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.
"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.