The following fails are very small in the grand scheme of things, but I think they nicely illustrate the total failure and utter incompetence that is just rife here in the Failopines.
I finally broke down and bought myself a proper motorcycle. I have wanted one pretty much my whole life, but just never got around to buying one. Finally when I moved here to the Philippines it seemed like the perfect time and place.
Cruising around on my new bike had gotten it pretty dirty. I headed over to the local car wash to have them shine it all up for me. As the guy is finishing it up he comes over and hands me a wheel weight. Very much to his credit he says, “Sir, I am really sorry, I was washing tire and this came off”. It is my belief most others would have simply ignored it and pretended it never happened. I told him, “No worries dong, I will head over to the tire shop and have them stick it back on”. I paid for the car wash, gave the guy a small tip and drove over to the largest tire shop in our area. I pull up to the front of the shop and one of the guys comes out, “How can I help you sir”? I hand him the wheel weight and ask him if he can put it back in its proper place. He looks down at the weight and then at me and then at my bike. After turning it over a few times he nervously walks over to the front tire and starts trying to match it up with the brake rotor, the caliper, the fork and finally the rim. I asked him if he had any idea what he was holding in his hand. “No sir”. “How long have you worked here in this shop dong”? “Two years and one half sir”, he cheerfully replied.
Now it’s my turn to stand head tilted, mouth agape. “Dong, you have worked in a tire shop for two and half years and you have never seen a wheel weight?” “No sir”. Oooooookay! “Well since I am already here can you check my tire pressure”? Now he is happy again, this is something he knows about. “Sir you want me to put air in the tires”? “No, check the pressure first and see if they need air”. “The manual says it should be 28 PSI in the front and 30 PSI in the rear”, I tell him. Now he is nervous again. “Sir we don’t have a pressure gauge”.
Come on, really? Really? I can feel the migraine starting. “How can a shop that sells and services nothing but tires, not have a pressure gauge”? “I don’t know sir, we have not had one in the time I have been here.” “We just put air in it until the tire feels hard and let some back out if it feels too hard.”
I thanked the nice young man for his time, put my helmet on and drove back home, wondering once again how anyone on this island manages to survive at all.Published in