I’m sitting in the parking garage at the Nice airport, managing to turn renting a car into an all-day affair. By the time I can post what I am just drafting right now, I will know the end of the story.
Here is what has happened so far: Jane and I got our first car—a very nice Citroen automatic—and after about five minutes I still couldn’t figure out why, when the brake was off and the car was in drive, it failed to move. A very put-out “I’m too good for this job” young, skinny, pretty French woman huffs out, takes a couple of minutes herself to repeat without success everything I had tried, before finally declaring that she would give us another because “this one is too complicated for you.”
Channeling my inner Buddha for not the first or the last time today, I remind myself how many times in French I have probably managed to say something insulting without realizing it. And then again, maybe she really does think I am an idiot.
While I am waiting for Jane and the young woman to come back with our new car, I am trying to work out how to say in French how many equally sophisticated cars I have owned without any problems, and how I have been renting cars without difficulty longer, most likely, than she has been alive. But I won’t say it, mostly because I can’t remember enough of the vocabulary.
Update: Apparently I can still operate a car with my remaining brain cells. I drove 4+ hours to St. Remy in a nice upgraded Audi SUV, sometimes in driving rain, sometimes in scattered clouds and beautiful sun.
We ambled around the town and picked up the obligatory local wine, cheese, and baguette (and of course, local olives), to eat while we peruse the maps. Oh so true that living well is the best revenge. The evidence is in the photo.
Tomorrow Jane and I will go to the local market and the monastery/hospital where Vincent Van Gogh was hospitalized for mental illness. Then off for a half day in Les Baux. What a lucky imbecile I am!