It was a long day yesterday!
I managed to tear myself from the needs of everyone at home to go and see about our car.
I took it first to the repair shop, where a nice gentleman in a Sikh headdress checked it for any kind of mechanical problems. Actually, he just walked around it, turned it on, listened to the engine, looked if any lights alerting us to problems within the car were on (didn't find any) and told me to watch out for the indications if the radiator is leaking.
After that he recommended a body-shop some ways away from our area, where I might get a better price.
The thing is, we only have liability insurance, and it covers damages to a car that Sonny hit, as well s damages to people in a said car, but doesn't cover repairs to our vehicle or a rental car that we will need to get while Honda is in the shop.
So, I got tempted by the promise of and went driving in search of a better deal.
Do you see this pristine, orderly place? Well, the yard of the body shop where I went didn't look anything like it! It was crowded by cars in various stages of dismantlement and repair. A man was banging at the hood of one of them and he smiled broadly and pointed me to a trailer, where the office was. There another Sikh gentleman listened gravely to my story, got up without saying anything and sauntered outside, where he proceeded to go about doing ten different things before, finally, alighting next to my car.
He looked it over, pursed his lips and made some notes, counting parts that needed to be replaced or repaired. He then simply told me the fee, which was not a bad one: just $1,200. I, in turn, pursed my own lips, went through a bunch of considerations and plans in my head and agreed to his price.
Later, I thought that I could've, probably, bargained with him, but I got too soft in the U.S., and my bargaining skills almost atrophied by now. To tell the truth, I hardly ever think to do it, although, when I do, I am never disappointed: I always get a better deal!
The gentleman and I went back to the trailer, where we filled out the paperwork. He was a genius of multi-tasking, doing many different things at once. Unfortunately, it meant that I had to spend long periods looking at the mess in the trailer, thinking if I, by some miracle, would get a piece of a giant pizza sitting on a small table (lunch time came and went, but I didn't eat anything), and reading my book.
The paperwork done, I now had to get a rental car agency to pick me up to rent a vehicle. I realized by then that, there was a zero possibility of me having any of the pizza, and I didn't want to impede the workers, who started to fill the tiny trailer, from having their meal. I walked out and sat on a random chair in the middle of the cars in the yard to wait for someone from the rental agency to pick me up.
I was well into my book (45 minutes later), when that person appeared. We drove to the office, where they gave me (for a hefty price) this little Volkswagen Jetta. I never drove a VW and never a car that red!
The work on my Honda is promised to be done in five days. I have a VW for a week.