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Back to Normal in Volta Redonda

Friday, January 18

We didn’t have to get up early today, so sleeping in was a treat. After breakfast we walked into Retiro to run some errands. After returning, I called Mom and my grandfather – just to check on them. They have snow, and it’s supposed to be in the single digits this weekend. I’m glad I’m here.

Vagabond dog was at his post yesterday in front of our house. He has a problem with his front right paw. Before we left last week, he was favoring it a little but now he can’t use it at all. It looks swollen and painful. Last night, he followed Billy and I down the hill to the neighborhood behind our house, limping. He got distracted and didn’t follow us back. I have not seen him today. Last night, our neighbor was looking at him out on the sidewalk (she’s a veterinarian). I hope the dog’s okay. He’s a big, goofy dog and wouldn’t hurt anyone. Why someone would abandon him here like that?

We took Billyblog-stuff-003.jpg to get a poodle trim today. He looks (and smells) much better. Our Tipo has been repaired and is back home.tipo.jpg Cinesio yesterday helped us find an aftermarket water pump for a third the cost of the Fiat pump and told the mechanic where to find it (he’s so cool). The car was finished about 3pm and the total cost of the job was about $100 US.

I dropped Monica off at the hairdressers this afternoon. She’s still there. Vanda does nice work, but she’s notoriously slow. She may be home by eight or so.

On the way home, I stopped to fill the Tipo’s natural gas tanks. tipo2.jpg Gasoline costs about twice the US price here. Many cars have been converted to run on natural gas. It’s much less expensive (I paid about $9 US to fill our natural gas tanks up) and if you run out, you throw a switch and you’re back on gasoline. You don’t get the same power from natural gas, but with a manual transmission, our 1.6 liter engine is okay – you just need a heavier foot. For about $1000 US and an afternoon, almost any car can be converted here. One wonders – Why the heck aren’t we doing this in the US?

Monica’s done at the hairdresser’s. It only took three hours. I’m off to pick her up.






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