Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Helpful Locals - 8 December 2017

8 December 2017 – Yesterday as I was unloading my motorcycle, I was thinking it’s time to perform an oil change on my bike.  I’m only 300 Miles / 483 Kilometer off an oil change. I decided this would be a great opportunity to do it. I Googled motorcycle dealers in Mendoza and came back with 3 hits. You look at Google Maps and see such perfect streets and roads. I have yet to find that as I am driving or looking for any establishment. Initially I thought I was lost, but I accidentally found the place I was looking for. It was a small place. I met Carlos when I arrived and told him I would like to change my oil. I’m not sure who owned the business; it might have been the technician in the shop. But Carlos was good friends with him. This particular business didn’t have any oil that I liked. I showed them my Shell 15W-40 oil I run in my bike. Carlos said, there is no Shell gasoline or oil products in Mexico. So he recommended we go see another friend of his. Carlos led the way on his motorcycle and I followed.

We traveled less than 5/8 of a mile / 1 Kilometer to his friend’s place. Right across the street was a Kawasaki dealership so Carlos and I walked over to see what type of oil they had. Their best oil was Yamaha 20W-40. Perfect. I bought three quarts / liters and we left. We then drove over Carlos’s other friend. He was only a stone’s throw down the street. I drove by not knowing I was going to change oil there. Carlos motioned for me to come back. I got off my motorcycle and I met Julio. Julio owns his owns his own spare parts store. That’s what refacciones means. Through my cell phone translator and Carlos, I’m told to change oil here and Julio will provide me with an oil drain pan and any tools that I need. Carlos had other business to take care of and left. I really appreciated his help.

I pulled out the tools I would need from my bag and set them on Julio’s oil rack. I changed my oil in the street in front Julio’s part store.  I proceeded to start draining the oil under the supervision of Julio. It wasn’t long before a girl showed up with a salad in a plastic box. One for Julio, one for myself, and one for the young woman. I asked if I could complete my oil change first before I would eat. They said that was fine. I hoped I didn’t insult anyone by completing my oil change first. Julio and this young woman ate their salad and I got the oil drained and a new oil filter installed. 
While I was changing oil, there was a constant stream of people passing by the store and asking questions about my motorcycle. I talked with some but mostly Julio did the talking. I cleaned up the mess, put my tools away, and closed up my saddle bags. I then sat down with Julio and we talked about family, his parts store and my travels. 

Carlos stopped by one more time and we talked. He wanted to know if everything was going ok. While he was there we took pictures, and talked some more. Carlos was telling me about his son in Houston, Texas. He left again and Julio and I continued to talk. Julio helped me some with my Spanish, which I appreciated. He recommended a restaurant that I would have like to have stopped at. I never found the restaurant. I was really hungry and could have stood to have eaten something. I located an ATM and purchased some pesos. I then went food shopping at a nearby market and purchased some French bread. I keep the bread in my bags for when I can’t find a restaurant or am too lazy to look for a restaurant.

 I was putting all my goodies into my saddle bags when this young lad walks up gives my motorcycle a real hard look. His 250cc Sport Bike was parked a couple of parking spots down from mine. I knew he wanted to know more about my bike. We talked back and forth about my motorcycle and my travels through our cell phone translators. He was coming across as a pretty smart lad. I asked him what type of work he did. He said he was a student and studying nursing. He said next year he will start studying to be a doctor. We shook hands, took some pictures and parted ways. He introduced himself as Ed something something. It was a real impressive Spanish name. There is no way I can repeat it. He jumped on his motorcycle and was gone.

I finished closing up the saddle bags and left. I staggered around Mendoza making the taxi cabs and buses mad because I didn’t know where I was going. I expected the police get on my case with all my illegal u-turns. There were so many one-way streets it was almost maddening. Blanche was going crazy recalculating. She finally settled down when we got on the correct street back to the hotel. I went back to the hotel and planned my next day travels. I also sampled one fresh loaf of bread. That bread sure tasted good with peanut butter. In the restaurant portion of the hotel there either was a wedding going on or some kind of fiesta. The music was loud and the kids were running around like crazy. The music didn’t fall off until after 10:00 p.m. I guessing everyone was having a good time. 

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