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Updated on June 18, 2011

This story shows how small the world appears sometimes.

The old 1976 Landcruiser broke down last evening. I already had it repaired 3 weeks ago (wouldn't move forwards... clutch, gears, I don't know) and the mechanic then took it away for its annual inspection. I received it back a few days ago and noticed it jugging into gear from 1st to 2nd, 2nd to 3rd and back. I also noticed it losing power whilst in 3rd gear... slipping out-ish... as if it was going into neutral.

1976 Landcruiser

On the way back from Sarchí (nearest town) to home, driving uphill (as I have to reach high up the mountain where I live in Costa Rica... a small tomato and coffee farming area called Trojas), I ended up in 1st gear only until it lost total power. It was dark, rainy and about 7.15pm. I had to park it at the side of the road.

A friend's Shitzu, Mishu, was travelling with me. I'm looking after him for a few weeks and take him out with me because he is unhappy being left at home. Back to the story, people don't leave their cars at the side of the road, overnight, as they are often stolen or broken into (I'm told NOT by locals but by chancing passers from out of town). There were no houses where I'd parked and I was worried.

It was Sunday but I tried to call the mechanic on both his numbers as we commenced our uphill trek towards his house/workshop. No reply to either numbers and I tried my good neighbour also to no avail.

We continued our long walk uphill, in light rain, shooing away barking dogs en route who wanted to warn or attack Mishu (poor guy but I was his 'Protector'), and I continued to call the mechanic and neigbour. As expected, once I reached the mechanic's house, no-one was home. Well, it was Sunday, a non-working day for him, though most Ticos (Costa Ricans) are happy to drop everything to help... without an issue or complaint.

As we continued on further (a long, inclining walk ahead with more dogs to shoo who were being warned by the dogs we were passing), I checked the phone for a "Taxi..." contact but nothing. I had my previous phone stolen and bought this one from a lady who returned to the USA. Her numbers were still stored on it because I didn't want to remove them just in case she still needed them/any and I was waiting for her reply about this. In the meantime, I had recently added some numbers I found on business cards and bits of paper but, alas, nothing recorded under "Taxi". I recalled names of 2 local taxi drivers, one being Marco and the other Olger. Nothing under Marco but there was an Olger! Hmmmm. Landline number only and nothing about "Taxi". I called it nevertheless and a girl answered. I asked if Olger is a taxi driver and she said he is. She gave me the mobile number of her father. I didn't have a pen so hoped I'd remember it. I did! He answered and recognised my voice.

Ten minutes later he collected Mishu and myself. He suggested what I'd been thinking for a while... to return to the vehicle and reverse it down to where there was a house. So all that walking had become frustrating exercise and an anxious one for Mishu! Olger u-turned and off we went back downhill and safely passed the odd dog we'd met on the way up.

I unlocked the steering lock, wiped dry the steamed-up front and rear windows (ventilation being poor in these old vehicles when there's rain and humidity around), and it wasn't far at all before we reached a house. Olger kindly asked the resident if it was okay for me to leave the vehicle overnight and I was very kindly offered his garage. Unfortunately there was an incline to the garage so I had to risk leaving it outside... and the rear door doesn't lock either... well, it MIGHT from the inside but I was sooooo tired by then. I re-placed the steering lock and off we went to my house. I explained to Olger (English speaking by-the-way) that I'd had my phone stolen but managed to find his number on a piece of paper and programmed it into the new phone.

Mishu the Shitzu

Now, here's the coincidence. With Mishu on my lap, it reminded Olger of a friend and her dogs. He told me he had a friend who had moved from Sarchí to San Ramón but now returned to the USA... but with only 2 of her 3 dogs. Ping! I interrupted him and suggested her name and the name of the 3rd dog. To his surprise, yes! Then it struck me. I had wondered why I hadn't added the word "Taxi" next to Olger's name in the phone, and why I didn't have his mobile number... why did I have his house number? Not only did I know our mutual friend, who had recently lived 2 towns away, whom I'd met purely because I checked the house out to possibly live in future, then 'adopting' her 3rd dog, but she had Olger's number stored on the phone I'd bought from her... I hadn't recorded it all!

[Hairs standing on back of neck.]

Olger knew Pogo. He had taken him to Grecia to be 'fixed' when he was a puppy. He bathed him also. When we reached my house (9.15pm), Olger met Pogo again who was very pleased to see him and wanted to jump in his car.

I was astounded at the coincidences and small world.

If it wasn't for this taxi driver's number being stored, whose service I'd used in the past, on the phone that used to belong to our friend who had the dog I now have, I would have struggled (along with Mishu) getting home in the dark and rain.

What a small world and what coincidences.



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