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Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Car Crisis

I thought I was so smart, and responsible.

I did not want my car to break down during Sukkot (like it did last Pesach).

I had planned on taking my car in yesterday (Monday). That would have given me an extra day, in case something went wrong. (little did I know...)

But I was too wiped out from Chemo; I could not drag myself out of the house. (I was so exhausted, even after I napped, I almost cancelled swimming lessons. Thank God, I really pushed myself. .The moment I entered the water, I felt much better.)

If I wanted to take care of the car before my parents arrived, I had to do it this morning.

I brought my car to the shop, in Talpiot, around 9:15 am. After I dropped off my car, my friend, RD, picked me up and we drove to Malcha Mall, since both of us had errands to do there.

I needed to repair several broken mobile phones -- another thing I wanted to take care of before my parents got here.

We dropped off the phones, went to the hardware store, then to Sambuki's (on the first floor of the mall). We ate these yummy, freshly baked, "pizza-like" things: tasty, crusty dough, topped with a generous portion of pesto, Bulgarian cheese, sun-dried tomatoes, and roasted peppers. Delicious!

Then we picked up the phones, left the mall, did a few more quick errands, and headed back to Talpiot.

We had just parked the car, when Moshe called.

"How are you feeling?" he asked, with concern in his voice.

Now, my husband is a sensitive guy, and all that, but something was wrong.

"What's going on?" I asked, suspiciously.

"Well, a few minutes ago, everyone, and I mean everyone, on the first floor of Malcha Mall started coughing uncontrollably. They are evacuating the area...." he continuted, "How are you feeling.

Pretty freaky.

Besides the scratchy throat, from post-nasal drip, that I had for several days, I felt fine. (Though you know how it is... you start to wonder....)

"Please let me know," I answered, "if we need to go get checked out."

I found out later, someone released tear gas in the mall. (I do not know any more details. Sorry for the Hebrew only link)

It was pretty spooky to know that we were just there, and missed the attack by a matter of minutes.

Back to the mundane: my car was not ready.

The car shop gave us coupons for coffee and a danish, so, we went to the Talpiot Mall (Kanyon Yisrael), had a coffee (sans chemo!), and wandered around some of the shops. But there is only so much shopping you can do. (At least, there is only so much shopping I can do)

We went back to the car shop to wait.

Eventually, RD had to go.

I waited another two hours.

In hindsight, I should have gone back with her. I could have been with my kids for two hours, and taken a cab back when the car was ready. Oh, well.

But that's not the worst of it.

"What do you want first," asked the agent, when he finally approached me with the keys to my car, "the good news or the bad news?"

"Bad news first," I answered, naively unaware of the hammer that was about to fall.

There is something wrong with the computer that controls the break system (ABS). Replacing it will cost around 7,000 NIS, not including taxes and labor!

"How can that be?" I ask, shocked beyond imagination. "How can it be so expensive?"

"You will let me know what you decide," he replied gently.

(I am wondering, is he suggesting that I drive around with a faulty break system?)

There was more.

"We did not get a chance to fix some of the other problems," he continued, "You will have to bring the car in again."


There goes my great plan of servicing the car before my parents get here...

I left the shop at 5:15, exhausted, both physically and emotionally.

On the way home, just after I picked up my son, my daughter called. My parents' plane landed an hour early; my sister already picked them up. They would arrive at my home within the hour.

So much for starting off our visit on the right foot!

I focused on my breathing and tried to stay calm, as I tidied up whatever I could, before they arrived.

God bless my daughters. A cleaned her room and Y set up the beds, before I even got home! Everyone pitched in to help.

God bless my parents. They did not say a word about the mess when they walked in the door!

Though chaotic, the evening went surprisingly well.

The house is quiet.

The kids are sleeping peacefully.

All four grown-ups (Moshe, my mom, my dad, and I) are each doing our own thing, on our own computers.

I guess that is as good a way as any to end the day....

The car will have to wait another few days.

I'll bring it back to the shop on Sunday, on my way to chemo....

Please daven (or send happy, healing thoughts) for RivkA bat Teirtzel.

With love and optimism,


Anonymous said...

Wow! I can't believe this is what happened when I left you. I came home and napped (I was exhausted from our crazy adventures) and can't imagine how worn out you must have been after an extra 2 hours waiting. Did you even get to watch Srugim?????

Baila said...

What was the good news about the car? And I hope you watched Srugim--it was the season finale!

Shevy said...

I *really* feel for you RivkA! Our car started overheating erev Rosh Hashana as I was doing errands. We took it in Thursday and got it back tonight. $2069 CAD or 6626.54 NIS.

It really boggles the mind, doesn't it?

Anyway, put it out of your mind for now and enjoy your parents' visit. Are they just here through Sukkot or are they staying longer?

Anonymous said...

for the best car mechanic around, see harel moyal in talpiot. he is honest, a mensch, is the gabbai of his shul, and does lots and lots of mitzvahs.

i would take the car to him to for a second opinion.....can't hurt...

harel moyal: the name of the garage is '2 omanim', the address is 5 ha'ta'asiya -- in an alley off the little road that connects between ha'oman and ha'ta'asiya (near 'view' catering hall).

call if you get lost: 054-440-4991 and tell him arnie sent you (hebrew only)

arnie draiman