Saturday, June 29, 2013


A beautiful first morning in France: sunny, clear and the temperature will rise only into the low 80s during the day.

After breakfast, you return to Nimes (pop. 150,000), this time in Damien's Audi ("I hate French cars, he says, German are the best.").  It's a 30-minute drive, and he has offered to drive you there.  There is a little trouble finding the UCar dealer, but finally, there it is.  Why Eurocar can not get a loaner car to Arles and they have to send you to another company in a city 20 miles away is, you suppose, one of les mystères de provence to which you will never have access.  Damien is pissed because they give you a tiny, piece of shit Renault, not a bigger Mercedes like you had, and also, it is not an automatique.  You don't care; you have wheels.  On the return trip there is a credit card problem at the toll booth.  Even though you've told AMEX and Visa you were going to be in France, and they said no problem, there is.  The toll booth machine injests the card and spits it back out, but instead of reading to information on the strip on the back of the card, it reads a small, gold fingernail-sized patch on the front of the card.  Apparently, only Europeans have this on their card, so after trying both cards repeatedly (as traffic backs up behind you, the lame American) Damien, who was waiting for you to catch up to him, runs up to the machine and gives it his card, and boom, pas problem, you're on your way back to Fontvieille.

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