OK, I’m back, sort of up and running but not completely down and out. Lots of problems in the last week if you were wondering why I’ve left the blog vacant for the last five days so I’ll do a little catching up and keeping you all in the loop.
The vehicle is finally in the chop, but unfortunately not yet up on the hoist getting fixed. It is next in line once the mechanic clears his currents customers off from his list. He told me that he has been unbelievably busy since the onslaught of snow from three weeks ago. Every shop that I phoned were saying that the waiting time was anywhere from one to three weeks depending on what type of repairs are needed. For me, a dead fuel pump, up to a week. Where the vehicle sits now, the mechanic may be able to squeeze it in this Monday: fingers crossed.
The mechanic also told me that the most common problems that he is seeing coming into his shop are wheel damage from hitting curbs in the snow and engine damage from not replacing the antifreeze causing busted radiators and cracked engine blocks. With every weather event he figures there is always a spike in customers.
Life without a vehicle has been a mixed blessing. On one hand taking the public transit has made me appreciate the privilege of driving even more, yet on the other hand the transit service has improved only a small bit overall since my younger days of fully relying on it. Public transit in the Lower Mainland of Metro Vancouver seems to be very efficient when you only need to travel between densely populated areas; however, for me using it to go to work in South Surrey, BC, the system has not developed there yet. Sadly, for an industrial park that may employ up to two thousand people, everyone of us must drive to and from it ourselves there. Taking the bus to the University campus was a dream though compared to how it was a decade ago—and what a way to meet people.
The cost of courses has also taken a really big bit out of my budget. It was three weeks of lean living to pay off this semester’s costs. Once my courses were pay for, the textbooks were next, and with living expenses paid for, this meant that for the first week I had to go without books until the following pay cheque to buy them. Total cost for this term was $432.68, or just over one full course. Do not kid yourself, post secondary education is very expensive, and once all three levels of governments get finished with cutbacks and tax-reductions, only the wealthy will be sitting in those chairs. But I’m almost finished, so it is our children who will have to pay for the decisions we make today—sad eh, to look at it that way?
So with all the set-backs from last week, including the weather, I think I’m moving forward again. It was scary not knowing what to do when stuff started braking-down, costing more money than I make to fix them. When unexpected events happen I don’t think anyone is repaired for them, especially students. Although I’m not out of the woods yet as far as costs go, I think I can survive without to much loss. I’m driving the company vehicle to go to work for this weekend, so I’m not missing any work—that was awfully good of my employer to supply the van. Actually, it was easer to give me the vehicle than is was to find someone who could work the weekend shift. See, I’m not that disposable after all!