The Centro, a broken bike, and a cold shower on a rainy day
06.12.2014 - 06.12.2014 66 °F
I have had a crazy time since I bought my bike, and made it five minutes from my house when the pedal fell off. I have been in a car accident, taken three days off work, been to Oaxaca, taught a class in a public school there, returned to Tampico to a house with no oil, with the water shut off because the previous oil bill had not been paid, and I have a dysfunctional pilot light, so there is no hot water.
All of this led me to an epiphany about Heaven (my new dysfunctional bike that did not have a pedal). I managed to ask my cab diver (I overslept this morning) if he could take me and my bicycle in his cab to the Centro. We agreed to meet at Hildago and Tamesi at two pm. Well, the Tancol-Tampico bus did not come until for one half hour. When it did, I rode plastered onto the front windshield and got home at 1:50. Heaven and I made it to the set point at two on the dot. However, no taxi. So I flagged down a cab, and we stuffed Heaven in the back and rode to the Centro. I have never met a taxi driver who was not gracious. My Spanish is good enough, so we could have a broken conversation.
He dropped me at the bike shop, and I told the guys that I wanted my money back. He smiled when I told him in my broken Spanish that the bike was SHIT. We used Google translate to determine that there was no way that I could return Heaven, but he would fix it. So I left him to put on a new pedal and to fix the gears. I went out for coffee, and watched some men try to direct traffic by blowing whistles. No one paid any attention to them.
I returned, got my bike, and rode off to the park to see the crocodiles. When I got to the park the handlebars started to fall off, so back I went. We laughed when I told the bike guy in my broken Spanish that he was trying to kill me . So he fixed the handle bars, and once again fixed the gears and put on a new shifter.
While I waited a truckload of soldiers got dumped in the Centro and they paced in front of the bike shop with their machine guns. Not because of me, they just seem to be much more present these days. No one batted an eyelash. One cute little girl even aimed her toy machine gun at them and made it go off with all its lights and jingle sounds..
Well, the bike was fixed, and I took off to see the crocodiles. The bike's bottom bracket sounds crunchy and the gears slip, but I just wanted to see the crocs and go home to a nice cold shower. Did I mention that it was raining during this entire adventure?
Well fuck the crocs, because they don't exist in my opinion, and if they do, I am sick of looking for them!
I will go back to my friends at the bike shop next week. At least I can ride there because I have handlebars and both pedals. In the meantime I will enjoy the fact that I have water and oil. I can be happy that my ESL kids are making so much progress, and that I only have six more teaching days until Christmas. Then I will go to New England to see my kids, some friends and return by car to Tampico for more adventures.