Monday, September 3, 2007

A funny thing happened on the way to the ….

Thursday after leaving the internet café, we were all in a good mood. Laughing and joking until all of a sudden, our car alarm went off and wouldn’t stop. With the horn honking loudly and all the car lights flashing, we panicked. People passing stared but no one said or did anything out of the ordinary. Finally, Patrick turned off the car but it was too late. There was no turning off the alarm.

I kept praying a policeman wouldn’t pull up next to us asking (in Spanish of course) for proof of registration. Since we just received an email from our lawyer stating she had the document at her office and when would we like to pick it up, it was not in our possession. I was sure I would be making a call to our lawyer from the nearest police station!

I was busy standing on the corner trying to push all the buttons on the key chain when Patrick screamed, “hand me my tools”. Azure dug them out of the back and passed them out to Patrick. He screamed, “Pop the hood” and then next thing I know Patrick was removing the battery cable. Sure enough, the alarm stopped. Convinced that the alarm would start again the second he made the connection, I tried to cover my shock when he started the car and we drove home, nervous but all laughing again. Until…

Friday morning, sure enough, the alarm started again as soon as we pulled out of the driveway. After some hassle (of removing and reconnecting the battery cable) and screaming at each other, we all made it to Azure’s school with time to spare.

BUT, Patrick had to turn off the car so he could speak to Jeremy in accounting since he was helping us get a bank account started here (long story). I definitely was much more embarrassed when the car alarm went off in the school parking lot. Plus, Patrick removed and re-connected the battery cable SEVERAL times but the alarm just wouldn’t stop! I tried to stay out of his way and keep my mouth shut but I have to admit I wasn’t very hopeful about getting home. While pretending to read my book, mentally I went through all our options - call a tow truck, walk to the mechanics? What exactly were our options when neither of us could explain in Spanish what the problem was?

Finally, I noticed that there was a wire to the alarm cut-off that was not connected. I pointed out the potential problem to Patrick and immediately he went to work trying to connect the wire again. At this point, the school guard figured he better check with us to make sure everything was ok. Again, we can’t speak Spanish so Patrick tried showing him the loose wire and just said “esta bueno”. The guard appeared to understand and he walked away.

After about 15 minutes and lots of cursing, Patrick started the car. No alarm sounded this time (which was good because it probably went off 5 times before). We left the parking lot with a wave to the guard and my fingers crossed. Even though Patrick pronounced the situation permanently resolved, I asked if we needed to stop at a mechanics on the way home. He firmly said “NO!”
He was right. It’s resolved and the car doesn’t even beep anymore which was not the case when we purchased it 2 weeks ago. At that time, we used to have to wait until the car alarm started beeping then push a little button to signify it should stop. Now when starting the car, Patrick can push that button before the beeping even begins. Therefore, in the end, this experience actually resolved a slight problem….


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