I become aware of a grinding noise coming from the back of my X trail. It does not take me long to work out that it is coming from the passenger side rear disc brake. I stick my finger in to see if the disc, or rotor as the Americans will have it, is ridged and nearly burn the end of my finger off. Red hot rotor!
I suppose the brake pads have worn down to metal but also the caliper piston is jammed so that they are in constant contact with the disc. Not good.
I am quite a long way from home and realize that I should get this fixed as quickly as possible, so I stop at the first workshop. They explain that they would love to fix it but they have no spare cars to lend me during the 5 days the repair would take. Not an option, as living 5 days in Okinawa without a car is not feasible.
Yasushi san is an old friend who works at the gas station close to my previous house. I run to him and explain my predicament. He explains that because of the Obon holiday all the garages are backed up with work and it is going to be difficult to get the car fixed quickly. He sits me in the waiting room, brings me cold water and starts phoning garages. 10 minutes later he explains that Kamiya san is waiting for me in his shop near Tori Station. I love Yasushi san.
Yes, Kamiya san is waiting for me. I know him! I used to take cars to him for the Shaken. https://thequietripple.com/2011/12/10/dont-move-your-handsdont-move-your-lipsjust-shaken-your-hips/ He takes the wounded X trail and gives me a car. However he asks if can take this car to Ishigaki san’s restaurant and swap it with a car she has. How does he know that I know Ishigaki san? Why does he want me to exchange cars? There is no point trying to work it out, all of this is so Okinawan.
I go to the restaurant, which is the best in the world. I have written about it many times. https://thequietripple.com/2013/03/24/some-things-are-so-unexpected-that-no-one-is-prepared-for-them/
We hug, we grin, we swap cars.
I speak little Japanese and understand not much either. The characters in this story have very little English but somehow we get by very well. I have good friends in Okinawa. Thank you.