20 May 2011

Fan Belts

We were riding home on a marshrutka from Bishkek today when a car passed us with its passengers waving their arms at us.  So our driver pulled over to open the hood, checked the engine, and then hopped back in the marshrutka and turned around.  We drove back toward Bishkek for a few kilometers looking for something on the ground.  Finally one of the passengers in the front spotted the missing fan belt. 

The driver pulled over again, got the fan belt and put it back on and dumped a couple of liters of water in the radiator and took off again.  We picked up a stray passenger in Kant and on the way out of Kant, it was clear the driver was looking for something new.  It turned out to be a car wash where he pulled in and asked them to fill up the radiator.  The car wash people had a good laugh along with all of us in the marshrutka.  I don't think they get asked that every day.

So we pulled out of the car wash and immediately there was a snapping sound.  Yes, it was the fan belt, but this time there was no way it was going back on.  This time the driver crossed the road and flagged down another marshrutka.  He hopped on that one and disappeared down the road.  By this time we were all pretty amused (what else can you do?) and we waited to see what would happen. 

About five minutes later our driver appeared in yet another marshrutka and loaded us onto that one.  After asking where we wanted to go, we drove off to Tokmok. 

The best part really was the car wash part.  Marshrutkas don't often stop with a full load to get their car washed, let alone to fill the radiator.  The look on their faces (and ours too, probably) was priceless.

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