last year (right around this time) when we bought our car, we thought we were getting a really good deal. ha! if only we had known... i mean, we were glad to have bought it when we did (since i was with child and not a fan of riding on the scooter), and we did end up paying less for it than we had planned. but since then, i has been the bain of my existence. i think our first clue should have been when the fuel pump happened to break as we were starting the car to drive home, literally one minute after shaking the guy's had that we bought it from. since that moment, we have had so much trouble with it. i think we've paid almost as much to fix the car as we did to buy it. too bad we didn't just buy a nicer one on a payment plan. i can't even list all the things we've had to get fixed but a short list includes the fuel pump, the water pump, the ignition, the distributer, the lights, the breaks, and oh yeah - rebuilding the engine.
so since we have a car that likes to visit the garage every other week or so, we have to have a mechanic. enter ziad. now, ziad is the second bain of my existnence. on the one hand, he is great. he is so nice, he will come resuce us wherever we happen to be stranded, he will let us borrow his car when ours is being fixed, he lets us pay him whenever we can. on the other hand, he sucks. the main problem with ziad is that he's our friend now, so we can't dump him. you just don't do that kind of thing here - you stick with whatever mechanic, gas guy, plumber, or other guy that you start with, espcially if you become friends. his other problems include that he's at least an hour later than he says he will be to resuce us, he takes at least two hours longer to fix our car than he says he will, and we always, always, ALWAYS have to take it back to him to tweek something.
we think we've figured out why this is. ziad has some chickens in his garage. they just run around while he works on the cars and they're always covered in motor oil, much like the mechanics are. the chickens are very important to ziad. he's told us this. our newest theory is that when we take our car to his garage, ziad sticks the chickens under the hood, closes it, lets them peck around for a few minutes, opens the hood and calls it fixed. then he drives our car around for a while to see if it works, and when it sort of does, he brings it back to us. then the next day when it won't work for us, he comes to our house and actually does the work here.
and if he doesn't let the chickens fix it, he has very, shall we say...unconvential ways of fixing things. for example, the water from our ratiator leaks. this is after the chickens pecking at it at least five times. so the other day, which he was working on the distributor, i mentioned that the water was still leaking. then i went inside becuase hiba was taking a nap and i figured she would wake up soon. a few minutes later, andrew (our neighbor who works with jason) shows up at the door holding a cap to a water bottle and says: "ziad needs you to fill this with black pepper". yes, that is right. apparently, if your water leaks you can pour a cap full of black pepper in the radiator and it works as a plug. i think the chickens were hungry.