Cracking The Van Code

This post is different from the others but I’ve learned some things, so I would like to share them with you…

Everything was ready: umbrellas, sand buckets, wheelchairs, suntan lotion. Our long-time mechanic put his “indestructible” stamp on our “young Tojota” and told my father himself: “You can ride her all the way to China, she is in top shape“. “We don’t need her to go to China“, I thought, it’s enough that she gets us to Greece and back. And so early one morning, we started naively, as children on this excursion.

I try to spend the biggest part of my journey lying down because I find it difficult to sit any more when I’m already in a wheelchair, my sister is already stuck on the principle ‘I’m beautiful’, though she has a job  like all front passengers, to entertain the driver so that he doesn’t fall asleep. The other parent has the task of using the fridge and when someone asks for some strategic nutrition to get it, and to not make a pig out of himself.

Batocina Serbia Travel

We went past Belgrade, proud of our passing time (90 km of average speed), we went further, when  our ‘small’ Tojota shut down near Batocina. Our van is very old, and there is not much electronics in it. We knew it was serious, because all the lights we did not even know it had suddenly turned on. What can be done? Well put on a yellow vest and look under the hood for starters…

Batocina Serbia Travel

Thank god for mobile devices, we could call car service. The whole van swung left and right  from the cars that were driving on the freeway.

Batocina Serbia Travel

While we are waiting, my parents’ ‘artistic’ dialog can commence:

Dad: “Well, I told you that we shouldn’t have gone on vacation with this old car!

Mom: “What are you talking about!? Do you know how old Boings are?! 50 years!!! And they still fly!!! STILL!!!!

Dad: “Better to have flown, even with an old Boing! At least it would have been faster!

Mom: “You didn’t even want to go to Greece…

Dad: “Who doesn’t pay now pays later…”

 

And then comes the mechanic and breaks up this folklore.

Batocina Serbia Travel

The van can be easily set up but I am the real problem…

Batocina Serbia Travel

And here is the point of this story.Namely, by “law” while the car is towed, the passengers are driving in another taxi, which comes separately. We explain to the mechanic that even five strong men have no chance to get me into an ordinary passenger car because they are all physically inaccessible for me. The mechanic understands the situation, the man is overwhelmed, he has in a Hamlet’s dilemma.Does he violate the law or act as a human being?And in front of us, as if lurking… a pay toll with a bunch of policemen…

Batocina Serbia Travel

a bargain is made. My sister and my father will go with him, I can’t be seen from the outside of the van anyway, and my mother is going to lay on the floor so that we can get past the tollbooth. I REALLY don’t know what we would have done if the mechanic didn’t agree….

Batocina Serbia Travel

Batocina Serbia Travel

And so, when we arrived at the mechanics shop the only thing left to do was wait for the diagnose.

Batocina Serbia Travel

Batocina Serbia Travel

Batocina Serbia Travel

Batocina Serbia Travel

Au“, said the mechanic, “If you did not stop straight away your van could have been nothing more then a pile of trash“. A quick exchange of looks between my parents of the type you-see-I-told-you-so and the like. We wait for the verdict.

Batocina Serbia Travel

Batocina Serbia Travel

The mechanic wants to help, he treats us as like children, we’re in his power. He just needs to go to the nearby town to buy the spare part, he says, but it will cost us. And so, after a two hour delay, the moment of truth. The Tojota purrd like a kitten, and so, full of optimism, we continued our journey.

Batocina Serbia Travel

And what is the moral of this story, you ask?

Our van broke down in front of Batocina. The probability of getting a taxi for a wheelchair user in this or any other city from Serbia is zero. If the mechanic didn’t want to help us we wouldn’t have been able to return home, let alone go to Greece.I don’t expect that there is a special tax for such situations, but at least that there aren’t any meaningless regulations that make the lives of us wheelers more difficult.

After this situation, the memories of my vacation are all the more sweeter.

Batocina Serbia Travel

 

Did YOU have problems with your car?

 

Visited and (NOT)enjoyed,

Marko Veličković.

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