I would have been better off leasing a Lexus.

I took my Justy to the mechanic this morning because a week ago it started acting weird. Jerking, making bad grinding and screeching noises, revving the engine when I took my foot off the brake, stuff like that.

Of course, I didn’t know if the mechanic would speak English. My friend Esther recommended him, but she speaks fluent Dutch. So I wrote down a description of what was wrong with the car and sent it to my colleague Angie for translation.

She sent me an email back with a one line translation: “Mijn versnellingsbak is kapot” (which translates to: my transmission is busted).

This after I had taken all the time to detail out exactly what the symptoms where, what speeds they occurred at, etc. etc. So, in the interest of not biasing the mechanic I asked her to actually translate the whole thing and we’d let the mechanic decide.

Turns out the mechanic spoke English perfectly. So I dropped off the car with explicit instructions not to do any work without calling me. I called at noon and the mechanic hadn’t gotten to it yet. I called at 3pm and he said, “Yeah, it’s your gearbox.”

Should have saved Angie the trouble.

Turns out the damn thing will take on the order of 500 Euro to fix. A quarter of what I paid for the car. I’d rather spend 500 on baseball bats and crowbars and party streamers and charge admission to let the youth of Dordrecht beat my car into as tiny pieces as possible.

I only had the damn thing for seven months. That works out to 314 Euro a month. I could have leased a Lexus for that.

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