I get rescued
Meanwhile, back at the wrecking yard ..
In front of the wrecking yard there was a big garage. It looked a lot like a mechanic. The rolling doors were closed but they had windows in them and we could see someone inside. We knocked and a very grumpy woman let us in. I started to explain and she pointed off to the left and said "You have to talk to him".
Around in circles
As I turned a man emerged from the shadows. He looked at me, asked me
what I needed and continued to talk to someone behind him. To me in
French, to the other person in Spanish. My good samaritan, Mounir,
asked him if he had a clutch cable.
"No" he said. "For what kind of car?" I thought he had the order of the questions backwards.
"it doesn’t have to be new" Mounir and I both said "Could we look in the casse? (wrecking yard)
"Are you the woman who’s insured by Axa?" Mr. Grumpy asked. "You call them and explain. I work with Axa. They’ll pay for the depannage (towing) and I’ll take your car back to France. I came to the Agip station but you weren’t there."
He moved into the office, waving for us to follow him. The grumpy woman was on the phone, yelling into it, listening to someone yell back. She had the speaker phone on. And the radio.
"No’ I said. "I waited for an hour but you didn’t come. I don’t have roadside assistance from Axa. Really I just want a clutch cable. Can we look in the casse?"
"I have to know what’s wrong with the car. I will send this man with the truck" pointing to the shadows on his left "and he will bring your car here and we will see what is wrong."
"I know what’s wrong. I need a clutch cable. Could we please go look in the casse now? It’s getting dark and by the time you get the car here we won’t be able to see."
I was still sounding reasonable but low blood sugar and the noise level were starting to take their toll. I could feel a scream welling up in my throat. I decided to let Mounir take over.
The long and short of it was that Mr Grumpy wasn’t going to do anything for me unless I let him tow my car to his garage. He wasn’t going to tell me if he had a clutch cable – new or used , he wasn’t going to let me go look in the wrecking yard, he wasn’t going to tell me how much anything would cost.
I wasn’t going to hang around.
I gave Mounir a ‘let’s get out of here’ look and we left.
Mounir said that he would get a clutch cable on Monday and fix the car. He asked if I was going to stay in La Jonquiera. I couldn’t stay even if I wanted to and I didn’t want to. I explained that I had to get back and that I would call friends and ask them to come and get me. The battery was almost flat on my mobile so I needed to find somewhere that I could use a phone. And I needed to eat.
Back to his cousin to report in. He suggested a Moroccan restaurant. Probably owned by his cousin, he didn’t say. Off we went. The people in the restaurant were lovely. I ordered a chicken tagine. Mounir said that he was going to go do a couple of things while I ate and that he would come back. I tried to call friends but there was no answer so I left a message and sent a text message, conserving my precious battery. The food was less than lovely but it was edible.
Mounir took me back to the car. He asked what I was going to do. I explained that friends were going to come for me – I have good friends. We exchanged numbers, I gave him money to buy a clutch cable and a key to the car. He told me to make sure that I took anything important out of the car, just in case, but said that it was parked in a safe place and that I didn’t need to worry. He’d have it fixed by Monday evening.
I tried calling Steve and Lynn again. They were there. And they said that they’d come and get me. Have I mentioned that they are really good friend?
I went back to the Agip station to use the toilet and get a diet coke. My new best friend was still working and I filled her in on everything that had happened. I was mooching around the little shop and saw phone chargers – the kind that work in the cigarette lighter. Lo and behold, they had one for my phone. Yes! I could now charge the phone.
And play with the phone. I surfed the web, sent an e-mail to my daughter, and played solitaire. When that palled I had a nap. Then I read for a bit. Then Steve and Lynn arrived to rescue me. We headed for home.
It was 10.30, I had been in La Jonquiera for 8 hours.
Still to come – 8 hours in La Jonquiera – epilogue