Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Adventures in scooter repair

Getting my scooter repaired is usually absurdly cheap and easy. About a month after I got it, I thought the brakes were broken because my scooter barely stopped. So I went to a scooter shop- turns out you have to adjust the brakes as they wear down (oh). The guy didn't charge me anything. I also found out you have to add oil to it (and I read up on 2-stroke engines). So now, whenever I need oil, I just go to a scooter shop, point at the oil light, and they tighten the brakes, oil the squeaky bits, and charge $150. Cool.

Once I was driving to work and my scooter died so I walked it to the nearest shop. I mimed what happened, the guy reached in somewhere and pulled something out, tossed it to the side, and said, "You're OK." No charge. Awesome. The only non-oil money I've put into it have been a new tire and new springs (shocks? I dunno). It was hard to convince the guy to put on new ones- that I would rather spend money and not have my body absorb every bump in the road. I kind of think I need new ones again but I'm not up to convincing them to put them on. A few months ago my scooter was making this horribly clunking sound and I got it fixed for $250. I also go an emissions inspection and my headlights rewired for $250. So crazy cheap.

Except today... I had a class at the kindy from 2-4 and I was supposed to be at my regular branch at 4:30 for a meeting, but it's only a 5 minute drive between them so I figured, I need oil, I'll go get it. The guy put the oil in, greased it up, and then I remembered that this one part- I guess it's the kick-start?) is falling down and it's very inconvenient when I park a certain way so I asked if he could fix it.

He took it off and went to get a new one on. But it didn't quite go on right so he took the cover off (I seriously don't know where anything is on my scooter- I couldn't even tell you for sure where the engine is) and all this crud fell out. I was like, uh-oh, not good! He laughed. Really not good! He was still fiddling so I said, I'll go buy some tea, be right back. I get back and there are like 200 pieces strewn around my scooter. Um... so I sit down. He works for minute, looks at his watch, gets up to do his bai-bai (put an incense stick in a little hole by the door and bows 3 times) then gets back to work. Finally I asked if it would be a while yet (uh, yeah) and how much it would cost- $1700. "This part is really expensive," he said, showing me a round metal thing and the corresponding old round cruddy thing. OK.

I said I had to go to work. "What time?" he asked. "4:30, but I will call to tell them I'll be late." He asked me where I work and he said, "Too far to walk! I'll give you a ride!" I tried to say no problem, but it was really far and I was already late so I said OK.

He drove me to work and another teacher drove me to the scooter shop after work so all is fine. Now that I think about it, it's been really hard to start my scooter the last couple of days, so hopefully all that money will fix it!

Still, I love it- back home I'd be thrilled to get any car repair for $50, and here I'm like, man, that's the most expensive scooter repair ever.

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