Thank Goodness I Speak Spanish

So I got home from coffee group 25 minutes ago. I promptly sent my location to a friend who wants to contact my mechanic. I then got out of the truck, locked it, shut the door, and went to my front gate… where I discovered I’d locked the keys in my truck. Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaugh.

Went next door and my mechanic wasn’t there and wasn’t expected for a while. I went into the back to see if the cab window was open. If so, I could poke my grabber arm through there and get my keys. Nope. I didn’t have any tools handy and no way to get into my house to get my spare keys. Time for a locksmith.

I did a Google search for one in my area. The reception on the first call I made was awful, but we got enough out for me to understand that they could help me, but not for several hours. So that was a pass. I contacted another place just a bit further away off the main square and they said they could come in 5 to 10 minutes! Normally, an emergency call is $400, but since I have an ancient Ford Ranger that would be super simple to get into and was right around the corner, they would charge me only $200! I love how people here know to take care of their neighbours. A guy arrived on a motorcycle no more than five minutes later and no more than five minutes and thirty seconds later, he had my keys. It was almost scary how easy it was for him to get in, but I expected as much.

This was a moment where I was really grateful that I speak Spanish. Imagine how long this would have taken if I didn’t — I probably would have had to post to one of my expat groups and ask for help or at least a recommendation for someone who speaks English and who would have had to come from further away. It’s wonderful not to be dependent on anyone like that.

Poor Bonita was freaking out hearing me on the other side of the gate, but not able to hug me. Even getting a visual on me through slits in the gate didn’t help. She was hysterical when I finally came in. So that meant more cuddles than usual. $200 well spent, then! 😀

Out for a Drive

I was finally able to get away late yesterday afternoon to try out my “new” truck. WOW. What a difference!!! Moya is purring again instead of roaring. The only person I’ve ever had comment on how noisy she was was my friend M — Mexicans never took notice. But I sure found it embarrassing. Just because she’s looking so very worn doesn’t mean she doesn’t have to sound like it!

The AC worked great, too! It was super super cold, but still got Moya to a very comfortable temperature. I did three stops and each time I’d climb in back in, I’d marvel at how luxurious it felt to go back into a cool truck. When I got home, I was hit by a wave of hot humid air as I exited — that’s how significant the difference inside and out were. And as the ultimate test, I went out in a tee shirt and it and it stayed dry all through my errands.

I didn’t really have any reason to go out, so I decided to head to my favourite second-hand store (San Damian) as I’ve had good luck there finding nice dresses and skirts. I came out of the dressing room wearing one dress that had two other customers and the employee gasp when they saw me in it, so that told me I had to go home with it:

I wanted to go to Office Depot and Scotiabank next and could have done those two stops nearby at Plaza Las Americas, but we were coming into rush hour and I knew parking was going to be a nightmare. So I headed to the Office Depot on Montejo.

I have a love/hate relationship with Office Depot in Mexico. Every time I’ve made an expensive purchase with them, I’ve had issues and lost my money as their refund policy is laughable. But who doesn’t like to browse office supplies?! Staff at the Montejo store (the only one I’ve been to) is always super helpful. Last time I was there, I wanted sheet protectors and asked for “protectores de hojas,” translating literally, and before I could add anything, the clerk told me I had the correct term, took me to them, and explained the differences between each one. Yesterday, I wanted a blotter-type desk calendar. I asked for a big paper desk calendar that you can write your own dates on and the lady immediately knew what I wanted. I had no idea you could get them in any size but ginormous. I went with large medium. 🙂

Then, I drove up the street and parked at a mini mall to be able to go to Scotiabank. And since I was parked there and I had a coupon, I grabbed at delicious burger from Carl’s Jr. to take home for dinner. Let’s just say my food was not as hot when it got home as it normally is. 😉

What a difference having the AC made yesterday! I agree with Bast in her last comment that 4,000 pesos isn’t that much amortised over two years and a bit, but it’s a huge chunk of change towards my new computer. So as long as the AC works the way it is now, I don’t see a reason to make a permanent fix, especially since Moya is likely destined for a scrapyard by February or March of ’21. 🙁

I suspect I’ll be off this weekend and if I am, I’m taking Bonita for a spin!

A Useful Neighbour

I am extremely tolerant of the noise from the mechanic shop next door because I know the owner would drop everything to help me if I had a problem with my truck — he’s done it before.

So after a solid year of having a noisy muffler and saying I was going to get the AC looked at, those items finally came to the top of my priority list. I’m driving a lot more now than I used to because I have a friend who needs lifts to pick up things and I have more gas money and free time to go exploring. It’d be great to take a Sunday drive to neighbourhood villages. Plus, having learned that my dog likes truck rides, I want the option to take her with me for the day or even just to a more walkable neighbourhood.

So I cornered my mechanic yesterday and he said to leave him my keys and that he’d have a look at my truck today. He got permission to do up to 3,000 pesos of work.

This afternoon, I heard him take off with the truck and Bonita ran out, then ran in, looking very concerned, LOL! A few hours later, the muffler issue was dealt with for a mere 350 pesos!!!

The AC doesn’t have quite a happy ending, but it is a happy ending. He said I need a whole new cooling system for around 4,000-5,000 pesos. That’s just not worth it when spring of 2021 is already looming and I’ll have to get my truck out of Mexico. He cleaned the whole cooling system, plugged a small leak, and added gas. So I do have AC now, but it could last me a day or the rest of my truck’s life — there’s no guarantee. But I bet that with the maintenance he’s done, just topping off the gas periodically will get me to 2021. All appendages crossed! So that was another 500 pesos.

So 850 pesos (57CAD/44USD) later, I now have a truck I’m once again excited to drive. It’s been a bit of a chore the last year because she’s been so noisy. And now, even though she’s looking quite battered, I won’t be afraid to show up at the DMV to apply for my driver’s license and do the road test with her. So, yup, that’s the next project — getting my Yucatán driver’s license!