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26 August 2014 / leggypeggy

Help from a no-nonsense kind of gal

Tyre work

The wife gets to work on the tyre (wearing her swimmers)

We had several flat tyres in rapid succession (mostly in Kazakhstan). One blowout let off such a spectacular blast that Sarah thought someone was shooting at us. But these were just flats and blowouts that left us completely out of spares.

Suse bought replacement tyres in Almaty, the capital of Kazakhstan, and stopped in a small town short of the Russian border to get them fitted to the wheels. A good way to get rid of some leftover Kazakh money (called tenge).

Flat tyres/tires

The blown tyre in the middle

When she pulled up outside the mechanic’s shop, Suse used her best, non-existent Kazakh and Russian, and a fabulous array of sign language, to tell the fellow what she wanted.

Even without knowing the language, we all knew he replied, No, no, I couldn’t possibly do that.

But enter his wife. She wasn’t going to have any of that! A paying job is a paying job, and money from foreigners is even better.

She charged out of the shop and made a beeline for Suse in the cab. She shot her hubby a withering look and said (or we assume she said), Of course, we can do whatever you need to have done.

So the flats—Suse told them to keep them—and spares got bounced off the back and roof of the truck, and hubby went to work.

After lingering for a few moments, the rest of us wandered off to check out the market, have lunch or go for a swim in the nearby river. In fact, the wife urged us all to have a swim, and Nat jokingly said she’d swim if the wife joined her.

When we got back from having lunch, hubby and some assistants were still struggling with the second tyre. I know I’m not going to explain this correctly (so someone please correct me), but he couldn’t get the beading to connect. Does that make sense?

Work on tyre

The tyre struggle continues

Meanwhile, the wife was still urging everyone to run down to the river for a dip. And I noticed that she’d donned her bathers/swimmers/cossie (or whatever you call it). Hers are black and white—just like mine.

Hey, Nat, I said, I guess you’re going swimming. Nat nearly fainted. She was sure her swimming-costume smoke screen would get her off the hook. Luckily, business at the shop picked up and the wife was suddenly super busy with other customers. She even pitched in on our tyres for a bit.

After about another 15 minutes of struggling—the hubby gets full marks for persistence and effort—the beading connection made a satisfying sound and we were ready to head for the Russian border.

We’ll always be glad the wife jumped in and said they could do the work. And Nat will probably always be glad she didn’t have to go swimming.

Kazakhstan market

A glimpse of the market


Leave a Comment
  1. pagedogs / Aug 26 2014 10:35 pm

    You painted a wonderful picture of this episode. Lovely to have a new post!


    • leggypeggy / Aug 26 2014 10:37 pm

      Thanks so much. I’ve been up to my proverbial eyeballs with lack of time, electricity and wifi. Things should be better now, so prepare for an onslaught. I hope!


  2. lmo58 / Aug 26 2014 10:51 pm

    Ah Peggy, this story just goes to show that women really should rule the world. A little bit of effort and a woman and you’re going gangbusters. Thank you, as always, for an interesting view of the wide world.


    • leggypeggy / Aug 26 2014 11:04 pm

      She really was a great gal. Ready to do whatever was needed, and no resting on ceremony. So sorry that I never got her name because I really liked her style.


  3. weggieboy / Aug 26 2014 11:02 pm

    Whew! What a nightmare that could have been. (Or was…!) Anyway, good for you for surviving the adventure.


    • leggypeggy / Aug 26 2014 11:05 pm

      Oh gosh, it wasn’t a nightmare at all, but I reckon that’s because the woman was determined to be so accommodating.


  4. David York / Aug 27 2014 1:01 am

    You are all very lucky, blessed, etc.! Wow!; What a gal!


    • leggypeggy / Aug 27 2014 5:15 pm

      We got a kick out of meeting her. Note the cigarette hanging out of her mouth in the top pic.


