Monday, July 20, 2009

Easier Than You'd Think

We're back in Korea, safe and sound. Yesterday I felt boastful because I was lively and awake in the afternoon, but shortly after I boasted to Keegan about it, I started yawning. We managed to stay awake until about 10 p.m., which was great, but then both of us were wide awake at 4:30 this morning. Keegan fell back to sleep for a bit and then woke up with a tremendous jolt at around 5:30. He said he was dreaming about cats. We both got up after that.

Even with the early start on the day, I managed to make the morning disappear without much to show for it, as usual. I've been tired and logy all day. My major victory for the day, though, was taking the car to the garage. Yesterday, when Keegan and I did an emergency post-vacation trip to the store, I pointed out to him the funny noise the car had been making when making left turns. It seemed to be even worse than I remembered from before vacation. He was concerned and told me to take the car in asap.

I hate taking the car to the garage anywhere because I hate feeling like a complete know-nothing and worrying about being ripped off. Of course, I do know next-to-nothing about cars, but I hate that as a woman I might as well have "CLUELESS" stamped on my forehead when dealing with possibly pushy mechanics. Add to that the possible difficulties in communicating my problem to a mechanic who speaks passable but limited English, and I was completely dreading the trip to the garage. Fortunately for me, I was totally wrong. I described the problem in telegraphic English (leaving out those tricky function words, like articles, prepositions, etc.), and he understood my complaint. "Left-uh? Sound?" he confirmed. "Yes!" He pulled the car right into the garage and told me to return in two hours. I had lunch and spent a luxurious hour and a half reading my book and then went back to the garage. The ever-helpful mechanic showed me a narrow rod of metal about three feet long with springy-looking things on either end.

"Drive shaft," he said, and then wiggled one end of it to show me how the bearings on the end were loose. "You turn, tut-tut-tut-tut-tut," he explained. "That will be 8,000 won." (about 8 dollars)
"What? That's all??"
I offer 10,000 won.
He frowns.
"Ok, much better. I understand."

And that was that. Easy as pie, no feeling stupid, no wondering about myriad (expensive) suggested repairs to my car. I definitely miss a lot of things about home, but I have to say I was very satisfied with today's Korean transaction at the garage.


chrissy (and sassy ann) said...

Wow! That's amazing and incredible and totally awesome! I hate going to the garage too, but this was the best experience I've ever heard of. Maybe I'll just bring my car to Korea next time it needs anything. LOL.

Mom said...

You go, girl! I'm proud of you for tackling and succeeding at this daunting task. How's the car running now?

KIM! said...

WOOT! That sounds awesome.

I had a similar fear in Roswell far from home but got the most amazing mechanic who took the time to explain exactly what he was doing.