Tuesday

car trouble

Yesterday was Monday. Monday night is basketball night. I like basketball night. Due to the holiday, there was no basketball last Monday night. I was sad (cause I like basketball night). As you can imagine, after waiting for two weeks, I was quite looking forward to basketball last night (Monday night). I had also been recently relieved of an ingrown toenail, so I was excited about the idea of playing pain free basketball. Last time I played, a couple large Costa Ricans stepped on my ingrown toenail. Anyway, lets get back to basketball night - last night. I left the house and got in the car to go play basketball. I turned the key and heard nothing. I was bummed but not too surprised. It was not the first time. With the help of the guard, I pushed the car out onto the street. I figured I could start it by rolling it down the hill on our road. Off I went. I did actually get it started, but it puttered out and died again . . . at the bottom of the hill . . . on our dead end street. The guard helped me push it up the hill a bit, and I tried it again but to no avail. I left the car sitting at the bottom of the hill, cussed at it in Japaneese (its a Toyota) and went to see Mr. Jerry.

Whats that, you don't know Mr. Jerry?

Well, I guess the time has come for me to introduce him. Mr. Jerry is a little old American dude who lives in our building. The mystery that surrounds him is usually more interesting than the man himself. When we learn various things about him, we're always a bit disappointed because we expected so much more. We do know that he is originally from Wisconsin, he's a big Packers fan and he has a giant painting of a naked woman in his dining room. It can be a bit distracting/disturbing when you're standing at the door to his apartment and trying to carry on a conversation. He says he runs some kind of skin care product business. He has an "assistant". She is a Costa Rican woman who is often with him. I'm pretty sure that her main role is that of translator, as Mr. Jerry does not speak Spanish. Mr. Jerry's favorite activities include watching football, enjoying local restaurants, washing his car (which somehow never gets stuck at the bottom of hills) and laying out on a chair in the lawn while wearing not near enough clothing and listening to soft jazz, which he, along with the rest of us tenants, can hear pouring out from his apartment through the open door. We'll keep you updated as we learn more about him. Oh yeah . . . we call him "Mr. Jerry" because thats what our landlord called him when we were moving in. Back in the good old days, it was just Mr. Jerry and us in this building. Now every unit is occupied. I should also mention that Mr. Jerry is very friendly, and we've enjoyed having him as a neighbor.

So, I went to see Mr. Jerry to ask if he had any jumper cables. He didn't, but he knew of a neighbor (Juan) in a nearby house who did - actually what he had was a battery charger device with cables. It didn't need to be connected to another car. We hooked it up to the battery and got the car to start. Unfortunately, it would not stay running. There is something wrong with the engine. It was dark last night, so we didn't spend too much time trying to figure out what the problem was. Juan, Mr. Jerry and I pushed the car back up the hill towards our apartment. When we got near the building, the guard helped us push it into the carport area. I called a mechanic today who says he can come look at it but not until Thursday. Until then (and maybe for awhile after that based on the state of the car) we'll be bus people again.

Needless to say, I never made it to basketball night, but that may be the least of my problems.