This is a post I have been wanting to do for a long time but never had the chance until now. I was always afraid to take pictures of his work space for fear he might think I was making fun of him. Or at the very least, another strange Gringo!
I dropped my car off over there at the appointed time of 9:00 AM last Friday. I needed to get the oil changed and I wanted him to check why the "Check Oil" light kept coming on. Even though whenever I checked my oil levels they were fine. (ok, so I know how to do a little more than empty the ashtray. Kill me already.)
Naturally, there was not a soul in sight to take my keys. Or even say hello. It had been raining all morning so it didn't surprise me to much. Plus it gave me the chance to take photos for this post! I had just barely finished taking these pictures when Roberto, aka Flaco, showed up. I never call him by his nickname and he gets this great big grin on his face everytime I call him by his given name. I just think it is a bit more respectful, even though I use the informal "tu" with him.
Make no bones about it. This place is a mess. But given the choice, there is nowhere I can think of here on the island that I would rather take my car. I would even choose him over anyplace I can think of in the USA also! I have only the utmost respect for this man and his abilities.
This is the entrance. That's my car in the lower left and behind it is about 3" of space before the road. Not a big operation he runs here. Every taxi driver I have ever spoken to says they bring their taxi here for service also. Great praise, that.
Moving in to his actual work space, protected from the elements by these tarps. You can tell how old they are just by looking. The woman depicted on the tarp is our former Mayor. She ran for office a little over five years ago. I think he had this one in storage. There used to be one from Coca-Cola but I am guessing it finally disintegrated into shreds and he had to replace it.
This is the body shop portion of the business. The main man there is Chino. He won't tell me his real name. He is a laugh and a half though to talk to. He's the guy that fixed my front fender when some clod backed into and left the scene.
The "recycling" area.
The spare parts and oil storage shed. This car is kept under lock and key with big padlocks on the doors.
The customer waiting room. This is also the lunch room.
Like I said, not a big operation but a mighty one. If you live here on Isla and don't know where this is, don't bother asking. I don't want him being swamped with Gringo work and thinking he has to raise his prices!
Oh, he charges 60 pesos for an oil change, including the oil! That's $5 USD!