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"You don't know what You've got 'till it's Gone..."

Well, we've been without a car since last Thursday, and now it is just getting light on Tuesday morning, as I write this...and I have some news!!!

For one thing, Isidro, one of our "people", told Alfonso, our friend and language coach, that the mechanics in Puerto Lopez were "not very good, and also they were really expensive". so, we have been fretting a little about these words of wisdom all weekend.

In addition, the car may sit in our driveway for days at a time, but when you need it, it is there--but, boy when it's not there, it seems that you need it every five minutes...now I am embellishing a little, but for the last several days I had this picture of our car, stuck in a little town far north of us, all torn apart, with the mechanic shrugging his shoulders telling us that "the parts aren't here, they don't fit, they sent the wrong ones, or, we don't know how to fix the problem", etc.

 Now, let me tell you a little story of how the parts are obtained...

First, I gave the mechanic 50 bucks for parts when I left the car on Thursday.  Alfonso tells us that next, they tear the car apart to find out what exactly is wrong, then they give whatever parts they need to one of the fellows in the garage, and then he hops on a bus to Guayaquil, a three and half hour trip, to the KIA parts center for the southern part of Ecuador.  Then all the smart folks at KIA take a look at the damaged parts, and are supposed to give our man the correct fitting ones to take back.

This method has the beauty of making sure that there is no problem in communication relating to the ordering of parts, and also makes sure that the money for the parts arrives in the hands of the KIA folks with no middleman..ie, Visa card, bank check, Paypal, or the like...

So...with parts in hand our garage rep boards the bus in Guayaquil for the 3 1/2 hour trip back to Puerto Lopez, and then the mechanic puts all the new parts in, and, hopefully fires up the engine, and everything works!!!

I got a call, after dinner last night, from the mechanic who said that the car would be ready to pick up at 10:00 this morning.  Now, this is a day earlier than promised, so I asked the following:

1.  Is it fixed?  Answer--yes...

2  What was wrong?  Answer in Spanish--a bunch of terms that I couldn't understand, plus new fuel pump...So, I still don't quite know the extent of the repairs...

3.  With trepidation, How much is the bill?--here the phone was breaking up, and, again, I heard some words that I didn't quite get, plus the word "hundred".  Now the word for hundred singular in Spanish is different than the word for "hundreds", so I am hoping that I heard correctly that the bill is in the neighborhood of between $100 and $200...and that will be just fine with us...

So...this morning, we will have a abbreviated Spanish lesson, and Alfonso will board the bus with me for the one hour "E" ride to Puerto Lopez, for our meeting with the mechanic.  We both are prepared for a little bit of "Gringo Pricing", but Alfonso said that he will try to make sure that the price is just a little higher than normal, and not a lot higher...so stay tuned, and I will write more this afternoon... 





Posted on Tue, March 31, 2009 at 04:40AM by Registered CommenterBob & Roxanne | CommentsPost a Comment

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