It’s Thursday evening and I’ve made plans with Jo Anna to have a girls weekend and come and visit her up in Brisbane. The drive to Brisbane is fairly straightforward, about an hour and 15 minutes up the highway and you’re there. I’m a little anxious heading out as I’ve hardly driven at all at night here in Australia, not to mention on the other side of the road. I give my head a shake and remind myself that I drove everyday back in Canada and that I have nothing to worry about.
After 15 minutes I’m out of the city and onto the highway, it should be smooth sailing from here, so I thought. Another 25 minutes or so pass, when I look down and see the heating gauge creeping up dangerously high. I tell myself not to panic, the car does have a tendency to get quite hot, but usually it’s only when we’re driving in the city, not on the highway. Another few minutes pass and the needle is almost at the max. I immediately pull over and turn the car off, hoping this will help to cool it down. I let 10 minutes pass and then turn the car on again, I pull back onto the highway and within minutes the gauge is back in the danger zone. At this point I know I have to get to a gas station as quickly as possible to see what the problem is. I slow down to about 80km/hr on the freeway and put my hazards on praying the next exit will have a gas station.
After what seems like ages, I pull off at the exit and into the first gas station I can find. I turn off the car and think, “Now what?” A husky guy is filling up his truck next to me, and I ask him if he wouldn’t mind looking in the hood of the car as it has been overheating. He walks over, pops the hood, and spots the damage immediately. The radiator hose has a giant rip in it and the radiator fluid has leaked everywhere, hence the overheating. “You won’t be driving anywhere tonight with that” he tells me. Great, my first time driving at night without Andrew, and I am stuck here at a gas station in the middle of nowhere, halfway between Surfers Paradise and Brisbane.
Luckily, I have Andrew’s iPhone, so I look up some numbers for onside repairs and tow trucks. A small crowd of guys have started to gather around my car, each offering their solution on how to fix it. One guy in a pick-up truck is leaving the station, and calls out to one of the others about the problem with my car. He walks over to my car, takes one look, and says it can be fixed no problem, I just need to get a new radiator hose and install it. Of course, this sounded as simple to me as if he had asked me to recite the German national anthem.
“I think there’s an auto shop down the street that’s still open, if they have the part, I can repair it no problem”. And just like that I hopping into his pickup truck as we to the auto shop. As luck would have it, the store is open late on Thursdays, and they have the part in stock. Back to the gas station we go, and within 15 minutes, the hose is changed, the radiator is filled with fluid and my oil is topped up. I offer him a bottle of wine for his help, as it’s all I have on me to offer. He says it was no trouble at all, and heads back on his way.
What looked like it might cost be $200 to get it towed, and then likely $100 bucks to repair in the shop, ended up costing me $24.99 and a bottle of wine. Sometimes fate works in mysterious ways, putting me at the right gas station at the right time to meet the right person. Thank you to everyone who helped out, I will be paying this one forward for quite some time.