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The Garage

In 2013, I was vacationing in South Africa. I was staying in Cape Town in what we in the US would call a townhome that had three other guys living in it. I had a rental car so I could drive around and do tourist-type things.

One of the guys living in the house asked me to come pick him up after work so we could hang out and he could show me something touristy to visit. He told me to meet him at the garage at such and such a street. Well, OK.

At the appointed time, I drove to the named street. I drove up and down the street several times, but could not find a garage. I had assumed he meant parking garage, but I gradually came to wonder if maybe it was an actual garage like might be attached to a house. No luck.

I eventually pulled over to the side of the road to try and figure out what could be going on. As I’m fiddling with my phone, I hear a knock on the window. It was my friend.

I said “man, I couldn’t find that stinking garage anywhere”. He pointed and said “it’s right there”.

It was a gas station.

I guess the gas station had a maintenance bay attached to it where they would like rotate your tires and change your oil and stuff like that, so in South Africa they call that a garage.

That was my first real experience with an international miscommunication.

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4 thoughts on “The Garage

  1. I actually remember that when I was a kid, a place where someone would fix a car was called a garage. So if you needed an oil change, you would say you were taking your car to the garage.

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