Thursday, June 08, 2006

The Dudley Chronicles - Week 2

Sorry, I have to explain - I stay in my place of work in a Bed and Breakfast (B&B) then drive home on weekends to my family. Then I repeat the whole cycle come Monday. On the first week I drove Sunday evening, I did the same on the second but I reckon I could drive very early morning on a Monday to save a night's board and lodging.

Anyway, I moved to different B&B because the previous can't accommodate me. This one is in the Sedgeley area. Although the elderly lady and her partner were very nice, the location wasn't so ideal for me. It's right on a busy road which caused me to have difficultly in getting sleep. It would have been okay if I keep the windows closed but as some nights are quite warm I had no choice but to open them. Another is the difficulty in coming out of their narrow driveway which is made doubly dangerous because of the amount of traffic. I could see why it's popular, mainly due to its walking distance to a popular computer training school. So she gets lots of students from there. But it might be my last stay here unless everybody else is full.

This week I get to use the cheap Volvo car we bought specifically for my weekly commuting. I'm not pointing fingers but it's really what my husband want not my choice really. And it's turning out to be a nightmare. There are lots of smoking coming out of the tailpipe, engine is underpowered, no radio, key (which is computer chipped) is broken, side lights not working, etc. You may say, that's what you get out of a cheap car but really I'm not expecting this much problems with it. What's worse was when my husband took it to our local official Volvo repair centre who were either grossly incompetent or just ripped us off our hard earned cash. It should have been just a case of checking if everything's working fine and fixing whatever minor problems it has. But it left the place with more problems than when it came there! My husband has to ferry to and from different garages to patch up the glaring problems (including my thinning patience). One advantage of the Volvo saga is that cars stay well behind me to avoid the copious smoke it's belching.

Our family's car problems did not end there. The Toyota Lucida decided it had enough and developed engine problems. Upon inspection, they found out that a gasket is broken. Price for replacement and fix = £1000. We decided it would be more practical to replace the whole engine which costed $1100 only £100 more than just the gasket. There were a few minor hiccups but it was smooth sailing for the most part. Hopefully this would extend Lucida's working life for a few more years.

As for my homesickness, by Tuesday I have well and truly kicked it. I can think of my kids without almost breaking into tears. Things are looking up at work as well. They've finally given me something to do!

No comments: