Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Breaking the Benzine Barrier

Long, long, ago in a land far, far away, I regularly took my car to the gas station. I didn't really think much about it, just drove up, stuck the card in the machine and followed the on-screen instructions. Voila, gas flowed, car filled, receipt spewed out and I was on my way.

Then I moved. Far. To a foreign land. A land where they call it 'Benzine'. A land where the pumps don't look the same as the pumps I was accustomed to. These weren't tall sleek pumps with a credit card machine on each pump. No, no. They were short, and squat and, at many of the stations, there was just one machine in the center. A machine I feared.

I generally avoid doing things that would make me appear to be a complete fool; unless I admit up front that I will be a complete fool trying it, and then it's okay. But this was different. This was one of those things that everyone already knows - unless you're 13 - and even then, you've probably figured it out.

But the machine... with all it's funny foreignness, was daunting. What if I pushed the wrong button? Why was there only one machine with multiple pumps? Why was the lowest octane rating the 92 - that was always the highest, not the lowest! What if I somehow pushed the button for the wrong pump, would I then be paying for someone's benzine - someone that wasn't me?

But, I had a solution. I had a husband in this foreign land, one that understood the daunting machine with all it's funny little characters and words. And, he used the car much more than I ever did. And miraculously, the gar always had plenty of 'benzine' for me to consume wherever I needed to go.

So what began as just a fear grew into a bit of a challenge. How long can one live in a foreign land before one pumps their own gas?

Answer: 2 years and 11 months.

I have broken the benzine barrier and lived to tell about it. I pushed all the right buttons; I pumped the liquid gold...

Today's price after conversion = $6.68/gallon, but we prefer not to think in conversions. Instead we celebrate the fact that Benzine in Herning is only 8.95 Kr/Liter whereas the Benzine in Karup is 9.65 Kr/Liter - SCORE!

I did make a tiny fool of myself while returning the nozzle to it's holder but it would be impossible to explain. I figured it out and then scurried back to the car.

I no longer fear the machine. (okay, maybe just a little)
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