The universe brought us an interesting quest in Madrid. My Land Cruiser broke down, died in the middle of the road in the center.
In Russia this wouldn't be a problem. It would have taken about 30 minutes to call a tow truck and then pick up the car at night. But in Spain it seems like a rocket science.
First we tried to call local car service, no luck. They either didn't speak English or refused to help foreigners, since the car is from another country.
Turned to the Russian consulate for help. They turned us down too. They gave us the on-duty consul number. It took us a while before he finally picked up. He promised to call back in 20 minutes and then turned his phone off.
We turned to the police, who also didn't know the word of English. Tried to call our insurance company. Then called someone else for some reason. Washed their hands off of us and drove off. We were still stuck in the middle of the road, jamming it.
No one would tow us, the car is a 2 ton monster, and the whole Europe is driving tiny cars.
To our relief, my social media post got attention.
We were saved thanks to Vlad from Samara. He called his friend Sergey, who lives in South Spain.
Sergey called the service and talked to them in Spanish, so they would tow us. In about an hour we were towed, and the truck driver spoke Russian.
In the car shop, we got lucky again, the owner's wife Lyudmila is from Ukraine.
She helped us talk to the technicians and hand the car in for repair. She took us for dinner, and then drove us to a hostel in the city center.
In the morning we picked up our car. There was the problem with the fuel pump connector wire, so the fuel stopped coming. Normally it's 1.5 hours and 1, 500 RUB ($24).
But the Spanish charged us 227 Euros and additional 50 for the tow truck. I'm having really strong feelings about this…. nightmare.
But I was so relieved that I was over, that I wasn't gonna haggle. Finally, we could move on.
I really appreciate everyone who responded to my cry for help and was worried about me.
Please know that I will always be there if you need me.