Friday, December 19, 2014

Day 1128: A week after my last post: More car trouble.

As I related in my last post, I was able to repair my car's suspension locally, and was, thereafter, driving the car as usual in Al Muwayh. On Thursday, I took a day off to drive to Taif to get my car's wheel alignment corrected as there was a slight wobble and lack of balancing between the left-sided and the right-sided front wheels. Having left my house at a little after noon, I was brought to a halt about 19 km away when my car's ignition simply switched itself off and the car slowed down to a stop.

I had, by then, driven the car outside the highway on to the lip of the road. I tried to turn the ignition on, and when the key turned, I could sense that the ignition motor was purring perfectly. However, the engine never throbbed into submission. I then opened the hood, but, naive that I am, I could not understand the problem. I shut down the hood and began calling for help, mostly to the car electrician and then the car mechanic, but it soon became apparent that quick help would not be forthcoming. Then, to my surprise, Dr. Moataz, who was also travelling to Taif (with his family in his own car) stopped a little ahead on seeing me, and reversed his car to help me. He discovered immediately that the problem was that the timer device that controls the engine had broken (he showed me the ruptured cover and the broken spring inside the device), and that this would need the car to be towed or winched to the mechanic. He provided me with the telephone number of a Sudanese gentleman who lives in Al Muwayh and operates a winch car. I got in touch with this guy, a Mr. Abdul Wahab. He made me wait so long that when a passing winch car approached me and agreed to take me to Taif, I readily agreed. The rate he was quoting me was also more attractive. While Mr. Wahab had asked for SR 400, this Pakistani man, a Mr. Bashir Khan, agreed to take me to my Taif mechanic for just SR 250. 

As he was loading my car on to his winch, the Sudanese turned up. He was shocked that I had decided to abandon him. I felt sheepish and offered to pay him some money for his trouble, but, clearly piqued, he refused payment and went away disgruntled. To cut a long story short, I felt very bad about my own behaviour, and wondered if what I had done was the right thing. I did call him, actually, when the Pakistani man and I had reached an agreement on the rate and I had asked him to start hauling my car above his vehicle, but the Sudanese said he was only 5 minutes away from where I had said my car was. Hence, this problem could not be averted. 

I arrived at Nadeem's Garage at about 5.15 p.m. The car was off-loaded. Nadeem and his friend took a look at the problem, and agreed that the problem was indeed the timer. Their verdict was that they would be able to learn the actual damage only when they opened the engine, and this would be done only on Friday evening as Thursday evening and Friday morning were their off-days! I was stunned because I was unprepared to stay in Taif. I decided then to go back to Al Muwayh by the state-run bus service (SAPTCO's naklil jamaai), and to return to Taif when the car had been repaired. 

I then went to Tahweel-al-Rajhi to transfer some of my money, and some of Dr. Afzal's too, to India. From there, I went to the SAPTCO stand, where I got a 8.00 p.m. bus to travel to Al Muwayh. I contacted Dr. Tahir Mir, who has just purchased a beautiful second-hand Toyota Corolla Automatic 2012, to come to the rest place that is located 20 km before Al Muwayh, and where all buses bound for Riyadh and beyond always stop for a meal, and pick me up. After coordinating with him, he came over at half past nine, and drove me back to my home in Al Muwayh. Dr. Afzal had also come with him, and the journey back was quite uneventful.

In the end, I lost one whole day to a completely unforeseen incident. And could not even study for an hour as a result.

That's all for now. Take care, and keep visiting the blog for more news. Do leave your comments here. Thank you.

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