My naivete is a complete disadvantage in this city of hustlers.
The wide-eyed, country girl innocence I have hasn’t been working in my favour of late. Today, I received very bad news about Esmeralda in that she has a major (read very expensive to fix) problem in her engine as a result of a very new looking radiator hose breaking clean through due to a dodgy engine causing pressure on the cooling system.
I must say I was gutted when Vicente told me over the phone that it would probably cost $2800 to fix and that it is a serious problem. I felt sick and then totally sorry for myself. I went to see the mechanics in person and they told me and showed me the issue and explained the cost range depending on what they discovered after taking the engine apart.
Now I have a huge mechanic repair bill on top of the things that already needed doing, like the brakes. It doesn’t make me love Esmeralda any less, but it does make me question my ability to negotiate my way in this city full of hustlers and shady characters and find something that is true to appearances. I received an earnest speech from Nice Neighbour who implored me to be careful and exercise due diligence because he knows that there are so many phoneys who are just out for themselves in this town.
So I feel somewhat chastened and a little dispirited, but after today’s events in the world, this is nothing to worry about and I’ll bounce back with zeal real soon.