudaner is bearing a Hangzhou plate – that is very cheap – 120 RMB for local people (not sure how much it cost today). The Shanghai plate is 39000 RMB. I can either transfer the Hangzhou plate (which I may not do), or buy a Shanghai plate.

  3. I think you should buy a Shanghai plate for this car, I think one day they might put a cap-on issusing Shanghai license plate and also a big possibility price will even go a LOT higher. Give it some thought unless. Enjoy you new car.

  4. Well, on Shanghai plate, no one knows what it is going to be. To predict the Shanghai plate is just like predicting stock price. There are even possibility that they completely remove the auction and introduce some other ways to control traffic. Who knows…

  5. Hi Jianshuo,

    Congratulations on the purchase! It’s a beautiful car and it’s so refreshing to hear that you and Wendy are so happy and easily satisfied with your lives, it’s difficult to find these days in Shanghai. I think names are very subjective, but my last Honda sports car was named LOLA.

  6. How about “Goudaner II”.

    At any rate, Nissan Teana is a reliable car and should last longer than your previous one.

    Is this the authentic version imported from Japan?

  7. We too like white cars and when we first bought a Japanese car we named it “yuki” which means “snow” in Japanese (we were told). That car was very good to us, but we didn’t dare sell it to a friend because we once lost a friend who knew how much we loved our first car (named “Milou” after the little white dog in the Herge Tintin (Dingding in Chinese) comics). He didn’t want to tell us that he hadn’t taken good care of it so it had died, so he avoided us. We sold Yuki to strangers and we hope they still have it.

  8. Congratulations to you and Wendy for the new car! And thanks for sharing much of your personal life, thoughts of Shanghai or China as a whole with your readers. We have learned a great deal from you. One reason your readers like you so much was precisely because of your sincerety, honesty and down-to-earth personality.


  9. Your long-time readers will miss Goudaner too, Jian Shuo, but it is also very exciting to be here for the arrival of your second car! I can’t wait to hear what you decide to name it :-)

    I am still driving the faithful Oldsmobile station wagon we bought new in 1992. I can hardly believe it is 18 years old! Even more unbelievable, up until this past year, it never had a name. I kept intending to name it, but nothing really seemed to fit. Last October, however, I drove down to Los Angeles to meet my friend Louise who was arriving from New Zealand. We had a great road trip, pretending to be tourists all over Southern California, and in the middle of that trip it finally dawned on me that my car should be named “Thelma”. You are probably not familiar with the old movie “Thelma and Louise”, but it is about two women on a road trip together. I only hope poor old Thelma can hold up for another year or so. At the moment, there is nothing on the road that I would rather be driving, and I would like her to be able to enjoy as much time as possible with me now that I know what to call her.

    It sure does seem silly to get so attached to an inanimate object, but I really will be very sad when the day comes that I have to let her go.

    I like the look of your new car very much. The front has a very happy sort of “smiling” appearance, and I’m sure it will take good care of your precious family :-)

  10. Hi Carroll, what a surprise! You drove your car for 18 years? It is hard to imagine a car can last that long, and it looked very nice when I saw it the last time. China once had the mandatory regulation to abandon cars after 15 years. That meant that after 15 years, no matter how good the car still is, it has to be destroyed. They recently modified the law, and now there is no upper limit for private cars – there are still hard limit like 8 years to commercial operated cars like taxi, or bus..

    We are still thinking about a name yet… Will announce later.

  11. Congratulations! Nissan Teana is a nice car… I tried one (rental) on my last trip.

    Cars can really run for a long time if you take good care of them. We have two old ones… a 85 Mercedes, yes, it’s 25 years old and it’s still running nicely especially on freeways because it’s heavy and quite. The other one is a 92 Toyota 4 running, we got it 4 years ago. It can take anybody up to the snowy mountain without a chain. We don’t care about new cars and we’ve been very lucky with getting used cars (previously, I had a 87 Volvo for about 10 years).

    Anyway, have fun with your new toy.

  12. Congratulation to you Jian Shuo!

    Though it’s sad to hear that you have to let go of the Goudaner but I hope that you will enjoy your new car for many years to come…

  13. Thanks Tin Chew. People need to move on all the time. I understand that.

    @Michelle, you need to find out some ways to get access to photos outside the filter. It is hosted in flickr and frequently got banned in China.

  14. @GN, you broke the record Carroll just posted – 25 years for your Mercedes. That was beyond my imagination. Previously, I had the impression that cars longer than 10 years can be very old, and may not work. Think about it, who owns a car in 1990? Most of them are taxi, or company owned cars, which all have very long mileage already. There were very few private cars at that time. Typically, private cars last much longer than taxi, or business cars.

  15. GN,

    I was not as lucky as you have with our two Mercedes before (One was a 1985 300-D Disel and the other one 1990’s 190E.) I kept both for over 10 years, but both required many repairs, all at very high costs. Repair shops love to rip off women who own Mercedes. But yes, JS, some cars are made with engenes that will last a very long time. I have a friend who owns a couple Mercedes that have more than 300,000 Miles already. I rather buy a car that’s much more expensive but will last than a cheaper car that breaks down after 4-5 years. Now I have a Lexus SUV and I like it very much. I never thought of giving a name to our cars before, but I think I would with next new car we buy.


  16. Agreed. It makes sense to buy a more expensive car that last longer. However, another factor to take into consideration is, when do you want to sell the car, or whether you want to sell it at all. If that is the case, the resell price is also a factor to choose the car.

  17. I totally agree with you on factoring in the resell value as a consideration buying a new car. Some cars depreciates much faster than others. The Japanese cars seems to garner a much higher resell value than their American and European counterparts. I’m one of those who rather hang on a car as long it serves my purpose. It’s like having an old friend you know well and can trust in. Although I can easily afford new one, buying a new car will jack up the insurance premium.

    Yesterday, my husband and I went to test drive some new cars. One would think the negative media publications shoud have deterred buyers from visiting Toyota dealers, but the show room was so busy hardly any salemen were easily available. I asked the salesman if Toyota is offering any good incentive for people buying Prius. He said their dealership is offering a $500 or $800 discount. Such meager discount, I think, can not be called an incentive. Obviously, Prius is still selling strong.

  18. I have the same philosophy – stick to what is working. I have to change a car just because of Yifan – I was so scared that he could possibly open the door when we are driving.

    Toyota in Shanghai seems to be hardly hit by the recall. I visited the Carmy dealer, and the salesman’s morale seems highly impacted. There were no one in the show room, just Wendy and I. Even we thought it is somewhat stupid to test drive there.

  19. Stick to what is working… that’s kind of my philosophy too.

    I have another OLD toy – a 2nd generation ipod (wheel). It simply refuse to die. Two years ago, the battery won’t recharge for two weeks… I was told by everybody, include Apple tech. support guys, that the battery should only last for 3 years. But somehow it came back… I left it on the charger for a week. It’s still working two years later. Since I only use it for music and ebooks, I don’t see any reason to trash it… so I am waiting, waiting to see how long it’s going to last. It’s kind of fun.

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