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  1. #1
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    Default Twilight Zone - a Living in the DR Trip

    So, two weeks ago we had to change the automatic transmission on our jeepetta. As most of you who live here would understand, this action is taken with trepidation, fear and sleepless nights, not because it is a difficult thing to do, but because one has to leave one's car with a Dominican Mechanic. Dominican Mechanics are known to take out more screws that what they put back in. Our fears were however laid to rest when we testdrove the car with the new transmission and it felt fine. So, off we went to the hinterland to visit a customer. Car is fine... Car remains fine for the first half day, but the oil light comes on. We check, lots of oil. So, we suspect that the mechanic knocked the oil sensor sideways or something. Day four of New Transmission Period.

    We park on our customer's newly laid down cement parking area, clean as a whistle and our car promptly let's loose and drops all the transmission fluid on the customer's new, white perfectly constructed cement parking area.
    We leave the local mechanic to check out the problem and some cleaners to clean the cement. Together they decide to quickly tow the jeepetta off to the taller (deeper into the hinterland). No matter that the jeepetta contains all the stuff that we need to install a satellite dish for another customer (other side of the country). When we look up, the cement is clean and the jeepetta is gone. Still no problem, we call our friendly taxi driver and car rental agent, get a car, go in search of the hinterland taller, retrieve our equipment and set off to get to our other customer. Four days pass... we get back to customer number one and our car comes back, parked in exactly the same spot on the white (now cleaned) cement parking area. All is well, when around mid-day our car drops all the transmission oil again, same spot, same customer, same embarrasment... But, no problem -- Here comes the local mechanic, tows it away and he's gonna fix it now for the third time... At this stage Richard figures that he best spend some time to figure out what is happening and find that they are trying to re-use a seal between the transmission and the engine. This seal has seen better days.. so, re-use, why? Because the seal is expensive. For heaven's sake, we've just replaced the transmission, get a new seal. No can do.. Why not.. Well, the seal can be bought in Santiago and its very far away.. You will have to go and buy it... Now Richard gets antsy - We don't have time to go to Santiago to look for car parts which we know little about... But no problem, there is a solution, call our friendly taxi driver and car rental agent and send him off on the errand. Duly done, seal in. Day Nine of New Transmission Period.

    But now, neither Richard and I trust the job that has been done, so, off we go to our well-known, trustworthy mechanic to check this all out again. Tonny decides that the job was now well done, fiddles around a little and decided to steam clean the jeepetta, inside, outside, takes out all the seats, carpets and so on.. and we get back to a shiny car. Feels Good. Day Ten of New Transmission Period.

    We drive off and the brakes fail. By now I'm getting mad and hoof it down the road back to Tonny to tell him to take this car, and do something with it. Well the story is that Tonny decided to clean the master cyclinder as we asked him to check the brakes and his chief mechanic filled the master cyclinder with transmission fluid, as they were short of break fluid. Tonny's chief mechanic who perpetrated the deed, has something wrong with his voice box, so, he cannot talk but squeeks like a rooster waking up in the morning. And there we are, trying to figure out who is responsible for this latest calamity talking to Tonny , who is short, chubby and a good mechanic albeit that now furious with his Chief Mechanic, and a Chief Mechanic who squeeks like a rooster. Day 11.

    Just then, our friendly Taxi Driver and Car Rental Agent happens by and stops when he sees us to greet - I grab my bags out of our jeepetta, load into Ambiorix's car, left the stocky mechanic, the rooster and Richard to duke it out and went home.

    Day 12 - For some or other reason, Richard and I both woke up laughing at the same time this morning, laughing some more with tears coming out of our eyes and and squeeking like roosters. Do y'all think that the DR is getting to us?

  2. #2
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris
    Do y'all think that the DR is getting to us?
    Uh! Well, a thing like that would certainly get to me! Big time! Am I really thinking of relocating there?

    By comparison, the company I work for has its own workshop. If one of our mechanics showed such bad workmanship, he would lose his job and be sent back to the Philippines within the week. If I lived in DR and a thing like that happened to me, I would seek out the owner of the workshop and convince him to fire the mechanic.

