last summer we got a car... it had been a long decision in the making - after our car accident we had sworn off another vehicle. until it became obvious that we needed wheels to get the kids to school and it would be cheaper to own a car than pay for the bus. (this crazy decision also included needing to move to a place where we could actually park a car, but that's irrelevant today).
shortly after we purchased, the car started to have some problems. i mean, it is 10 years old and lives in the caribbean. we were bound to have something happen.
we had the transmission cleaned and it did well for a few months before we knew that we'd need to replace the entire transmission in order to fix the problem. it took awhile to come to terms with that - but the car is now in the shop, getting fixed.
and i'm on foot.
it's not terrible - santiago has a pretty extensive public transit system - with three routes that pass within walking distance of the house taking me both to school and the university, a bus that transects the city (also within walking distance of the house) and a slew of motor-bike taxis waiting for passengers everywhere.
it's a nice change of pace. i can read on my way to work (or, let's be honest, play fruit ninja) and not worry about the crazy driving happening around us. i don't have to worry about running into the traffic police.i do have to walk a lot. which is also excellent. except when it's 109 degrees.
yesterday, we went to the bank to cash a check (which probably deserves a blog post of its own), and then got dropped off in the city to buy graduation clothes for samil. (that's right, my baby is graduating from kindergarten tomorrow!) we walked from store to store and then to the final super-market-super-store.
now, in nine years, you can imagine i've had issues with the transportation- everything from car accidents to overcharging for services. but, lately, i've been working on patience and trying to deal with things in the dominican way. tranquila.
but i've got little patience. and it had already been a long day.
we load up some groceries and the graduation clothes into the trunk, get in and. and, nothing. the car doesn't start. i give the driver the benefit of the doubt, and wait it out as he turns the key over and over again. he finally gets the car on and putters to the turn-about. as he turns - on the busiest street in santiago, the car shakes as the guy tries to pull a u-turn.
"it's just a problem with the gasolina"
um, ok. that doesn't sound great. i tell him to stop. pull over, buddy. he continues to try to convince that the car will take off in just a second.
i start waving my hand out the window to the taxis parked across the street.
"no, senora, i promise that the car will go, it will get us where you're going."
seriously? i didn't want to freak out on this guy. i had to yell at him to stop the car and even then he continued with his promises of getting us where we needed to go - all at 5 miles per hour.
we switched the bags to the trunk of a new taxi - one which pulled off just fine and had us home in 10 minutes.
i want my car back.