Friday, June 28, 2013

quelle journee!

The connection to Arles goes well, however, you have to schlep everything a half mile because the Eurocar pick-up is on the other side of la gare.  Valerie is very helpful -- she puts up with your French -- and speaks English tres bien.  You've got directions, a nice Mercedes (a small model not available in the US), and you're just 10 minutes away from the end of a long day, a trip across the pond and votre nouvelle maison for two weeks.

BAM!  On a very narrow country road -- two small cars can barely squeak by each other -- you pull a little too much to the side as another car approaches, hit a crease in the asphalt, and BANG!: flat tire.  Quel dommage!  You call Damien, your host/landlord and he's there in five minutes.  He's immediately on the phone with Eurocar, doing the heavy lifting, explaining the situation in a way that would be impossible for you.  Nothing to be done now, so you leave the car on the side of the road with a note for the tow truck guy to call  when he gets there.  You and Damien go to your mas (an old, restored farmhouse -- a term used only in Provence), which totally lives up to the pics you saw online, and hang out for a while.  He is young, engaging, sympathetic, speaks English tres bien, and is great to be with.  In true Provencal fashion, it takes wrecker-guy (big head, short hair, stocky, 40-something, slight rounding of the belly, shorts,  gruff -- in other words a Man's Man tow-truck-guy from central casting) twice as long to get there as he originally said.  After much hemming and hawing, circling the car, muttering to himself, investigating parts of the car that have nothing to do with the tire, etc. (he did everything but kick the tire), he says the only thing to do is to take it to his lot.  So you and Damien climb in the truck and go to his place.  

Why?  Qui sait?!?  Who knows?!?  

Ou, en Anglais: WTF?!?  

There is nothing to be done; he can't (or won't) fix the flat; and you'll have to drive to Nimes (!) tomorrow to get une véhicule de remplacement.  Why you had to go all the way to his place and then take a cab back to Damien's just for that is one of les mystères de Provence.

So, you get back to the mas as the sun is setting and the shadows are lengthening across the freshly cut hay field.  Damien will give you a ride tomorrow to Nimes (30 minutes away).  He has also invited you to have dinner with his family ce soir.  There is nothing else to be done about the car, and life is pretty good, considering, so it seems appropriate that the one thing left to do is break open the duty-free Maker's you brought along and toast the evening with him.


No comments:

Post a Comment