Sunday, December 18, 2011
Stuff in the car.... then even more stuff.
Hello My name is Tancho and I am a packer.......
One of my weaknesses is that I pack the car to extremes. This probably comes from years of crossing the border, waiting for the green light to glow like a warming smile, welcoming me to bring down useless bobbles and trinkets only valuable to me.....
I learned to pack the car from necessity. When we were building the house I use to bring down stuff from hinges to electrical circuit breakers, lamp sockets to radio links used to control our multiple attempts of water to pump controls over the years.
I learned to utilize every little nook an cranny of the car. From the small areas between the fold down seats to the spaces underneath the seats and next to the car jack storage places was occupied with parts or items.
One of my times that I was unfortunate to get the red light years ago, the agent gave up as I kept taking stuff out of the car.....they allowed us to continue with the aid of some spare change for a refresco.
This packing syndrome turned against me sort of with being rear ended.
I was pretty proud of utilizing all those tiny spaces in the car. Since we were leaving for multiple weeks with family and friends to entertain. My favorite libations, refrescos and items like bitters and special ice cube trays would make my life more enjoyable.
Since we were meeting friends from NOB, there were small trinkets and gifts that were packed for filling their stockings that would end up being hung with care at their prospective haunts.
Our car is not a large SUV but Honda classifies it as a mid SUV.
About 20 seconds after the flying shards of glass rested down around the roadway, clothes and places unimaginable, my thoughts came to my carefully packed items.
First of all their was no way except a cutting torch or the jaws of life to open the rear hatch of the car. It almost looked like the rear was one cast piece of metal and I know that it was going to be almost impossible to retrieve a lot of the stuff.
In fact as I mentioned before , in my positive denial of the situation, I had thought that a simple crowbar prying would release the crumpled rear of the car against the tire allowing us to proceed someone impaired but manageable to get back on the road quickly.
I was wrong.
We also had the realization that somehow, a fully packed SUV with two dogs, three adults with suitcases, coolers, provisions would be easy to transport to our next destination.
I also knew that we would have to spend the night in Guadalajara one way or another.
I also knew that all that stuff would not fit into one of the normal small subcompact tiny teeny weeny cabs.
We probably had enough stuff to fill three of those vehicles.
One of insurance guys sprung to attention and said he had a friend who had a van that would take us to the hotel for the night.
In the meantime we were still in limbo, not knowing if we were going to have our car and the tractor trailer impounded since our insurance didn't want to assume the command and take control.
We couldn't believe that this story was unfolding the way it was. We had done everything right. Had valid insurance, had a licensed driver operating the vehicle, and we even paid for the toll.
How could it be possible that our car would be impounded along with the perpetrator of the accident. Why would we have to be inconvenienced even more by not even having our car repaired and items replaced?
Why would we have to stay in Guadalajara, go to the Public Minister to have to prove the cost of the car, provide the original bill of sale, provide all the original bill of sales for the damaged items.
Why should we have to be available to multiple appointments to have to justify all of those things?
"Because that is how the procedure works in Mexico" Was the input from everyone, from the insurance guy to the police....
Impossible......that just doesn't sound right......so I called our insurance agent.
They said, they were helpless. We had to go by what the agent or the adjuster told us.
At this point he was trying to weasel out of the responsibility which we assumed was part of the insurance process.
( Now I know why most of our Mexican friends don't have insurance and laugh at us for spending our money buying insurance.)
I asked if a rental car was part of the policies benefits.
"Only if you purchased that option was the answer"......Gee thanks, I guess that answer is NO.
So at this point we had hovered around the car for 3 or 4 hours. We found out that we were only about half way trough our nightmare.
It was about then that I notice liquid dripping out of the rear of the car. On the positive side I knew it was not the radiator leaking.
In my packing I had packed a few bottle of our favorite tequila. Couple of one liter bottles of a new refresco that I had been turned on to by a friend in Mazatlan, some bottles of Tonic water, and a few bottles of regular water. They were all in a place that prevented me from retrieving any of them. I am sure that the auto body guys will probably have a great lunch time when they pry off the rear hatch....
It was time for the tow truck to be called. The insurance guy called. They showed up about 15 minutes later. One for the truck that hit us and one for us.
The only problem is that truck for our car was a regular tow wrecker. The Honda needs to be towed on a flat bed trailer type truck.
I doubled checked the owners manual and verified that fact.
I told the driver of the truck that. He kept working on adjusting his truck to hook up our car.
I told him again that the car had to be towed on a flat bed truck....because the drive train would be damaged.
He kept readying the carriage to hook up.
Could it be my Spanish was not good? I told my wife to tell him that he could not tow the vehicle that way. Same response....
He kept readying it, lowering the boom, adjusting the hooks to match the location of the tires.
What? How hard is it to understand that they need the flat bed truck?
Finally I told one of the policemen that I wanted him to stop the guy from hooking up and he went over to him and told him, just as he was sliding his body under the front with a chain and big hook.
Great , that's all we need, they get the car to be fixed, only to find out that after it's repaired we will have drive train or transmission issues because some lackey doesn't get it, that some cars cannot be towed that way.
He stopped after the policeman talked to him.
So now we having to wait for the flat bed truck to come. In the mean time we are starting to remove any and all the stuff from the car that we can get out. Our bags, tool box, boxes of dog food, clothes, gifts that we were bringing for our friends.
Keys, miscellaneous items like flashlights, gate openers, books, sunglasses.......you get the picture.
It was about that time that the insurance man came over and said that we could tow the car to the Honda dealership, since the owner of the truck somehow came up with either an insurance policy or bond of some sort. Neither vehicle will have to be impounded.
That was good news, because Mexican impound lots have the reputation of being used car parts depots.
We told the new tow truck operator to take it to the Honda dealer. The insurance adjuster told us that we needed to go to the dealership and make arrangements to have them check out the vehicle tomorrow.
More to follow.....