A Spirit of Extreme Generosity

The Beatles had a song with the lyrics "I get by with the help of my friends". In these tropics, this statement is really true. I am still without a car. I left the keys to the BMW in a hotel room in Freeport, an island to the north, and they were the only set that we had. In spite of knowing where I left them (on the telephone table in the room), the hotel was unable to find them.

With a BMW, you cannot cut a key. The key knows the car and the car knows the key. I had phoned a local lock company, and they said that they had the software to help and they stated confidently that they could get the Beamer re-keyed. They gave up after two days, citing that the car was a right hand drive.

I phoned all of the BMW dealers in Miami. All to no avail. My local mechanic has a machine to do it, but the software is in German. He is struggling. The car is at the airport, accumulating charges at about $10 per day.

Finally in desperation, I phone home. In this case it is Otto's BMW Center in Ottawa Canada. I am put through to to Bob in service. He tells me to fax my driver's licence and ownership and I will have the key in 5 days. I fax him the stuff. The car serial number on the bill of sale is wrong. I go to the airport, but the VIN or serial number is not visible in the windshield like the North American cars. The days are ticking by. I do not know what to do. In desperation, I phone my mechanic, Lee of Lee's Motors on Abundant Life Road here in Nassau. He has recorded the VIN number of our BMW.

In the meantime, I am truly stuck. I have to get back and forth to the airport to commute to Freeport. I have to get to work. It is summertime here and truly too hot to walk. Taxis are hellishly expensive. In the tropics, we have probably the highest taxi fares in the world. It costs double digits just to go a few miles.

Along come our neighbours Yves and Sonia. They are fellow Canadians. Their spirit of generosity is overwhelming. They fed me. They took the Lovely One to the airport for her trip home. And they lent me a Mustang to get around the island until my key arrives, which should be late this week. They probably think that I have stolen their car.

But there is more. I opened the trunk of the Mustang to put some groceries in, and I almost burst into tears with homesickness. There was a pair of ice skates. When in Canada, I kept my skates in the trunk of my car. It is such a Canadian thing to do. In Ottawa, we have an 8 kilometer stretch of the Rideau Canal that freezes over and it is the world's longest skating rink.

Yves et Sonia, merci infiniment de votre esprit de générosité. J'apprécie vraiment votre amitié. Vous avez été de bons voisins dans cette période des difficultés. Merci encore.

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