Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The Story of a Scooter (#15)

Tuesday, October 18:
My poor little old scooter had a rough day today! It has been through a lot in the 3+ years I have owned it. Since I bought it from a teacher who was moving back to the U.S. for about US$200, it has driven me through rainy Yilan winters, made it all the way around Taiwan, and carried many guests, including my grandma, not to mention getting me to and from all the various schools I teach at. This semester, I need to drive almost twice as much and started thinking about upgrading a little, after all my little scooter was already 12+ years old when I bought it.  Now 3 years later, I was thinking it was time to switch. But I was still a little hesitant, did I really need a new scooter? Was this a good investment? I’d been to look at some secondhand scooters last week, and still hadn’t reached a decision. Then two very odd things happened today. First, when I went to drive to school this afternoon, I found that my rear tire was almost completely flat. I ended up having to take a taxi to and from class. I was really worried about the extra cost, and didn’t really want to spend a lot of money on a new tire when I was thinking of buying a different scooter. Plus I wasn’t sure how I was going to get my scooter somewhere to be repaired. But I called the repair shop I’ve used before, and they came to get it from my house, found the leak, patched up the tire, and even tightened my breaks. When it was time to pay, I was a little confused, they told me it only cost one dollar. I was like one hundred? Five hundred? Nope. NT$1. That’s like 30 cents. Oh Taiwan, I love you! How much would the towing alone have been in Canada?
So then I drove out to my Chinese teacher’s house and on the way, it started making a strange, scary, but completely unrelated noise. I was just praying as I was driving (in the pouring rain I might mention) that I would make it. I decided that it really was time to say goodbye to this scooter. After class, we went over to look at scooters, and I drove mine over to get it checked out but it didn’t make the noise. After a test drive and some discussion I decided on a scooter that was about the same age as mine when I got it, but in better condition. The price? $10,000 (about $300 Canadian). But THEN they looked at my scooter and told me they’d take off $2500 for the trade in since it’s still in pretty good condition, which brought the price down to $7500, only $1500 ($50 dollars) more than I paid for my current scooter! What’s more, I could get it the next day! I felt at peace and you know what, my scooter didn’t make any strange noises the whole way home. I guess it was meant to be.

Update: The story doesn't end there! One of the reasons I was hesitating on buying the scooter was because I wasn't sure I could afford it, but some friends graciously offered to lend me some money to pay for the bike, and I could pay them back at my own pace later. When I found out the lower price on Tuesday, I decided to take them up on the offer and borrowed part of the money from them to get my scooter. What I didn't know until later was that the couple had decided separately to gift me the money, but didn't have a chance to talk about it until after I'd been there. So I was surprised by a text message later that day telling me! What a blessing! So many things working together for good!

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