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Mark’s Adventure in Getting an Oil Change

In Costa Rica, it’s not like there is a Jiffy Lube on every corner. When it was time to get an oil change, I asked for referrals from some of our Tico friends. I didn’t try to add the information into Waze (the Costa Rica preferred direction app) until I hit the main road. No internet. I didn’t know exactly where I was going, but I headed towards town (Quepos).

I saw what appeared to be a mechanic’s shop, so I stopped. Still, no internet. I then went to check my Kolbi app (our local internet provider). Mystery solved. I was out of data. Not only could I not find the directions to the referred mechanic, I couldn’t use my translator app to communicate. Luckily, between my terrible Spanish and the mechanic’s limited English, I discovered that he could change my oil and check my fluids. This place was closer to our house and was 20,000 colons (about $40 U.S.) less than I planned on paying.

As I waited, I wandered around only to discover that an auto parts store, more like a shed, was right behind the mechanic shop. I had been looking to have a L.E.D. light bar installed on my car because it is so dark here and the headlights are not bright enough. Again, with my terrible Spanish I was able to communicate with the shop keeper. He gave me his WIFI password. Magic! I was able to communicate with my translator app. The shop keeper has a friend who installs L.E.D. light bars at his house just around the corner. The shop keeper gave me his friend’s contact information and it looks like I am going to get my lights at a huge savings next week.

While waiting for the mechanic to finish with the car, I was able to get on the Kolbi app and replenish my account. Magic! The mechanic finished, showed me he checked the fluids and also added some chemical to my batteries (yes, my car has two batteries, I don’t know why). He was a nice guy and I told him I would definitely return in the future. This experience taught me I really need to always check my cell/data plan has money on it. On second thought, if I had data, I would never have found this mechanic or been referred to the light guy, so maybe the lesson is something entirely different.

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