Monday, January 3, 2011

It's a good idea to drive with a full tank of gas

It's been pretty low key around here since grandma and grandpa left. I guess I needed some extra challenges this afternoon, and some where deep in the recesses of my noggin, I thought "wouldn't it be fun to drive around with almost no gas?" Maybe some flashback to Kramer driving past "E"

It's been raining for days. Not just an afternoon thunderstorm and sun the rest of the day, but a constant drizzle. We've been cooped up with the kids for 4 days, and it was time to get out, but unfortunately most museums (and parks!) are closed on Mondays. So to the mall we went! It was my first time driving with the kids, but I promised Matt that I would work on my driving and traffic is not nearly so bad during Feriados, so the mall it was. It didn't even cross my mind to check to make sure we had enough gas. But we made it there without any major glitches, found parking, and wandered around BH shopping looking at the display of Santa figures from around the world, reading books at the bookstore, and then getting things from my list at Carrefour. After 30 minutes in line with 3 kids (I kid you not), we headed back to the parking lot and started rolling down the road. I decided to take a "short-cut", and on the exit ramp the car died. I tried turning it over, but no dice. Called Matt, and of course he told me I should have filled it up.

Thankfully there were two BHTrans workers close to where I pulled off (there had been an accident earlier in the afternoon). They helped me push the car closer to their truck so it wouldn't get hit. Then they proceeded to help me flag a taxi, and they told the taxi driver to help me out. He drove me to two gas stations, looking for a container, and then helped me get the gas. He drove me back, and undercharged me--I only had R$10, and it cost more than that! The BHTrans workers helped me fill the car with gas from the gas "bag" (really, it was just a plastic bag that the attendants had filled with 4 liters of gas), and then proceeded to start the car for me. And all this only took about 45 minutes, even with three kids in tow.

I'm amazed at the kindness of strangers, the generosity that people have shown me, and the luck I had. Matt said, "it wasn't luck." And I'd have to agree. Someone was looking out for me. And I offer up a prayer of thanks, and hope that I remember to show the same kindness and generosity to next stranded stranger I encounter.


  1. The willingness of others to help out here is incredible. It is definitely one of those things that warms my heart about Brazil!

  2. I'm late commenting on this but just saw it. I have to respond about the 30 minutes in line at Carrefour with 3 kids. I'm so sorry. But the sad part is that I'm sort of surprised you were only in line for 30 minutes. This is Brazil. Thankful for the kindness of strangers, though, that redeemed that day.

  3. So true Kristy about waiting in line! And our experience here has been marked by so much kindness by so many strangers...