Saturday, 10 September 2011
For Whom The Belle Tolls
Still no car. The problem is apparently "technical". Now, there was me thinking that it was purely emotional. A very well dressed gentleman has shown me a black lump of plastic with some umbilical wires attached and explained that in the case of "electronic modules", other experts have to be consulted. Gilles shrugs and thinks the old gal should go. Over my dead module! She's a friend and a link to right hand drive going back to the first Roman chariot to scramble off the boat in 55 BC. "I came, I saw, I drove on the left"(Veni,vidi,veered) were the first words of Julius Caesar. Every school child in Britain knows that.
The possession of right hand drive in France leads me on to the vexed subject of Les Péages. These are toll paying motorways. They are fabulously smooth and straight runways of black asphalt. They are also tremendously expensive. The journey from my home to the port of Ouistreham costs about 35 Euros ($48). If you add in 70 Euros ($96) in fuel you can see why I don't get back to the UK too much. The journey is never without comedy if I'm travelling alone. The French have set up all the toll machines for their own people. Now, how chauvinistic can you get? Usually I pull up and try to climb across the car either to grab the ticket or to make payment. My arms are rather short and even sitting in the passenger seat I struggle to reach the slot. I once heaved half my body out of the window, caught my coat collar on the end of the roof-rack bar and couldn't get back in. On another occasion I tried to step out of the car, found myself too close to the machine and managed to twist my foot and sandal under the seat. Then I freed my foot, got it out of the car and my flip flop fell off onto the ground. I then couldn't get the door open wide enough to reach it. I decided to reverse but an angry male had driven right up to my bumper. Quite a queue of impatient left hand drivers had built up by the time I just stretched my arm far enough to reach it. Now I'm getting older I tend to get out of the car and sprint round to the other side. This was after I got cramp in my thigh and had to perform auto massage lying across the front seats.
An excited neighbour has just told me that she is going to St Jean d'Angely this evening to an "Indian" restaurant. She asked me if I had ever been to one. I tried to explain that in the UK, chicken Tikka Masala is the National dish. English food is Indian/Chinese/Italian/American/Turkish et al or fish and chips cooked by any of them. Furthermore young warriors fuelled on beer, have to overcome plates of mouth blistering vindaloo as a late night rite of passage before they can become proper football hooligans. She asked me what I would order in an English pub. "Curry and French fries" I replied. In France they have French restaurants. It's a whole different culture!
Emma thinx: Tomorrow will take care of itself unless you want the job.