joulukuuta 22, 2007

Home for the holidays

Christmas vacation started memorably this year. First we discovered that my car radio had got stolen over the past couple of days. Of course not a pleasant state of things as such, but it was still relieving that the thieves had not made away with the car itself. Well, it is a 1995 Toyota, so probably not precisely the first choice of any self-respecting car thief.

However, whether due to this or just as a coincidence the car started acting a little strangely almost as soon as we hit the road. The battery and the handbrake warning lights were on even though the handbrake was quite obviously down. At first there did not seem to be anything wrong with the battery, but ever so slowly things started dying out. The digital clock would disappear, the windshield wipers moved sluggishly as if they were pulling a ton of rocks behind them, the blinkers blinked no more... The car itself still moved, but then it too started to cough. It coughed until it could no more and then it just solemnly refused to progress another meter.

It was quite interesting really - steering the car, but the gas pedal not responding in anyway. I used to have these nightmares maybe five-ten years ago where that happened, but in those dreams the brakes would not respond either. Luckily this time they did, because it probably would have been a little too interesting had they not.

So there we sat, the car full of suitcases and x'mas presents and waited for the phoned in help to arrive. That did not take too long and after some twists and turns a shyly smiling man by the name of Markku told us that the battery had come to the end of its life and the charger (if that is what it is called) did not work anymore. In other words we had a very dead car in our hands and we were still a long way from where we wanted to be - the eastern parts of the country, that is.

Markku towed us to the nearest gas station and there we waited an hour or two for the cavalry to arrive so we could continue the journey. And so it was a couple of hours late that we got where we were supposed to be. And now the stomach is again full of food, the body and mind cleansed by that wondrous institution called sauna and the house is as full of people as it should be.

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