    Malfunctioning brakes is no laughing matter! People could get killed!

  3. #3
    Goddess
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris
    Day 12 - For some or other reason, Richard and I both woke up laughing at the same time this morning, laughing some more with tears coming out of our eyes and and squeeking like roosters.
    Good to see that you are taking it so well.
    Do y'all think that the DR is getting to us?
    Don't worry, there will be worse days ahead, and you will think 'what the hell am I doing here?', and it shall pass. It happens to all 9 million of us living here.

    My brother has his own mechanics, been that the family is in the transport business. Needless to say I get free service (I pay for parts and material) and more-than-reliable service. Even they made mistakes once or twice. Of course in your case the words that come to my mind are Comedy of Errors.

    Take two Presidentes and a day off in the beach. If symptoms persists repeat the dose as necessary.

  4. #4
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    Default Transmission fluid and power steering fluild are interchangeable...

    ...but transmission fluid and brake fluid definately are not. I found this out the hard way. Several years ago, I topped off the brake reservour with trans fluid. It seemed to work fine for a couple weeks. As luck would have it, I discovered the error of my ways as I was driving through a mountain pass just outside of Estes Park, Colorado. The brakes were TOTALLY gone. Rock wall on one side, sheer cliff on the other, emergency break has no effect. I'm coasting along at 30 mph, wondering if I would survive if I just bailed out or if I just scraped the rock wall with my van. Just as about to try the wall scrapeing experiment, I came around a curve to discover a small uplift in the road, just enough for me to coast to a stop. As I was getting towed into town, I realized how close a call I had. About two miles further down the hill was a T intersection with about a 1000 foot drop on the other side. SOOOOOOOOOOOOOO..... the bottom line is........make sure they got all the transmission fluid out of the system OOOOOOOR......don't take the tourist road to Santiago

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pib
    Take two Presidentes and a day off in the beach. If symptoms persists repeat the dose as necessary.
    Oh no! When we met up with Anna at Rockies on Saturday, I dumped a Presidente all over Escott's laptop. It was good to see Anna and her sister and Escott should know not to have his laptop on the 'drinking table'!

    Comedy of Errors? More like Dante's inferno! One simply has to laugh somewhere along the line. Everyone is so seriously trying to assist and to help and genuinely good hearted with the best of intentions.. but the folks are so deeply inept. This juxtapostion is hilarious on the one side, but very very sad on the other.

  6. #6
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    Default Now I understand

    Why you did not show up yesterday!!

    One of the many prices we have to pay for living in paradise.

    HB

  7. #7
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    Talking

    The best one I ever witnessed was with an expat that brought a nice new shiny red Nissan pick up truck back in 97.

    Someone in the shop topped the water washer bottle up with battery fluid at the pre-delivery stage. Made one hell of a mess of the paint work, but at least it burnt the bugs of the windshield when he used the washers

    Santo Domingo Motors took back the pickup and fixed it up as new.
    They loaned the guy another pickup for a week while they fixed his up.

    I guess the service guy is no longer working there...

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hillbilly
    Why you did not show up yesterday!!

    One of the many prices we have to pay for living in paradise.

    HB
    Believe me, it was a good thing... If we had showed up, we probably would have driven straight into your living room... possibly we would have managed to stop just before we hit the card game... LOL

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris
    Oh no! When we met up with Anna at Rockies on Saturday, I dumped a Presidente all over Escott's laptop. It was good to see Anna and her sister and Escott should know not to have his laptop on the 'drinking table'!

    Comedy of Errors? More like Dante's inferno! One simply has to laugh somewhere along the line. Everyone is so seriously trying to assist and to help and genuinely good hearted with the best of intentions.. but the folks are so deeply inept. This juxtapostion is hilarious on the one side, but very very sad on the other.
    Yeah, remind me never to take my laptop to a place that has wireless internet for that purpose

    Never would a thunk anyone would drink beer at 8 am but what do I know. Didn't even have a screwoff top!

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