We had finished our Boxing Day shopping before this inconvenient event.
We (my 8 month pregnant sister and myself) were actually on the way home from dropping my brother at the airport,
when we changed lanes on the motorway and heard this impressive bang as we drove over a cat’s eye reflector.
Instantly, the car felt like we were driving on ice (I assume…I’ve never driven on ice) and I knew it was tyre related.
(Our low profile tyres felt so different to standard tyres when they are flat. There was no “whop-whop” noise that I’m used to – how’s that for a technical term.)
Being on the motorway, with cars flying pass at 100km/h, I pulled in super close to the guardrail to keep us as far from the traffic as possible (the traffic being lots of semi-trailers).
I got out and checked the tyres and sure enough one of them (back left) was flat. Great!
When you break down on the motorway you have to be towed off for safety reasons, so we made the call and then waited…and waited…and waited.
At one point, we realised that my sister (who was sitting in the front passenger seat) wouldn’t be able to get out of the car because I had pulled in so close to the guardrail.
So we came up with this ingenious plan that she would climb between the seats into the backseat of the car so she could exit the vehicle in a dignified manner before the tow truck driver arrived.
Let me assure you that there was nothing dignified about the manner in which an 8 month pregnant woman climbs over a console into the back seat of a car. I was laughing so hard I was crying.
Eventually, the tow truck arrived. (Clearly being stuck on the motorway isn’t a desperate emergency or they would have been there sooner).
We got out of the car and tackled the hurdle of climbing over the guardrail. They are higher than you expect, particularly for short people (I’m only 5ft) and super particularly for short people who are 8 month pregnant and in a dress (my little sister, not me). Thank goodness it wasn’t one of those cement barriers which are much higher.
This was the first tow for my car. Boohoo. At least it wasn’t for mechanical reasons.
We were towed off the motorway and dumped behind a petrol station to wait AGAIN for RACQ to come and change our tyre.
Yes, I understand the process of changing a tyre and could probably do it, although I think I’d panic a little working the jack, but what do I pay RACQ for, if not to come and change my tyre so I don’t have to get down on the ground and get dirty. So we waited…and waited…and waited. It was an uncomfortable wait for my pregnant sister as the petrol station refused to let her use their bathroom.
Eventually another RACQ man arrived to rescue us and change our tyre.
The tyre wasn’t just flat. It’d split all the way around. I clearly don’t do things by half.
But to top off our day, we discovered that my spare tyre is a temporary tyre (not happy Ford!!) so you aren’t supposed to drive on highways/motorways and have to keep under 80km/h per hour.
Oh and our RACQ man added that we shouldn’t do any hooning around either. Did we look like people who hoon around town doing donuts and dragging?
You’re actually supposed to only use the tyre to drive straight to the nearest tyre centre to get it fixed or replaced, but all of those were closed on Boxing Day afternoon on a Saturday.
So we started off on our epic journey home – via the nearest venue with a toilet (Where my sister got herself locked in the toilet cubicle when the lock broke?! Yep, it was an epic day!)
Have you ever tried to drive from one major city to another without using a highway or motorway?
Don’t! It takes a really, really long time.
Eventually, four hours after the tyre popped, we arrived home bedraggled and starving.
At the time we were staying with my parents, so the tyre incident added two additional days to our Christmas stay (we live in a different city so we weren’t driving the back roads home).
No tyre stores opened on Sunday and then on Monday we were all ready to go and get a new tyre only to discover that Monday was a public holiday, to make up for Boxing Day falling on a Saturday. Another deflating moment but finally on Tuesday we got a new tyre and could head home.
The only silver lining of this story, aside from some hilarious moments (you had to laugh or you might cry), was that tyres are incredibly cheap where my parents live so we are going back for two more!
And that is how I spent my Boxing Day afternoon.