After the day I had yesterday (read part 1 and part 2), I was ready for an easy fix. Keeping things in perspective, this is hardly a bump in the road, but it is a little bump. And it is tiring and frustrating.
The plan was to take the train then bus to go to the auto shop, get the battery changed, take the bus to the car and drive away. Except, it didn't happen that way.
The girls were picked up for school and The Boy and I headed out shortly after. I wrote down the address this time, charted my route online and noted which bus I'd need to take. It was blustery this morning. The raindrops had a distinctly frozen flavor to them and that first smell of winter filled my nostrils. It smells the same here as in Michigan. Cold.
|Back on the Train|
Photo Credit: Mark-Hobbs via Flickr
The bus was late. Nothing new there either. I asked the driver if he stopped at my stop to be sure I was getting on the right bus. Yes. Good. Could he also please tell me when we were there? Yes. Good. They are so helpful and friendly here. In my former life in the US I was afraid to ask anyone anything. I don't know why. I have this unfounded fear of asking simple questions, especially over the phone. I guess I've suddenly recovered from it, because somehow in one day, several weeks ago when I decided to figure out the bus lines, I asked so many questions and had so many wonderfully helpful people answer them that it cured me. Mostly. 98%. (I still don't like to call and ask questions; I'm more of a face-to-face person).
We got off at our stop. There was no clear sign of any garage, but I chose the direction the bus had been heading and found it a block or so up the street. This garage had the battery, but they couldn't put it in for me since only authorized Renault service whatevers can. Two doors down there was a place who could do it.
Excellent. The attendant was busy, so I took the opportunity to take The Boy to the toilet. He was given the option to wear a diaper this morning, since I didn't know how long we'd be out or away from toilets, but he chose his underwear, so I went with it. My kid rocks.
Once out, it was my turn. The guy working the counter had one bright blue eye and one socket without an eye. No patch; no glass eye. That's confidence. In the movies, he would have been scary, but he was really quite nice. I told him what I needed. He said they had it. Then just paused. Uhhhh, "Can you change it for me?" I asked with a smile. Yes. Great then.
Except, it wasn't the battery. The key is dead. Nothing happens when he changes the battery; it still doesn't work. He says not to worry, just disengage the alarm and then use the key. I explain that it isn't the alarm, it's the immobilizer. I explained this to you in yesterday's post, so I won't repeat myself.
He says we might be able to deactivate the immobiliser. Where is the car? Hah. At school, friend.
So, now. I have a car. It works. The key doesn't, so I can't drive it. I am so ticked!!! Weeks of no car and now we're right back there! I guess we got what we paid for, but this is ridiculous. Why did we buy an old used car, you may ask? Because we have no credit here in the UK and therefore can't get financed. Same story, different country.
We'll have to have the car towed (100 pounds not covered by insurance) to a garage that actually can't do much for us. To get a new key takes 75 days!!!!!! Yes, 75! And 150 pounds. And then you have to have both key and car at the garage to be programmed together. So, 250 quid (that's slang for pounds, like "bucks" for dollars) and 75 days to have my car back and working. Seriously? Where are the hidden cameras?
I don't have the budget for that at this point, nor the time. What am I going to do without a car for another 3 months? I want to cry. Thank goodness the kids have mid-term break next week and I don't have to worry about getting them to school. Thank goodness my man will be home tomorrow (our 12th anniversary) so I can cry on his shoulder (though he'll be too exhausted for me to actually do so).
Thank goodness I have supportive readers and amazing children. The boy and I decided just to stay in town instead of taking the train back and forth again. He successfully used several public toilets today and I am confident we are now completely out of diapers during the day. Always find the positive things to focus on, right? And, with the money I saved on further train and bus rides, I arranged a taxi to pick us up from school and take us directly home. Which is why I had the time to write this while the meat for dinner defrosts.
Now (well, after dinner), I'm off to search the web for secret ways to bypass the most (insert bad words of your choice) anti-theft system EVER! I will reward you if you find one for me that works. Free proofreading and editing for a year or anything you want that I have the capability of providing!