Thursday, August 20, 2015

I had one once, but the wheels fell off

Tanya and I went to Dnipropetrovsk today.  We had a number of things to do so bought tickets for the 6:00 am bus.  Tanya made arrangements for a taxi for 5:30 so we would have enough time. The taxi was 15 minutes late.  Tanya had already chewed Dispatch a new one and lit into the young driver on the way.  He was breaking every speed law trying to get us there on time and taking "shortcuts".  In a 90 degree world, there are no shortcuts.  There are routes with fewer holes but he wasn't taking those.  About two blocks from the bus depot, his back wheel came off and passed us on the road.

We paid him off and started walking.  Tanya phoned Dispatch to phone the bus depot to hold the bus.  She did and they did.  We left at 6:05. Lina had been in Dnipro since Monday so we met her for late breakfast at about 10:00.  Then we had a long coffee with our friend Natalia whom we had not seen for quite some time.  She travels the world on business and has a daughter in University between Warsaw and Amsterdam so we were fortunate to find her in the city.

We met Lina for lunch at an Azeri restaurant about 1:00 pm.  The food was Ukrainian but the desserts were Azeri, Turkish, Iranian and Arabic.  We brought home a bag of Baklava. I wanted 3 kilograms but no such luck.

At 3:00 we went to the Police Station to get my clearance certificate saying I had been a good boy since moving to Ukraine.  My two almost speeding tickets from years back didn't show up.  The officers had settled out of court for small unmarked bills, thanks to Tanya's negotiating skills.  We will take this new document to P'yatikhatki on Tuesday.  That will allow them to complete the document set I need to take to Immigration in Dnipro to get a stamp on the back page of my passport to match my Permanent Residency card.

Poor Sveta walked to our place (she LOVES to walk anyhow) to look after our critters only to find Tanya had forgotten to leave her a house key.  She got lucky actually.  Tanya spent all yesterday afternoon cooking and the sink was full of dirty dishes and pots.  They are my morning job while coffee brews and Sveta does not have to do them but if there is work to be done she cannot leave it alone.

Bonya was not so lucky.  He wanted into the house as we were leaving.  We thought fine, Sveta can let him out when she gets there.  He was all day in the house with no litter box. When he heard us at the door at 6:30 pm, he was down the stairs in a flash and went by us at the speed of light out into the garden.  How he could run so fast with his legs crossed is beyond me.

We always made fun of Grandma L for stuff in her medicine cupboard that was YEARS past the expiry date.  I posted on Facebook a while back that my Vicks Vap-o-Rub was 16 (now 17) years past expiry which beat Grandma's record.  My Desenex foot powder must be 20 years out of date as the active ingredient quit working finally this week. Tanya bought me some new stuff called Lamikon.  The active ingredient is turbinafine 1%.  This is just so I can work in a line about Miss Grey Cup with athlete's fetus in case there is someone living who hasn't heard the  joke before.



9 comments:

  1. Your taxi story reminds me of an early-morning dash to the airport when I was living in Pasig City, a northern suburb in Manila. I was working on an education project and I started out for the airport early one morning in a project vehicle driven by one of our Philippino drivers. You probably know what Manila traffic is like at rush hour, and to get to the airport we needed to go past the busiest areas in Manila. A quarter of the way along, our car was involved in a small collision - not serious, but requiring lengthy negotiations between drivers and police. So my driver waved down a taxi, put me and my bags into it and stayed behind to sort out the details. This meant I was now running late but my driver had told the taxi driver to go quickly (a superfluous instruction for Manila drivers, I thought!) While we were barrelling along the Edsa (a big Manila thoroughfare), a bus raced alongside and something on the bus sheared off my taxi's external mirror on that side. I watched the mirror sail off into the air and had no idea where it might have landed. I can only assume it hit some other vehicle in coming down as the six or so lanes of traffic were bumper-to-bumper with taxis, buses and cars all travelling at speed. My taxi driver shrugged, but never even stopped - not that he could have anyway. On we went and I made my flight - though I must confess to feeling a bit anxious as I boarded. Maybe two accidents in one trip was a bit of a warning? Did I really want to be on this plane? Oh well. You can't give in to concerns like that when you're living in a place like the Philippines. You'd never go anywhere if you weighed up all the pros and cons of venturing outside. I imagine much the same applies where you're living. But you do have the tremendous advantage of an expert local accomplice to sort things out.

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    1. Lanes don't mean much apparently in Manila? Too funny.
      Our traffic isn't bumper to bumper by any stretch but the roads are narrow and full of holes and highways both holes and hills. Passing another vehicle can get you killed.

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    2. Love your post: a slice of life.
      the best to you and Tanya.
      the Ol'Buzzard

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    3. Thanks, Ol'Buzzard. Life is good. We just can't take it too serious because we will never get out alive

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  2. I love reading about travel adventures!

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    1. I never know if it is an adventure or an endurance test.

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  3. I think Tanya must be a super-hero - she keeps saving the day over and over! The wheel falling off is hilarious to hear about, but probably not quite so much fun to experience.

    My sister was once overtaken by a renegade wheel. She was driving innocently downhill one day when she caught sight of something moving rapidly in her rear-view mirror. Sure enough, it was a tire rolling downhill. It passed her on the right, picking up speed all the way, and hurtled to the bottom of the hill where it shot through a busy intersection before finally ending its career in a ditch. Not something you see every day... fortunately.

    P.S. The Shoe cartoon made me laugh, 'cause I can relate. By the time I finish writing a book, I can never tell whether it's okay or I've simply grunted out a steaming pile. Thank goodness for beta readers!

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    1. Tanya is my super hero!
      Being passed by a wheel is only funny if it is not your wheel. As Kenny Rogers sang "You picked a bad time to leave me, Loose wheel".

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