27 February 2010

car talk

Back from Finland. More later on that.

Coming back on the train, we arranged for a taxi to meet us and take us to pick up our car--now clad with license plates and equipped with a new battery.

The conductor came on and said we would be arriving 40 minutes late--at 14.00. Since we were scheduled to arrive at 14.25, I guessed that he meant we were arriving at 15.00--and hadn't bothered to change his watch.

So, we changed our taxi. And, since we'd learned that our car was not working, we changed the destination at the same time. (She says as if this were easy-peasy lemon squeezy. You, discerning reader, know by now that nothing here is easy.)

We arrived at 14. 27. Sigh. No point in changing it now, so we waited. I didn't help someone make a phone call (and felt really guilty that loaning him my phone didn't even occur to me) but did help a babushka down the snow-covered steps (and heard a horrible story about her being attacked by "gypsies" in a similar circumstance). By this time, we had heard that our car was working. So, when the taxi arrived, we went to the consulate and picked up our car.

After minimum three-stooging (they locked my keys in the car with the car running--and low on gas) Lexi and I drove home. It took us 50 minutes. It's a 20 minute WALK for me when I'm on my own.

The next day, we headed out to do some shopping--and it was a good thing. We had eaten through our stores in both 'fridge and pantry, had neither laundry detergent nor Fairy liquid for washing dishes, and were down to a roll and a bit of loo roll.

The car didn't start.

We walked to a nearby store and got some essentials. Then, a four-hour adventure of waiting for roadside assistance, jump-starting car, nail-biting will-we-run-out-of-gas-before-we-get-there drive on a motionless Nevsky Prospeckt, and walk/metro/walk home ensued. Lexi, who loves the metro was "so excited!".

The next day, yesterday, our principal took us shopping. That afternoon we heard that our car was fixed. (The problem was not, as we were originally told, the fact that my car still had "summer gas" in the tank. You can imagine how my confidence soared with that dx. There is something very disquieting about knowing more than the experts do--in a situation where you most certainly should NOT. The cracked battery had left some residue that needed to be cleaned. That was my guess,thank you very much. I'm under strict orders to drive it 30 minutes every day. Sigh. I continue to believe that if it were fine, as they say it is, this is unnecessary--and not a Russia-specific requirement.)

Today we reversed the walk/metro/walk and slow-drive-on-Nevsky and brought our car home. It's parked...but with recent snow and rain I don't know if we'll be able to get it out.


The Accidental Mommy said...

AHA, I know totally what you mean about the "experts". If I have to explain all of Genea's medical issues to another physician or therapist or professional something or other, I am going to just start screaming. It has been a while now and I am much more used to it. But when I go into a professional office seeking answers or direction, I don't expect to have to explain everything. Listen to their idea, explain why that won't work, etc etc etc and finally suggest my own idea that we decide to do. Totally unnerving.

Ok so you were talking about your car and I am talking about my daughter, LOL! That stupid car is making me crazy!

Heidi said...

I honestly don't know how you do it. You must be the most patient person in the whole wide world. Good luck!

Barb said...

ugh . . . so frustrating . . . is your car diesel? I thought only diesels needed "winter fuel" . . .But, I am happy for you that you finally got your car back, even if you do need to take it for a walk every day . . .

Lisa said...

Hello, Just bloghopping. Great blog!

Be Well :)

Tina in CT said...

I probably would have been swearing my head off to the repair garage and then had a stroke. You must have the patience of a saint.

Is your car an older model?

Matt and Carla Morgan said...

Oh my goodness, Kate. These adventures never cease to blow my mind!

You have the patience of Job!


votemom said...

sorry but this really depressed me. i can only imagine how the whole thing depresses you.

plz post happy things about finland soon ;o)

Maura said...

Big SIGH. I have to hand it to you...patience galore. But with your girle with you and obstacles in front of you I guess you just have to tackle one at a time.
Big SIGH. Here's to the car starting when and if you dig it out.

J. said...

It's ironic that life in Russia, overall, is much simpler than here in the US, yet EVERYTHING one does is more complicated!

Gotta tell you the Fairy soap brought a smile to my face. It's one of those things I'll NEVER forget about out times in Russia - the Fairy dishsoap that doesn't hold a candle to Dawn, but works better than anything else you can buy there!

Shelby said...

Kate, I havent been to your blog for a long time now. I am so glad to hear that you finally have your daughter with you and that she does have a name! We have diesel and ours gelled. We then had to find anti-gelling additive and now we are running again. Our temps are around the -40 range, so it's crazy. Three cheers for Fairy! Thanks, again for making my day. I love your writing! Shelby

kate said...

Just fyi: car is not diesel. ;>

Jane and Jim said...

Wow, those Russians really think they have it all figured out huh?!

You need to write a book about your adventures in Ruskey Land.

I love the way you write - like reading a snippet of a great book everyday!

Keep it up!