I Moved To Oaxaca

Friday, November 12, 2004

Roadtrip Day 6 updated, folks. And of course, a fun little adventure for the day, even though we're back home.

This morning I went across the street to the estacionamiento to get Vivani's heating pad–oh, that's another thing, in a minute–and noticed that the right front tire was pretty flat. Like, flat flat. So I collected G, we put on the spare, and we asked Juan Carlos, our landlord, if he knew of a tire-repair place close by. He said sure, just down the street from ADO (the first-class bus station).

Like most directions down here, "just down the street from ADO" is about as specific as it gets, but doesn't necessarily mean "just down the street from ADO." Juan Carlos didn't have an address for the place, or the name of the shop, either–also SOP.

But what the hell, we drove slowly and carefully (the spare was a little light on air) up to Chapultepec; no tire shop. Keep driving ... nothing ... there! A pile of tires on the sidewalk next to a pile of monos de calenda, the giant puppet people. We parked and walked over. Sure enough, in what looked like a 10-by-10 cubby was a tire repair shop/mono de calenda manufacturing center. They were very friendly, grabbed the tire and took it over to a big drum of filthy water to find the leak. But does the guy dunk the tire? No! He looks at it, takes a handful of water and dribbles it on the tire, and sure enough, dribbled it right on the leak. Damn! While the owner introduced us to his two daughters and showed us his photo album of his son's graduation from military medical school in DF, the repair guy trimmed a plug, popped it in the hole in the tire, then sealed it with some gunk ... then found a second leak and fixed that, too.

How did he know?

So this owner guy and I were getting into the photo album. He was showing me pictures of the state orchestra, the band that plays in the zocalo, the ancient pipe organ in the church in Tlacochahuaya, Special Olympics groups and Teleton outings. G started to get a bit impatient, but I really dig photo albums. We chatted and joked while G paid for the tire repair and while the guy put the patched tire back on Little Jumbo. The repairman gave me the nails that he pulled out of the tire; maybe I'll box 'em up with G's tattered Spanish-English dictionary and our worn-out pants.

Oh, and it was 40 pesos to fix the tire.

Okay, the other (small) adventure for the day: when we woke up we couldn't find Vivani. I was surprised she wasn't on the bed because it was so cold, and she wasn't on our dressers or in her crate, either. (She actually likes sitting in her crate.) So G says, shake the food bag, and I did, and we heard a put-out meowing coming from ... outside the back door. Looks like she followed G out the door on one of his nightime jaunts to the bathroom -- probably heading for her heated nest box, which was in the bathroom along with her litter box and food. Only now they're in the house, and the nest box is without heat. Good thing she has fur now instead of baby fuzz or she'd have frozen.


Even with nine days on the road, we had to pass by a lot of stuff. Maybe if we'd had another two weeks, though it seems to me that for every one site I check off my list I add another two. Or three.


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