How An Asian Food Market Broke My Car

I think there should be a completely new category for my blog in regards to how I seem to always break my damn car.

Since I’m kind of not working right now and waiting to hear back from the 30+ jobs I’ve applied for, I have figured out that the best way we can survive is by going to the Asian Market over the river to get some of our groceries so I can make delicious, cheap, ramen soup from scratch and miso soup.  Because soup is amazing.  And buying stuff from the Asian market is super duper cheap.  Also, making 8 gallons of miso soup and buying the ramen noodles from the Asian market would cost me about $0.40 per meal.  So why the hell not?


Cheap AND Delicious

Cheap AND Delicious

Alex was unaware that there was an Asian market in the area, and when I revealed to him that there were a couple and that their prices were way cheaper than base, he agrees to go with me.

Naturally, because we are young, we make several mistakes for our journey.

Mistake number one: We each forget our phones in the house.

Mistake number two: Alex has a gut feeling against taking our monstrous SUV out instead of our cute little Suzuki Forenza, thinking that maybe we should be taking the itty bitty baby car.  He ignores it.

Mistake number three: I ask the guy at the Asian market to use his phone to get directions to a discount grocery store on the ass end of Shreveport.


Murphey’s law states that when something can go wrong, it will always go wrong.  It also dictates that the universe hates me and loves to cause me misery.

Here’s what I’m thinking happened to our car.

The gods above saw that we lacked our phones and decided to punish us by breaking our car.

Alex’s gut feeling was telling him that we have been having some problems with the SUV overheating and that we should take it easy on driving it more than ten feet in the summer.

Or, the guy I asked to help us put an ancient Chinese curse on my car because I decided to go shopping for the rest of my stuff at another store.

Not so lucky in this case

Not so lucky in this case

I’m pretty sure it was a mix of all three instances.

I believe I’ve mentioned that Alex was a chef before he was in the military, and his specialty is Asian cuisine.  He loves everything Asian from home décor to all of the lovely different foods.  While nerdome is his first love, Asian culture is a close second.  I’m pretty sure I’m the third.

So we’re going around this store and I’m gazing at the whole guava I could buy for five dollars when Alex comes up to me holding all of these different spices that you can’t find anywhere but an Asian specialty store, his grin ear to ear, while he’s sounding like a school girl running through the store, trying to figure out everything he wants to buy.

We’re going to be eating a lot of chicken satay for the next few weeks.

We run around the store, trying to decide if we want to buy fifty pounds of rice for $30, as well as getting some new dishes that were made in Vietnam, when we decide to just stick with the basics— everything we need to make Ramen, Miso Soup, and any other random Asian spices that we’re lacking.

We fill the cart and only spend $50, then I was trying to figure out how to get back on the main highway and if that would be the fastest way to the discount grocery store.  I decide to ask the sales clerk where the store was.

Mistake numero dos.  We explained our numero uno problem of forgetting our phones and just wanting to get our grocery shopping done all that night, and he lets me use his phone to map it out.  He barely spoke English, and his (I’m assuming) supervisor was shaking his head in disbelief that two twenty something year olds were walking around town without a phone.

So we drive two miles down the road, in the opposite direction of our house, when Alex suddenly pulls over.  I give him a strange look and he tells me that the engine was overheating.

We lift the hood and Alex removes the coolant cap and it starts to explode everywhere.  Luckily, he didn’t break the radiator.

We have extra coolant in the back for instances such as this, put some more in, and continue down the road to the discount grocery.

Car starts to overheat after two more miles.  So we stop and pull into a park, where a group of moms are doing a work out class.

Now, I know their moms because I know what moms look like.  They have a very distinct look to them.  You know what I’m talking about.

But in my case, no strollers.  They just looked like moms.  In every sense of the word.

But in my case, no strollers. They just looked like moms. In every sense of the word.

There were several other people there staring at us in wonder and delight as we stared at the engine, wishing it would cool off, while we panic a little bit.  We put more coolant in, we waited around 20 minutes, and decided to take the back roads home.

One mile into the residential area of Highland and the car overheats again.  We were out of coolant at this point.  We weren’t too far from a mechanic, but the sign was in Spanish and the person we found there barely spoke English.  They had just closed.

I was beginning to pull my hair out.  I was also hating myself for not wearing socks while wearing a pair of danskos.

We walk over to a regular grocery store and buy more coolant and a gallon of water because it’s only in the 90s with full humidity this particular day, so our clothes are soaked through with sweat.  We walk back to the car, put more coolant in, thinking the half hour of resting would be enough.

