August 7, 2019
As I write this Wednesday morning I was told I am just hours away from getting my car back after repairs have been effected. Sunday night, after I got off the ferry upon returning from Newfoundland, I stopped to get gas (which is WAY cheaper here – 10 cents per liter and I put 63 liters in Sunday night – that’s enough for two boxes of “timbits” for crying out loud!) and after moving away from the pumps to get out of the way for lots of other people from the ferry who had the same idea, parked and with the motor running entered the addresses of my Airbnb over in Sydney and a restaurant there I was planning to have dinner, in my GPS unit. After doing that I looked up and saw white smoke coming out from under my hood, over by the passenger side headlight. I quickly shut the car off and slowly opened the hood.
Turns out the compressor for the air conditioner was fried. I was safely off the road in the gas station parking lot. I activated all the functions of my cellphone so I could make calls for help. I’ve been “flying under the radar” by only using many of the features on my phone while on wifi at my Airbnb’s in the evening. Verizon Wireless charges $5/day just for data access while traveling in Canada. For my 7-week trip here, that adds up and I’d much rather spend that money on lobster for me than give it to them.
CAA, the Canadian equivalent of AAA in the US, towed the car to a nearby shop which primarily sells tires (that is CAA’s only obligation – to get me to the nearest CAA affiliated garage). This happened Sunday night and Monday was a provincial holiday in Nova Scotia (see earlier post) so the garage wouldn’t be open until Tuesday. Tuesday morning they diagnosed the problem and ordered the compressor unit. It is supposed to arrive later this morning and they should have me on the road after it is installed.
Here are two purchases I made in town yesterday:
One is a fire extinguisher, which the Safety Sam in me knows I should have had all along, if not for me perhaps to come to the aid of a stranded motorist who is having a bad day. Safety “Sam”, after all, stands for Good Samaritan and has nothing to do with my nephew named Sam. I have been known to stop at traffic accidents or for cars which have broken down in precarious spots to help direct traffic or slow people down while wearing my trust Safety Sam vest – a bright yellow vest like highway workers wear. I now wear it, sometimes daily, because I get in and out of the car so much taking photos, often crossing or walking along busy roads. I used to keep a fire extinguisher in my car but after it’s useful life was over (they are only good for about 10 years) I discarded it and never replaced it.
My other purchase was a big boy wallet. I haven’t used a wallet for many years, opting instead to just fold my paper money and keep my driver’s license and whichever credit card I am using at the time (I have several credit cards which I rotate use of and keep the others in a metal case which supposedly protects them from being “hacked” by ne’er-do-wells with sophisticated electronic eavesdropping equipment) inside the “wad” . Well, Canadian bills are slightly larger than US currency and my little bundle, wrapped tightly with a celery-stalk rubber band, bends the edges of the Canadian bills so I decided it was time for a real wallet!