Thursday, June 5, 2014

The MIghTy African becomes a mechanic

I went to drop off a friend at Legon just before #WaakyeWednesday came to a close. When I was leaving for the house, and got to the Okponglo traffic light, something caught my attention. It made me and the vim ride stop. A taxi driver had stopped right at the junction and obviously needed help. Like many good Samaritans, I volunteered to help him and asked what the issue was. He couldn't spark the car to get out. I've had this issue many times and knew exactly what to do to help him. 

I parked the car right in front of his, both rides making up a 90 degree angle. I got my jumper cables out of the trunk, err boot. I opened up the car bonnet and proceeded to ensure that I was identifying the positive and negative terminals for the car battery for the umpteenth time. I connected the positive terminal from mine to his but we couldn't get the other cable to the respective negative terminals. I got back into the driver's seat, reversed and parked closer. This time the positioning was right. The driver tried to spark his car but it didn't respond. I started praying, in French, nonetheless. Hey, it worked once. The car still wouldn't respond. "My petrol is finished". Great.

But wait, this has also happened to me before. As soon as the taxi driver gets some fuel in his car, he'd be good to go. He gave me a gallon and 20 GHC. "Buy 15 cedis". Actually I think he said "tɔ 15 cedis" in Twi. :-) I went over to SEL petrol station in Bawaleshie and bought the fuel. I could see the gallon dripping after the guy at the fuel station was forcing to fill the gallon with 15 GHC worth of fuel. "Clean it well o! Abeg". I got back to the driver with the fuel and he replenished his car's juices with consummate ease. Just as he was about to go spark the car, I realised he had a flat tire. "I mean really?" I thought this to myself.

We connected the terminals again and this time, his car responded. We discussed the flat tyre problem. I gave this some thought and finally said. "You can use my spare tyre". He was shockprised. "I can manage to get to a vulcanizer so he can pump the tyre". He considered my request. But then he checked my tyres and said that my rim (and spare tyre) is bigger than what he uses and mine won't fit. Well, that saves me some time and having handle this problem past this night. I collected his phone (just in case) and flashed him. We exchanged pleasantries and headed out.

As we crossed the main Legon-Madina (Legon East) road, I realised he hadn't really left. I parked by the Freetown Avenue waiting for him. When he caught up, he said that he couldn't find the 5 GHC change from buying the fuel. "Oh, check the seat". It wasn't there. I checked my pockets and felt a note. There, the picture of the Big Six on the note. I handed over to him. Funnily enough, when I posted about this on Google+, +Atitsogbui Patrick Keli talked about how a taxi driver would have charged me money if I was the one who needed help. Yeah, I've paid such Good Samaritan fees before. It didn't cross my mind to ask for anything. Would you? As I finally went home, I thought to myself - "
I Made #Ghana Better Today". #IMGBT
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