Auto Problem and Solution
Ok, I'm here in Idaho. I have a job or two, I have a place to live, I unpacked all of my stuff within 48 hours of moving in which I have never ever done. Smooth sailing so far. Then the little battery light in my car came on. Oh great. It's the alternator. However, something strange happened. First of all, I told my cousin (my only cousin on my dad's side of the family, who lives here in Idaho along with my aunt) what was going, hoping that she would know a good auto mechanic who wouldn't charge me an arm and a leg. She did. Her husband can do all of the repairs himself as long as I'm able to find the parts I need. So, like any modern woman who is new to an area and knows nothing about cars, I did an internet search for used auto parts in Coeur D'Alene. The first place I tried has an alternator for my car (assuming it's exactly the right kind which we'll find out later) and it only costs $45!!! (Icelanders, that's about 5.625 kronur!) Unheard of! My last alternator that I had to get in 2008 when my car broke down in Albuquerque, New Mexico, cost me $125 plus the labor to install it!
I told the man on the phone that I had to talk to my cousin to see when he could get off of work to come help me out. Then something incredible happened... The man on the phone told me that his store was only open until 5:00 p.m., but that he lived in the town right next to where I live, and if we needed him to he could just bring the alternator home with him and meet us in town so that I can get my car back on the road today. ... Wait, what? Not only is he charging me a fraction of the cost of what I paid for this same part two years ago, but now he's going to make my life easier by meeting up with me and my cousin after hours and selling me the part on his own personal time??? Is this a trick? Have I stumbled into the Twilight Zone? Then he reminded me to bring the original alternator with me so we can make sure it's exactly the right one and I don't have to be inconvenienced. I'm sorry, I'm confused. Aren't you supposed to be charging me exorbitant prices and telling me to come back first thing in the morning if I can't make it to your shop by 4:59 p.m.? What on earth is going on here?
Apparently it is possible for people to be friendly and helpful, even if they work with cars and have the power to torture you and drain all of your funds because you need your car and they hold the key to making it go. I wouldn't have believed it if I hadn't seen it with my own eyes, but there you have it. People are friendlier here in the West. Everyone! Go to Coeur D'Alene Auto Recycling for all of your auto needs! They're human!
I found a bedroom to rent in an apartment that is down off the mountaintop where I was staying with my aunt for my first two weeks here, and closer to everything in town. I miss the greenery and being near my "kinfolk" but it's really nice not having to wake up two hours before I have to be at work in the morning, and not having to worry about forgetting something in town, because once you're back up the mountain you definitely don't feel like going all the way down again.
The roommates are friendly, they're married. The girl is 20 and the guy is 23. This room, with laundry, internet, all bills included, my own bathroom, and full use of the kitchen and living room, AND a month-to-month lease, is a really good deal. I can pick up and leave whenever I want, and it's clean and comfortable. The room came furnished with a (tiny) bed, a little shelf thing, and a desk, but it's fine. It's only short term anyway, and I fully unpacked all of my belongings for the first time in... well, over a year, that's for sure. It feels good to be settled down for the next little bit.
I had to sign an agreement to keep the bathroom clean (because it's also the guest bathroom), and to not bring drugs into the house, and agreeing on the rent and when it needs to be paid, and also that I wouldn't have any overnight guests of the opposite sex ("if applicable") in my room. I know, I know. They seem to be mega-Christians who don't believe in doing the horizontal polka before marriage. Whatever. Not only do I not want to get tied down in a relationship here, that bed is so tiny, what would be the point?!?!?! Plus, the obvious loophole that they didn't consider (being that they just got married in February of this year and all) is that nobody has to stay the night in order to get down to business, know what I'm saying? But what were they going to do, make me sign an agreement not to have sex in my room? Give me a break. They didn't say anything about animal sacrifices, howling at the moon, mud wrestling, etc. The apartment is on the ground floor, I almost wish I did have a boyfriend so I could sneak him in and out of the window like a teenager. I'm going to have to make some friends around here soon so I can stay the night at their houses and then stumble in the next morning wearing the same clothes as the night before, hair messed up, makeup smeared, reeking of the night's depravities, just to make the roommates sweat.
No but really, besides that they're very nice. They sent me a text before I moved in asking me what my favorite color is. I told them teal (I like lots of colors but figured teal was the safest), and when I moved in they had bought me a set of teal towels and put teal sheets on my bed! How cute! The girl introduced me to her mom last night, and they're both sweet kids. Also, yesterday before I left the house to run some errands I put on some nice smelling lotion that I have. I talked to them for a few minutes in the living room and then I left. As I was walking out the door, I heard the girl say something to the guy, but he couldn't hear her over the music he had on. She shouted, "I said she smells good!!!" Hahaha! I didn't let them know that I heard them and just kept walking.
Yesterday I woke up to the sound of organ music. When I emerged from my bedroom, I saw the guy playing the keyboard in the living room. He switched it over to piano mode while I was brushing my teeth and played a few songs. He plays very well, I was impressed. Maybe he's in their church's band or something. He told me his brother is in a band, I think it's a Christian one. Hey, as long as they don't try to burn me at the stake for witchcraft, I'm fine with them. After all, I'm technically Lutheran. And I was never brought up in a strict religious environment, so I was never traumatized by religion, I have nothing against The Man Himself and think all those wonderful things he said about peace, love and healing is right on. Just because I happen to incorporate lots of other spiritual paths into what I believe doesn't mean I have anything against "El Salvador". So if they don't want me to have a guy stay the night in my room, that's fine. I won't be here forever, and they bought me towels.