500 Year Vision

Take pleasure from walking lightly on this Earth

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May7

After a lot of thought we decided to buy a more expensive car from a reputable dealer. On Friday, M managed to get his Czech residence card – the paperwork we were lacking when we went to buy the car in Trebic. So, we knew which car we wanted & went to AAA Auto to buy it. It was very nearly very straight forward – I had phoned my credit card in advance so there was a marker on the account to allow the payment, I had phoned AAA Auto to make sure they took credit cards (of course). We had all the paperwork. Again – so close to buying a car! Two and a half months after the time we thought that buying a car would be something we could do the first weekend we arrived.

Then it transpired that they didn’t have the terminal for credit cards. We had to go to Cesky Budeovice – the nearest other branch to make the payment. I was so nervous! Every time we have tried to buy a car something has gone wrong – I was convinced that something would happen with the credit card to stop us. But no, it went through, and after a rather arduous journey back (bank holiday Friday rush hour traffic) we were able to drive away in the car. It was a little deflating. Once we set off in the car, we noticed there were 3 chips in the windscreen which AAA Auto’s had hidden with price tags. Also, the car did not have air conditioning – as a sticker on the windscreen had indicated, and a dog had chewed up the button for the lock. Still, we were happy because we had a means to reach our house at last and too worn out after the deal of making the purchase to go back and complain. So, not quite ecstatic then.

A little over 24 hours later the car stopped working… & we stopped being ‘happy’ with our new purchase. It was 8pm on the Saturday of a bank holiday weekend. We had no clue about the AA or RAC equivalent in the Czech Republic, and we had no clue why the car had cut out. M was cross, but this time at least didn’t throw anything into ditches. There is a Czech saying ‘to have good luck in bad luck’ – we broke down and our only option was to get out of the car (with the guitar) and start walking. We didn’t have to walk far before we reached what looked suspiciously like a car repair garage. Though obviously closed – there was a house attached with lights on. Half an hour after the breakdown, we were sitting in an office with a fluent English speaker, waiting for our car to be towed to the garage & for our friends to pick us up for the party we were heading to.

The people at the garage were wonderful, they fixed the car on Monday morning & collected us from Tábor so we could drive it back to AAA Auto. AAA Auto refused to refund the money for the repair. The reason that we had broken down was that the fuel gauge was broken. We’d simply run out of fuel. Had we known that the fuel gauge was broken this would not have happened, not being psychic the breakdown was inevitable. But at least it didn’t happen one day later – when we would have been driving our friend to the airport. So, if you’re thinking of buying a car from AAA Auto, think on.

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