We had tried to call the car hire office to 1. ask them if they would try to put the credit card payment through, now that we had resolved the issue at our end, and 2. see if we should get the tyre fixed here or just drive the three hours back to Chiang Mai on the spare. The office-girl got so confused at part 1 of the call, that we didn't bother with part 2. Susan told us where we could get the tyre fixed, and that it would cost 'only 50 baht' ($1.58 Australian) which just seemed absurdly cheap to us. To find this tyre place we were to drive to Mae Ai and , 'look for a rotisserie chicken shop, painted red and orange, which is quite unusual here, and then there is a road off to the left, go past that, and then on the other side there is a strange big shop with lots of glass like a modern furniture store, a long way off the road, about 200m, and then there is a little gas station, and then, after that, you'll see the tyre place and there is a barbecue chicken stall out the front, a normal one, and a wooden sala, very nice and new.' Clear as mud, such is life with Susan. The part she forgot to mention is that she didn't mean driving from here to Mae Ai, but more like the far side of Mae Ai back in this direction. In reverse, in other words.
Anyway, Susan's directions aside, we found the place quite easily. Dylan checked the price with the tyre-man by way of pointing to the screw in the tyre and using the only Thai he can remember, 'Tao rai?' ('how much is it?'), and his answer was 'pet-sip baht', which is 80 baht, or $2.53 AU. Really? So little?
And what do you get for your $2.53? The tyre plugged and fixed and refilled with air; the tyre replaced on the car and the spare re-gassed and back in the boot; all other tyres pressure checked and refilled if necessary; two men busily at work for no more than 10 minutes while wife and child don't even have to leave the car.
Take that, Bad Luck Car!
Do you ever feel that we, in Australia and no doubt other western countries, may be paying quite an inflated price for some things? (I know, I know, labor costs, training costs, material costs, overheads etc etc... but, still...)