Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Getting The Ding Fixed

A ding showed up on our windshield. My husband, Jonathan, said it happened while he was driving the 300+ km highway between where we live and Jeddah; a truck threw a rock. It is surprising it hasn't happened to us before as we have plied the highways of the Middle East for a dozen years.

There were a few days between when we got home from Spring Break and Jonathan was to leave for a week. Ideally we would get the ding fixed and wouldn't have to replace the entire windshield. As long as the ding doesn't spread it won't won't impair anyone's line of vision (except the GoPro when we are off roading - sigh). The bits of missing glass are right in the middle, low on the windshield.

We have a colleague who has lived here for a long time and seems to know all things cars. Jonathan inquired as to where one would go to have a ding filled. With GPS coordinates in hand, he headed out.

There are often just windows of time (pun intended) in which to get things done here. Everything closes five times a day for prayer. Thankfully there is an app for that so you can plan your outings. He took all of this into consideration, including what time the taxi was taking him to the airport, and drove across town. He timed it to arrive just before prayer would be finishing. Something about "the best laid plans" and, as is not infrequent, the business chose to not open right away. Jonathan had succeeded in locating the shop, but couldn't talk to anyone, let alone get the work done.

Since I don't get to drive here I asked a friend of ours to take me on the field trip while Jonathan was gone. He and Jonathan chatted about where the shop was and the GPS coordinates were passed along. One evening our daughter went for a playdate and I headed out on the field trip. 

We drove to the shop, explained what we needed (being sure to include gestures and pointing at the ding to aid with any needed translation). As soon as the ding was pointed out the several guys who had gathered around all called for the same man. Emerging from a work area he walked right up to our vehicle, pulled out his tool, and placed a suction cup over the ding.

The friend and I were feeling pretty proud of ourselves for succeeding with so little effort. I am certain we were visibly puffing up with pride. The worker then rotated his wrist and the tool began to draw a circle on the windshield. As the circumferences continued, realization hit, he was CUTTING a circle in the glass around the ding.

As he finished he tapped on the glass, both from the inside and outside, and beaming with a job done quickly and well, sent us on our way.

We drove off in utter shock.

Eventually these thoughts started cycling...
Yup, the ding isn't going to spread across the entire windshield.
I'm pretty sure this isn't what my husband had in mind.

I've never seen anything like it!
How about I don't rush to tell Jonathan about this.
Perhaps we will buy a new windshield.



  1. An object lesson that illustrates that what it means to "fix a problem" is always culturally bound.

  2. Oh wow! Such an interesting fix - and story to tell your husband.

  3. What a story you have for him!

    BTW: I can't believe life stops 5x/day for prayer. That is incredible!