Thursday was just one of those days.
Every once in a while, these days happen. For every step forward, two backward. Everything seems to go the wrong way. One thing after another, and each a little worse than the one before.
In hindsight, I suppose I should have realized something was up first thing in the morning. I started to fill the coffee pot with water, and then – nothing. No more water. Yes, there is still water in the taps, but in Taiwan, it’s not advisable to drink the water from the taps. So, off to the water station to get more water.
Done. While filling the basket in the coffee maker with coffee, I spilled the grinds on the table. Now to most people, that wouldn’t be a problem… more an inconvenience. But to a hardcore coffee addict (Hello… my name is Bill, and I’m addicted to coffee…), it’s like watching your keys fall into the storm drain on the side of the road. Oh well, no sense in crying over spilled coffee grinds… clean it up, and continue.
Then the laptop. It seems that the port for the external monitor is not working. I’ve been able to use a spare monitor I have with my laptop. That way, I could watch a show on the monitor, while still doing my work on the laptop. I suppose to most people, they would decide at this point to rewind their life a few hours, go back to bed, and re-wake up!
Okay, so carry on. It seemed like it was a nice day. The sun was out, the clouds were white and fluffy. Around noon or so, it started to get cloudier. I was a bit preoccupied getting class material completed, but I did notice that it was getting muggier. Rain on the way.
Fortunately, by the time I was ready to leave for class, the rain had stopped. Down to the scooter. Two days ago, I was able to start the scooter normally. Turn it on, press the brake, push the starter button, and vroom – the scooter is ready to go. At the end of class, the starter button didn’t seem to be working. Now I have to use the manual starter.
It’s a lever of sorts near the rear tire. As I rarely use this, it was a bit sticky. It’s also a bit of a hassle. It’s located on the left side of the scooter, near the rear wheel. The starter button is on the right side of the steering column. As I said, I rarely use it, so I’m not familiar with exactly how to coordinate all this. Right hand, apply brake, give a bit of gas, and press button, while at the same time, using my foot (right? left?) to press down the manual starter.
After a few attempts, I finally got it started. Wednesday, I was a little more coordinated, but I figured I could get away with a couple of days doing this until I could get over to the repair shop to let them have a look at it. Thursday, I can’t get it started.
On top of all that, it was a warm day, muggy, so I was sweating a little bit. It occurred to me after looking, that I also needed to have the ignition key turned to ON. Okay, turn it on. Try again. This time, it still didn’t start. I tried and tried, and ended up scraping my ankle against the scooter itself. Talk about searing pain! Use the other foot. Still nothing.
At this point, I’m trying to call my school to let them know I would be late. No answer. Try to call five other people to see if they could send message for me, since I needed to get to a repair shop. No answer. No one! Incredible. The one time I need to call someone, and no one answers. Oh well, keep going.
At the end of my block, there is a repair shop. The guy has about 100 scooters and scooter parts and all sorts of crap for fixing scooters. I walk the scooter up, and try the best I can to explain the scooter is not working. Some woman, and I can only assume it is his wife, starts pointing at three Chinese characters and keeps getting louder and slower saying the characters for me. I honestly had no idea what she was saying. Meanwhile, someone else comes over and starts pumping the s*** out of the scooter trying to get it to start. I keep saying, “No” and “Nothing” and whatever other negative words (in Chinese) and motions I can think of to get this guy to stop. Finally, I had to hit him, and push him away from the scooter. Then, at least five of them start talking to me, and apparently giving me directions or something, but having five people chatting to me in Chinese, and I not knowing what ANY of them are saying. I give up.
Begin walking down the street to find another place that fixes scooters. Found one. I showed the guy the same motions of what I had tried, saying “mayo” (tr: nothing). He understood immediately, opened the battery compartment, tested the battery, and was told that the battery was dead. No more charge.
I have no choice. The battery must be replaced. After about a half hour and oil change as well, my class time is now over anyway, so I figured they knew I wasn’t showing up, and $1000nt poorer. But at least the scooter works!
Thankfully, I suppose the ‘beings that are’ decided I had had enough. The rest of the day seemed to go better. Except one other item. But that may have to wait.
Oh yeah, two more days until voting for the competition ends. If you haven’t done so yet, please get your votes in for me! Getting closer!
That’s it, that’s all… for now!