When we took in our Honda CRV (1997) for service after flooding it out in the big rain storm, the Repair Shop examined the car and suggested preventative work that should be done, quoting a price of $68. Thinking this was a good deal, and since wheel alignment was free, we took the car in Tuesday, the next day and added several other minor things to the list, leaving the car while we went shopping.
Tuesday, May 15 was the second day of the King’s birthday celebration, so our original translator, Kim Thoy was available to go shopping with Sister Tuck. The plan was to go to one of the markets to purchase material to have sewn into blouses and skirts while the auto work was done. We called one of our standard tuk-tuk drivers and ended up spending $35 on material plus the tuk-tuk costs, but Sister Tuck was excited about her purchases. Later that evening after picking up the car, we took the cloth to the seamstress and should have the garments completed in a week or so.
Wednesday, we had a Senior Couple Going Away Dinner scheduled for 5 in the evening, so we left home early to purchase another chair for our office. The furniture store we have been shopping at is on Monivong just north of the Mission Home, and has head-in parking in front of the building. Accidently, I pulled in one parking space too soon, parking in front of the Victorinox store, but heard a loud popping noise as I drove over the curb. With the parking attendant not too pleased we went next door and bought the chair.
While we waited for the chair to be brought to us, a space freed up in front of the furniture store so I went to move the car to the newly available spot, but the when the car moved, it made a huge noise, indicating it wasn’t going anywhere. Looking behind the front drivers-side tire, we could see a broken part pushing down on the wheel. I feared it was part of the ‘A’ frame that had broken, but it turns out that a tie rod ball joint had broken, much cheaper to fix.
I had the Repair Shop’s phone number, so I called for them to come get the car and fix it. After they arrived and were assessing the situation, the parking attendant convinced me to go into the Victorinox store where I was convinced (guilt-ridden) into purchasing a $27.95 pocket knife. Admittedly, it is a good knife and I sort-of needed one. Sort-of.
When I entered the Victorinox store, the repair shop workers had the car jacked up and the wheel off with a plethora of tools surrounding them. One thing I noticed with great concern was a rope included in the pile of tools. When I exited the store, my fears were confirmed, the workers were trying to tie the broken suspension part up with the rope so they could drive the car to the shop. One look and I determined to leave and let the workers do their job and not worry any more about it.
We caught a tuk-tuk to the dinner, arriving a half hour late but in time to order and enjoy the company of the other Senior Couples. It was wonderful saying goodbye to the Snyders, and watching the Senior Senior Couple torch pass to another Senior Couple, and afterward catching another tuk-tuk to return to Ta Khmau. We felt greatly deprived, not having our vehicle, not that we needed it, but that we worried that we might need it.
Thursday morning we received word that the repair would be completed by 11:00 and cost $27. By 10:45, the cost had escalated to $77 and the repair time changed to 3:00. Ultimately the cost was $111 and the completion time was 4:00. We were lucky, in the States the repairs could have cost 10 times as much and taken two weeks.
Interestingly, without the car being flooded out in the rain storm, we would not have known who to call for the much more major repairs needed just two days later. We may not be able to avoid the problems of life, but it is a real blessing to be prepared beforehand.