18 September 2016

Car Breakdown {+ Giggles}

A few weeks ago Andre had an interview at the Sunshine Coast.  The Sunshine Coast is about 1 and 1/2 hours from our place, and I decided I would go with him for the company on the drive (he would be away over the weekend) and to relax (I would be studying and working for the next few days).

I packed a cooler bag of snacks, threw an extra jumper in the car in case it was chilly along the coast, and grabbed water and a book, and Andre put Oscar in the car.  We were ready to go!

We left home about 9:50am and got straight onto the highway.  It's a reasonably easy drive once you get on the highway - except for roadworks which seem to stretch for miles and slow the traffic down a bit.

About 30 minutes into the drive, the car started making a metal-on-metal sound.  This can never be good.  Andre drove a bit slower to see if that helped, but the strange banging/scraping sound continued.  We decided to take the next exit.

The next exit was about 5 or 10 minutes down the highway, so we pulled into a petrol station.  Just as we pulled in, the car rolled to a stop, and a second later steam started pouring out of the bonnet.  We looked at it, and each other, in horror, then quickly jumped out of the car.  The steam dissipated fairly quickly, but we were kind of in a daze and weren't quite sure what to do.  Also, I must have been rather nervous, and the way that nervousness expressed itself was in giggles, which made Andre really happy.


Just kidding - he was very patient ;)

We stood there for 5 minutes figuring the car probably needed to cool down a bit, and then we pushed the car over to the curb at the petrol station to get it out of the way.

We opened the bonnet and, again, I burst into nervous laughter.

We spent a lot of time humming and haa-ing (how do you even spell that word??!) and poking around the engine, hoping we looked like we knew what we were doing.  Checked the oil and water (two things we DO know how to do).  Took Oscar for a walk to relieve himself.  Made a couple phone calls (one back to SA to Uncle Tedd who began by apologising he wouldn't be able to come pick us up because he was working... must have forgotten we moved to QLD 8 months ago!!).  Kept humming and haa-ing.

A big FWD pulled up behind us and 4 super-muscly, tanned guys piled out and started doing pushups and other such exercises on the grass, which added to my occasional giggling fits.

After a while, one of the guys came over and asked if we needed a hand, so we gave him the all-clear to have a look.  He spent quite a bit of time with us having a look, and between his help, Uncle Tedd's expert opinion, and our blank nods, we figured that the radiator was the problem.

By this stage Andre was starving and it was high time for coffee, so we made our way into the food court and got coffee, a little Maccas meal (for Andre) and donuts (for us).

Spot the Ocsar. Also: Finally - caffeine + food!
The half hour we spent relaxing in the food court was fun - Oscar was hilarious! He'd get as much of his body through the fence as he could and then just lay down and look at us through the window with these pitiful eyes, or simply not look at us at all in order to make us feel bad for leaving him outside while we were stuffing our faces with delicious things. For example:

After our break, we bought a small jerry can and filled it with water, then filled up the radiator and got on the road. We figured we could stop every 5 minutes and top the radiator up. Unfortunately we missed our exit so had to drive an additional distance (some heated words were exchanged over that one) which was really not ideal in the situation. Filled the radiator and jumped back on the road again, quite desperate to cover as much ground as we could in 5 minutes. It was very stressful, honestly! We had 2 sets of stoplights to get through, to turn around over the highway, and of course we had to stop at both of them... so we were freaking out that the car would stall.

Another 5 minutes down the highway we stopped, let the car cool down, filled the radiator, and got back on the road again. This sounds like a quick process, but it actually takes a surprising amount of time for a car engine to cool down (note to self).

Andre did all the work and I observed. He's a legend!
Yet another 5 minutes down the highway we stopped again. While we were waiting for the car to cool down, some Queensland Traffic people happened to come up behind us and came to see what our problems were. The problems were too many to explain, so we sent them on their way.

Just kidding.

They were concerned for our safety because not only were we on the side of the highway, but there was a slip lane onto the highway for entering cars, which ended 20 metres before our car. They commanded us [very nicely] to move away from the road so we would be safe. They also helped arranged a free tow to the next town so that we could get off the highway and be in a safer place to arrange everything.

So, we climbed a rather steep embankment and settled in for the wait.

Luckily I had a book, and Andre had Oscar, so we were both entertained.

His face never ceases to amuse me. Oscar's, not Andre's.
We must have waited for around an hour before a tow truck arrived and towed us to safety - a little street off the highway, no shops or anything nearby. By this time I was desperate to use the bathroom. #pregnancylife

We then stood around making phone call after phone call after phone call, trying to figure out what would work best - to be towed home and then find a mechanic later, or get a mobile mechanic to come and look at the car. Finally we booked a tow truck to come take us the 30 kilometres home (nothing like a $135 car ride home to bring on the warm and fuzzies!) and we settled in to wait.

Luckily I'd brought apples, nuts, chips and water, which got us through a bit of the afternoon... but eventually we decided to order pizza! It was very exciting, ordering to a random address on the side of the road when we had no idea where we were!

Another picture of our wait on the embankment, to break up all this text :)
Of course, the tow truck arrived before the pizza did, so we had a moment of panic that we wouldn't get to eat the food we'd been mentally salivating over for the last 30 minutes. The tow truck driver promised to take as long as he could to load our car, so that hopefully the pizza would arrive before we had to leave. Thank goodness it did! So we jumped in the tow truck (after locking Oscar in our car with the windows down an inch, leaving him to jump all over the seats and my good jacket, which now has to be drycleaned) and filled the cabin with smells of pepperoni and garlic. Mmm.

When we got home, I checked the mail while waiting for the driver to unload our car, and what do you know - a $100 cheque addressed to Andre for some work he did 6 weeks prior! God's timing is absolutely impeccable!! So that covered our tow trip home.

I then flopped on the couch for 3 hours and Andre drowned his sorrows in his workshop (note: working, nothing else). It is TIRING doing nothing all day!!!

Maybe this is where I should mention that we arrived home at about 5:00pm. In a 7 hour day, we really accomplished nothing. *sigh

This is where that day's story ends.

Since then we have purchased a new [to us] car, thanks only to God's provision amazing.

Have you ever had a day somewhat similar to this? Please share!


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