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so i am a camel hunter in the deserts of the uae. 

Thursday, November 4, 2010


I've been waiting for 2 weeks to get a puncture in my left rear tire fixed.   After taking my Honda racecar in for servicing last week, it took nearly 48 hours for me figure out the spare tire was on my car and my regular rims were in the trunk.  A quick call to the service centre informed me that there was a nail in the tire, they swapped it out for me and 'forgot' to tell me...

I procrastinated getting the tire fixed because I didn't want to go to Sanaiya, the male dominated "fix anything" area of town.  You can get a hair cut, buy a kitchen sink, smoke shisha, replace tires, and best of all, drive in circles trying not to hit the random Pakistani who thinks it's a logical idea to race across four lanes of traffic blindfolded.  So I was thrilled last night when someone told me that I could get the hole fixed at the Adnoc Petrol Station.  I was dubious, but headed off to Adnoc.  I was so cocky that I stupidly made a bet with my friend that there was no tire service at Adnoc - whoops, I could have avoided Sanaiya weeks ago and fixed the tire (don't worry, I was driving on a full sized tire, not a donut). 

After a quick inspection, the serviceman had some bad news for me - they wouldn't fix the hole because of the location on the tire.  Apparently holes on the side will just rip open again, if it's on the flat surface area, the reinforcements will help hold the seal.  So instead of a 15 minute, $15 fix - it was going to cost me $100 bucks and take much longer. 

Dad doesn't have a cell phone so I rang Jason again and again, hoping he'd answer from out on the golf course, but of course he didn't.  I literally sat in the open trunk, elbows resting on my knees, chin on my hands, waiting for divine inspiration.  I'm often taken advantage of in such situations, I know less than nothing about cars, tires, and batteries!  I glanced forward and realized that an acquaintance of mine was about 20 feet in front of me getting an oil change.  "Mohammad," I called out and waved hello.  He came over and wanted to know the situation...  he laughed at my distress and told me I just had to buy a new tire - easy!  He told the handyman (in Arabic) something that sounded like "just do it" and commanded me to "come" as he walked off towards the convenience store. 

Not knowing what else to do, I followed him, let him buy me some water, then whinged about how life isn't fair, my tires aren't more than 2 months old, and how I was sure I was being taken advantage of.  Mohammad just listened patiently to my whinging, sipping his guava juice and avoiding the layer of dust on my car.  He explained to me the benefits of nitrogen in tires and the differences between his nissan patrol and range rover.  30 minutes later it was time to pay up and head out.  I followed Mohammad into the little service office and realized he had already settled the bill.  Whoa!  My two week procrastination had paid off after a perfectly timed arrival at the Adnoc Service Centre!!!


1 comment:

  1. wow! he paid? that's the greatest aquaintance ever! good story.