Jul 22, 2005, 9:28 AM
Post #4 of 6
One August many years ago, I rented a car at the Guadalajara airport and drove to Uruapan for a few days. While I was in Uruapan, I drove to Angahuan to see the volcano Paricutín. In those days, the road to Angahuan was unpaved. The drive up there was uneventful. On the drive back, I heard something POP under the car. It wasn't the tires, and we drove back to Uruapan without incident. At the outskirts of the city, I noticed that the gas tank was nearly empty (strange, I thought, it had been close to full...) and pulled into the Pemex station to fill up.
As the employee started to pump the gas, six or eight men suddenly converged on the rental car and banged on the windows. "Señora, your gas tank is broken, gas is running all over the street! You have to move the car right now!" Yikes! Big dilemma: turn on the car and risk a spark? The men motioned me to a nearby curb--no way! Five or six guys smoking cigarettes were sitting there watching what was going on. Blow us all to kingdom come? I don't think so.
"Where's the nearest mechanic who could fix this?" I asked. Two blocks down the street... I gingerly turned the key and headed toward the mechanic's shop, trailing gasoline along the street.
Even though it was 2 PM and time for his lunch, the mechanic agreed to stay and fix the gas tank. Two hours later, the tank was patched--and tested for leaks with soap applied to the outside of the patch--the gas that he'd syphoned out was replaced, and I was on my way. Charge? 85 pesos--but that was way back then.
Did I ever tell the car rental company what happened? Are you kidding? That's been 20 years ago, and I'll bet that little rental Nissan is still running up and down the streets here in Guadalajara--complete with the lunch-hour patch on the gas tank.