  5. Midwestern Plant Girl / Aug 27 2014 4:01 am

    Wow! Lucky there was a woman on the job! 😉


    • leggypeggy / Aug 27 2014 5:17 pm

      In all fairness, HE did the work. The pic of her was the only time she tackled the tyres, and I think that was in frustration because the second tyre was a real bugger to work with. The first went on easily.


      • Midwestern Plant Girl / Aug 27 2014 8:23 pm

        All right! 😃
        I retract my lazy man comment. . I guess I just appreciated her nagging personality.


      • leggypeggy / Aug 27 2014 9:10 pm

        Aw, no need to retract anything. You never said he was lazy. You said, and rightly so, that it was lucky she was around. She got the job going—didn’t mean she had to DO the work.


  6. Kenny2dogs / Aug 27 2014 6:42 am

    Do not quite understand why the ladies husband should refuse to help you in the beginning. !!!.

    Love the things you guys get up to 🙂


    • leggypeggy / Aug 27 2014 5:24 pm

      I think he took one look at that big truck and all those foreign faces and reckoned there was no chance he’d figure out what was needed. She, on the other hand, saw there was money to be made and decided there was no such thing as a language barrier.


      • Kenny2dogs / Aug 27 2014 6:25 pm

        Mmmmm… I think I understand him and you obviously understand her. :)) keep on truckin Peggy and stay safe !!!


      • leggypeggy / Aug 27 2014 9:13 pm

        Thanks Kenny! Have four months of travel coming up between now and March.


  7. Debbwl / Aug 27 2014 10:31 am

    Love how you turned what most would see as bad luck into a fun event and story.


    • leggypeggy / Aug 27 2014 5:25 pm

      Life’s more fun if you wear rose-coloured glasses.


  8. suchled / Aug 27 2014 2:28 pm

    Guess he knew how difficult a job it was without the tools a modern Aussie tyre shop would have. And I bet she didn’t but she shamed in to giving it his best shot. They are really hard tyres to fit with the wrong tools. So don’t be too hard on him.


    • leggypeggy / Aug 27 2014 5:26 pm

      You’re right suchled, he didn’t have the tools that would have made the job easier. I was impressed by how hard he worked at it, and kept working at it.


  9. suchled / Aug 27 2014 2:37 pm

    OR to put it in the Australian vernacular, “Bloody hell! Peg. They’re big buggers. Take ’em down to Bob Jane’s or Tyre Power. We can’t fit those bastards here. Sorry luv.”


    • leggypeggy / Aug 27 2014 5:27 pm

      I didn’t know you could translate Russian! 🙂


      • suchled / Aug 27 2014 5:40 pm

        It’s dead easy. Most decent people use the same language


      • leggypeggy / Aug 27 2014 9:10 pm



  10. tbri001 / Aug 28 2014 1:33 am

    Interesting read! I’ve had and have several Kazakh students in one of the unis where I teach. I’d love to visit.


    • leggypeggy / Aug 28 2014 8:26 am

      I hope you get there—really worth the trip.


  11. David / Feb 10 2015 7:13 am

    Wonderful market, Peggy! Reminds me of my first visit to the Fyshwick Market in Canberra so long ago! Fyshwick was a tad nicer however the veggies and fruit disply much the same!

    Your flat tire rescuers could make a Goodyear or other such tire manufacturer television commercials! At the very least it’d make for an awesome colorful story to catch the eye of most to thank their lucky stars they live in a place where repairs can be made most anywhere.


    • leggypeggy / Feb 12 2015 8:33 pm

      Oh wow, I can just imagine them in a commercial. What a great idea.


  12. afterthelasttime / May 18 2017 2:20 pm

    I’d forgotten about your no-nonsense gal who fixed up your truck tires! Nice to revisit.

    Liked by 1 person

    • leggypeggy / May 18 2017 3:02 pm

      She was such a character. Haven’t met many like her on our travels.


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