Friday, September 10, 2004

I’m back in Artsakh. I was in Yerevan for a week getting body work done on my car after being hit from the passengers side a month.

It was a long drive and I left Yerevan late since my car which was at the body shop was not ready at 1 PM as I was told it would be.

In fact, it was not even painted at 1 PM. I was told at 1 PM that it would be ready by 5 PM.

When I got to the body shop at 6 PM, they were just taking off the paper and masking-tape, with panels, bumpers and so on that still needed to be installed.

Since the work was not going very fast, I helped out and installed a couple of interior door panels, molding and even the front bumper, which was much lighter than I expected it to be.

By the time we finished, it was 9 PM and at that time, I was given the news that my battery was dead because the ignition would not turn off and instead of disconnecting the battery, they just let it die.

We removed the battery from the car that belonged to the owner of the body shop so we could start the car. When I tired to start it, I discovered that there was no gas in my car. We siphoned out some gasoline from the body shop owner’s car and when I tried to start the car, it would not start. After checking if we had any spark to the sparkplugs and discovering that there was no spark, I knew that the coil had burned out when they left the ignition on, as this has happened once before.

The body shop owner gave me his car to go get a coil and some more gasoline. He had a nice car which had a license plate with those fancy number that the police don’t stop (## US 777). I drove to an auto parts store, got a newer Niva coil (they work on Mercedes) and also 4 liters of gas.

I returned to the body shop, installed the coil, filled the gas and right away, the car started up.

We removed the battery that belonged to the body shop owner and replaced my battery with the engine still running.

I paid the bill and headed to a gas station and without turning off the engine (since the battery was not charged yet), I filled up the car, added a liter of oil (I checked the oil before starting the engine to see that it was low) and at 10:15 PM, headed for Artsakh.

The trip was uneventful and at 3 AM, we arrived in Stepanagert to my fiancés brother-in-law and sister’s house, where we woke them up and were given a meal of very tasty green-beans and homemade bread.

The next morning I woke up and took the car to the Sasoun, the auto electrician, to fix the ignition switch. He was busy, so I took the steering wheel apart, removed the ignition and discovered that it was not an electrical problem, but a mechanical problem with the lock.

Fortunately for me, it was nothing that could not be fixed (I think) and Sasoun’s neighbor Zaven works on locks. Something inside the lock was jammed and the key was stuck in the open position. Though Zaven had never worked on a Mercedes ignition, he told me to leave it with him and he would do something. I agreed and left the lock with him, returning to Sasoon’s where I rigged up the ignition device that mounts on the back of the lock so I could use a screwdriver or coin to start my car. Of course if this was Los Angeles, I would fear that someone could steal my car, but this is Artsakh and it is unheard of that someone would steal a car.

In the afternoon we visited with some friends, one of who sees the future in coffee cups. Fortunately for me there are no deaths of people close to me in the near future and I’m relatively happy with lots of wealth coming my way. I also have 2 guests coming, one expected and one I was not expecting (though now I know who the unexpected guest is, as I got an e-mail from her today to inform me of her arrival on the 18th, which is also a day that something good is to happen).

At 5 PM, we headed to Martuni. It was just like I left it, with tons of things waiting for me to do. Though I was only gone for a little more than a week, it seemed like I was gone for a month. I always get a very good feeling when I drive into town and a feeling of relief when I park my car in my garage.

Anyway, I know this was a long boring log, but hey this is what life has been dealing me these last few days.

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