Bulgarian Quick Fit Fitter

Nothing particularly unusual about this morning in Yambol, the bright sunny outlook and glorious clear blue sky greeting as it did 90% of the time. What could go wrong on a day like this,? Every morning the weather set up was perfect for a good day. Today however, there was a spot of bad luck that came about as I made my normal crawl to the car at 7:30 to take Galia to work.

Looking at the tyres of the car is something that isn’t part of my normal routine, so why did I look at them this morning? I don’t know but I did and found that there was a whacking great big roof tack wedged into the tread of the front left tyre. It could have been there fore long as it wasn’t quite fully wedged in.

After surveying I tried to gently pull it out, I knew this was the wrong thing to do but then you feel pushed towards doing things like this even though you know you shouldn’t. It’s like scratching an itch you shouldn’t.

The tack got so far out and the hissing started, that was enough for me, I had to get Galia to work and just didn’t have time to do anything about it so the tack was shoved back in and the hissing stopped.

It wasn’t a good feeling driving knowing that the tyre was doing tap dancing along the roads of Yambol and the state of the roads didn’t do the tack embedded tyre any favours either. It was there and back with the stress tagging along, but we made it and I was back at the house wondering what I am going to do about it.

The tyres on the Lada were bought from a local small garage with the resident sole proprietor called Mitko, some 500 metres away. The plan was to go there and get the repair done, but it was before 8:00 so a wait was on.

The next thing I know its 3:30 in the afternoon and it was a clickety-click to the garage where Mitko was hard at work with his head deep in the confines of an engine at the back of his garage. Mitko is a tall slim character aged around 30 years he wears chunky silver earrings and slightly greased back hair. He wears a pair of well-used black shoes, which are worn with the back ends folded down so they act like slippers. These would look stupid on most people, but not on Mitko it suits his laid back style. He is a gentle talker and never gets hurried. He always has time for everyone. After explaining the problem, he stopped the work he was doing and within the space of 10 minutes he had completed the repair and charged me 7 lev. I watched every step of the repair and knew the job was done professionally every step of the way. He went on to check all the other tyres for damage and check their air pressures as well. “Any problem with the car come and see me,” were his last words as I said thanks and goodbye.

Back home, the event was reflected on. Where would you get a service like that? You just turn up unannounced, he stops the job he’s doing then gives service second to none. Then give all the tyres a spot check and top up the air pressures. Finally, on top of all that charge a local Bulgarian price for the job. This is unbelievable compared to what I was used to in the U.K; I don’t even want to think about that now.