We drive a mile and a half down the road and it overheats just as we’re pulling into another mechanics.  A firestone.

They were starting to close up for the night, but they said we could pull it in to their garage so that nobody would try to steal our nearly broken car.  That night, I find the warrantee stuff I bought when we got the car, and find out everything is covered.

FINALLY!  Some good luck!

We find out the water pump was broken, as well as the thermostat.

Fixed just in time for us to take two weeks to drive to Minnesota, during the one year anniversary of us living in Louisiana.

So that’s how a young couple screw up everything in order to get the ingredients to make cheapo ramen.

Have you ever had your vehicle broken down without any way to contact the outside world?  Does it seem like no matter what you do, you just seem to have increasingly bad luck?  Let me know in the comments!

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17 thoughts on “How An Asian Food Market Broke My Car

  1. Asian food is my first love for sure; delicious, cheap and yummilicious 🙂 Sad to know about your car, I wish Alex should have responded to his gut feeling. Sometimes God show those signs but we neglect them. Anyways, I am sure it is fine now. Take care..!

    • It’s always weird how that happens. And when we were getting in the car, we both realized we forgot our phones and said “Oh well, what’s the worst that could happen?”

      WELL, I think the universe took that as a personal challenge.

  2. It’s not the fact that you can make “cheapo ramen” but that getting authentic ingredients you can make fantastic ramen!! 🙂

  3. What a day! I’d love a good ramen recipe, not sure what they use for broth here in Japan but if your man knows and is willing to share would be fabulous! Might ask my Japanese friends, see if they make it differently.

  4. I grew up with my Mom (we are Asian) making a big ol’ bowl of noodle soup for lunch on the weekends. So for me, it has always been my comfort food. Her secret was always fresh ingredients. I also found that I also have a taste for Thai Tom Yum soup, which has similar qualities just a bit “spicier.” It’s all good – enjoy!

  5. Asian Market over the river to get some of our groceries so I can make delicious, cheap, ramen soup

    I need some help convincing my daughter. She loves the instant (Nissin/Marachan/etc.) stuff, which I burned out on HARDCORE a long, long time ago. I don’t use instant ramen much anymore– mostly somen, rice stick noodles, and mung bean noodles– all dry, but more flavorful than instant ramen.

    Cimmy makes miso soup with udon noodles, and I make chicken phõ every now and then– Steamy Kitchen is actually a VERY good site. Pretty sure I used it when I was learning how to make phõ. Cimmy does not like going to the Asian market, though. We had an AWESOME one downtown that closed down again, I think for good, and she says a guy at the one midtown I go to now looks at her in a predatory way.

    • Cimmy can’t help that she’s a sexy beast.

      And I hate the instant noodles we bought, they’re terrible.

      I can’t do instant ramen anymore because when i was 19, I drank a TON of tequila and when I started feeling nauseous I ate a bunch of instant chicken ramen and I threw up EVERYWHERE!

      For the longest time, whenever I smelled ramen or tequila, it would be an instant gag reflex.

      • Yes, but she’s my sexy beast, and I’m hers. Plus I do know what it’s like to be treated like a piece of meat… it’s not fun. Seriously.

        So, I go into the market alone. She won’t come in, and I don’t blame her. I wish the other one was still there, instead of some flooring business. The proprietors were much, much nicer. And very sweet.

    • I ate a lot of the instant noodles in college, mainly cause I was broke and it was cheap. However I usually kicked up the soup a notch. I would add in fresh items like bok choi, bean sprouts and thinly sliced celery. I would also add in a meat of choice (usually pork or chicken) that was cooked in sesame oil with diced garlic and shallots/green onions. I would add in the veggies right after the noodles separated to cook it a bit but still retain a good crunch. Meat would go in right at the end so it was not over-cooked.

      Perhaps something like this will help you wean her off the instant stuff. Hopefully she is so focused on all the other goodies in the soup, that you can replace the instant with better noodles (say like a rice noodle) and then season it yourself with dashi or something else that suits you.

      My kids are picky eaters too, so I know how much of a challenge it can be. Good luck to you!

      • yeah, Cimmy and I make good noodle soups, as I mentioned in… another comment, I think?

        I think she just likes instant ramen because she can make it herself, and make it for just HER. I think she likes Cup O’ Noodles for the same reason, which, if I remember right, is another Nissin product.

  6. oh, btw, never used dashi before– I’ll have to check it out. I’ve used seasoning packs that I believe contain bonito. Shouldn’t taste wildly different from stuff I’ve used before.

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