Two steps forward

We’re making progress towards our ambition to have our kid toilet trained before he reaches secondary school. He’s managed to keep the same pants on all day for two days running now. (No, not the same pair both days; two days = two pairs) so he won himself a little toy tractor as a reward for good effort. Actually if we’re honest, most of the effort was mine in remembering to take him every hour or so regardless of his opinion on the subject, but it’s good to be encouraging, and he’s all made up with his tractor. We’re evil parents; he doesn’t get that many new toys.
Yesterday was one of Argentina’s many bank holidays, marking the anniversary of the last military coup as far as I can figure out. One might have thought that this would be better commemorated with a Remembrance Sunday rather than everyone taking a day off work to party in the sunshine, but what would I know? As is traditional, we took the car out to see where we ended up, and it took us to the city of Santa Fe, in the next province across to the east of us. There was a nice fat river, and a tacky waterside shopping centre where we had lunch facing the water.

Leaving Santa Fe, we planned to go over the bridge to the next city along, Parana. We made it over the bridge, but the Parana part of the plan was thwarted by the car grinding to a halt on the motorway. I’d often wondered what one is supposed to do if the car breaks down. I guess sensible people would have found it before it happened. Being accompanied by the two men in my life, I couldn’t even play the helpless-female card this time. Luckily there is still one card left to play; the stupid foreigners. So we played it.

We hiked a couple of hundred yards off the motorway into a nearby garage and looked hot and stupid. We didn’t need to act on either count. The garage people sent us up the road to a service area, where they said “We’re not allowed to leave the premises, but you’ll not get anyone out to you on a bank holiday so we’ll come and have a look at it”. So we all hiked back to the motorway armed with Tame Mechanic. Neither of us has much useful Spanish where car components are concerned, but he dug around in the log-book, and poked a few things. Verdict; probably fuel-pump, which is what we already thought. But they didn’t have the bits to fix it, so the TM said he would organise having it towed off for us. “Come with me and bring your insurance documents”. (Insurance documents??) Oh yes. Breakdown cover in Argentina is provided by your insurance company. Well blow me down! It would almost definitely have been cheaper to pay someone triple time and a half to fit a new fuel pump by the roadside, but they hitched it onto a truck and took us with our car all the way back to San Francisco. And they’re paying so we’re not complaining, or at least not until next year when our insurance premium doubles as a result. Our usual guy from our usual garage came and picked it up this morning. It should be back tomorrow, although he has rather a fluid approach to time, so it could be next week.

Leave a Reply