Saturday, November 7, 2009

Do You Understand The Words That Are Coming Out of My Mouth?

Me:  So,  the bike is in good shape?

Seller:  Great shape couldn’t be better.    Won’t need anything until the end of next riding season.

Me:  Does everything work?

Seller:  Sure does, 100% functional.

Me:  And no rust or dents?

Seller:  Nope no rust at all,  and except for some minor scratches it has no marks.

Me:  Super,  I will see you in an hour to take a look and quick test ride.

I drove the hour to get there and from the second I pulled up,  I started to get the feeling I  was misunderstood .

Me:  The back tire looks a little low,  have you been riding it?

Seller:  Um no, the tire needs to be replaced so I haven’t been riding it at all that much this season to preserve it.

Me:  Uh-huh.  What is this dripping on the front tire?

Seller:  Oh,  that’s just suspension fluid the seals broke out last winter I guess,  and I was going to replace them this winter.

Me:  The rust on the chrome looks pretty bad over on this side,  accident?

Seller:  Uh,  no my brother had the bike at his house stored on his porch over the winter and the tarp blew off and he didn’t put it back on so that part was exposed all winter.

Me:  Um, why is there a hose clamp holding the brake fluid reservoir on the handlebar?

Seller:  Well, to keep it from falling off,  the original bracket is broke.

Me:  Okay,  let me get my helmet and take it for a spin. 

I have to admit there was no way at this point I was buying this bike but it was almost 70 degrees and I spent an hour getting there.  I deserved at least a quick spin on it for my troubles.  I mounted the bike and started it.

Me:  Sounds pretty rough,  when was the last time it ran?

Seller:  Oh I ran it for about 30 minutes or so before you got here.  It needs a tune up,  one cylinder is missing about half the time.

As I went to turn on the radio.

Seller:  Oh yeah,  if you have that on while you are riding it sometimes shorts out the electrics if  you hit a hard bump.

Skipped the radio and took off and the bumpiest, shakiest ride of my life.  Returned the bike 15 minutes later.

Me:  Um,  thanks for the look I will be in touch.

Seller:  Okay,  no problem. By the way I just remembered the cruise control doesn’t work so I would be willing to take of $25 for that.

Me:  I will keep that in mind,  thanks.

It is obvious he did not understand me,  when I asked if everything worked,  I meant all the stuff on the bike that was supposed to perform a particular task.  Of course,  when he said nothing needed to be done to the bike for the next riding season,  I thought that nothing needed to be done -- obviously he meant nothing bu mechanical stuff.

I thought I spoke and understood English fairly well, I guess not.  Oh well, wenigstens kann ich Deutsch sprechen.


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