Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Up !

The little Skoda acting up again. This time I grab a photo of the dashboard display. Now the mechanics can't claim this is all a figment of my imagination. '' We're busy mate. Can you come back tomorrow ? ". The answer to this question is a forceful '  No ! '

A morning spent in the dealerships waiting room. Why are waiting rooms always draughty ? Why do they always have dog eared copies of magazines that no one in their right mind would want to read ? Six month old  editions of the Steel Framed Structures Gazette and the Milk Distributors Weekly . A coffee machine that only takes 1€ coins. Not much help if you don't have any change.

" You were right mate. We've had it up on the ramp. There is a problem " says a man in grey overalls who sniffs continually. A description of something technical and incomprehensible in rapid fire French. Tip #1 for dealing with French mechanics - If in doubt nod your head and frown.This way you might not look like a total imbecile.You can also say ' ooh la la ' every thirty seconds or so to show your total command of the technical details .

The mechanics wave as they leave for the inviolable two hour French lunch break. The receptionist , unsmilingly, hands over the keys to a courtesy car. A tiny Volkswagen ' Up ! '.  Completely black on the inside. The only decoration a strip of shiney plastic running across the dashboard. This looks just like black lacquer .  The world of automotive plastics must be an invigorating place.

After lunch another stint in the waiting room.The receptionist asks me if I've damaged the courtesy car. Disbelieving, she goes off to check.  Is this what purgatory is like ? Home at five thirty. '' I hope you didn't scare them with your grizzly bear routine " says ' the font ' opening the oven to let a cloud of steam escape.


  1. What a way to spend a day. I hope at least the problem was fixed and I hope you were a big bad grizzly!

  2. Better a black dashboard than one full of red flashing lights....

    Re reading material in waiting areas - my loyalty to my hairdresser is almost wholly based on the fact that his magazine pile contains recent copies of National Geographic and well as Hello! and Grazia.

  3. Waiting room decor must be universal.

    XXXOOO Daisy, bella & Roxy

  4. Grizzly bear routine???? What on earth is the Font talking about? NOT Angus surely.
    Glad you stood your ground this time around. Who wants to be driving back and forth in the snow like that.
    After a whole day of servicing, I hope that the car is fixed now.
    Wish I could meet that receptionist.....need I say more?

  5. Ooh la la, Milk Distributors Weekly!! Did you remember to grab a subscription card for the mag??

  6. Your grizzly bear routine?! Bwaaaaa ha ha ha! They wouldn't want to deal with me after all that all day, either! I hope that it's fixed after all that grief!

  7. i hope whatever was in the oven emitting the wondrously smelling steam made that day worth it!
    knowing the font i'm sure it did.
    you are not helping the opinion the average american has for the rudeness and haughtiness of the French...
    but then again . . . most of those same americans must not have encountered NYC . aw. now that long sentence should surely get the cards and letters coming in! I heart NY. it's france profonde i'm having second thoughts about!
    xo tammy j

  8. Right on target, Angus!! (so glad I am not one of THEM).
    There is a profound mystery behind such haughtiness ANYWHERE...Lack of courtesy in our busy world? Particularly when dealing with any customer...)
    No scratches on the 'courtesy loan' I hope and problem resolved? Grizzly bear routine?! Ah! Ah!

  9. You know, those Skodas get very good write-ups in car magazines. Maybe you've gotten a lemon. Is there a Lemon Law in France?
    Sometimes, the only way to get things accomplished is to be a bear. Growl!!!!

  10. I feel your pain.
    My little Fiat's trunk only opens when it feels like it.
    But it opens like a charm every time it is at the dealership.
    So they all think I'm a loon.

  11. Spent some of last Saturday morning getting my car serviced, too; not an involved process as yours; at least, my mechanic had the History Channel

  12. Okay, and we thought we had problems yesterday when we took the car for its NCT (MOT)! We were only there two hours but it felt like forever! Thankfully the car passed! Hope your car is now back in action too!

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