R.I.P Juju, Hello Old Bertha

Trip Start May 17, 2010
Trip End Jul 17, 2010

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Flag of France  , Brittany,
Thursday, July 8, 2010

Hi all!

I'm still doing well but as my time here dwindles down, I should inform you of relatively important happenings:

1.) Juju is dead

I was going to Carrefour to return a bag I'd bought before I left for Paris (note: you have only 15 days to return items here, 48 hours if the item is on sale). Of course, mine was on sale. Luckily, the lady let me return the bag and I left relieved and ready to head back home. I hopped into Juju and started the engine normally, but something felt off with the car. I checked my fuel and I had enough, but thought maybe I needed more so I somehow managed to get the gurgling, chugging, and sputtering car to the gas station before it shut off. I tried starting it again, and it worked... but upon pressing the accelerator the car's engine would rev up, but made no movement whatsoever. It was as if the car was stuck in neutral.. and it wasn't. After 10 minutes or so of trying to troubleshoot, popping open the hood and acting like I knew what I was doing, I gave up and put on my emergency signal. 
  This would also be the day that I leave my phone at home because of a dead battery. I rummaged through the glove compartment looking for ANYTHING with Angélique's or Cyril's phone number, and with great luck, I found a little notepad with Angélique's number. Because I had broken down a few feet from Feu Vert, an autoshop, I decided to go see if someone could help me. I walked inside and asked some guy at the front counter, but he gave me a very unsympathetic no. Plan A out of commission, I decided to try and use a pay phone to make my call. Unfortunately, pay phones here do NOT take cash and only accept cartes bancaires, and I didn't have one. Plan B foiled, I went in Carrefour to ask if I could use a phone. Hah. Everyone gave me the same answer: "C'est pas possible." i.e. "No, stupid American." After the joke of a Plan C, I realized I would probably have to BUY a new phone if I wanted to make a call... so I did. It only took an hour or so, but I finally had a phone and I called Angélique to tell her to send Cyril because the car had broken down. Maybe another hour later, Cyril and his partner Nico came to the rescue. They both inspected the car, messed around with it, went to Feu Vert for help, and returned to announce that the car had reached its end.

Poor, poor Juju.

2.) I now have a replacement car.

Cyril and Angélique both were aware that Juju was set to die soon, so they weren't upset. I on the other hand, wondered how I was going to get around without a car. Yesterday night, I had my answer. Cyril brought Mémé's old car to the house for me to use. Actually, old is an understatement. This new car (I affectionately have named Old Bertha) is older than me. It's a stick shift with unmarked gears... not even a grid like most stick shifts have to show you what gear you're in. The AC has no freon so it blows hot, dusty smog clouds. The windows do not roll up (or down) properly. There's a little thingy on the dash that you have to pull if using the car for the first time in the day to "warm it up". Oh, and there is no radio. But all of this is just dandy because there are also NO SPIDERS. My only concerns are how jerky the car is to drive... it chugs like a train instead of moving smoothly. Likewise, the is NO POWER STEERING. This makes turning 500 times more difficult than it should be. I actually have blisters on my hands from the steering wheel. Oh well though. 9 more days!

3.) I'm going to Nantes

On Sunday. My next entry will probably be on Sunday after I get back from visiting Emilie. I hope all goes well!

4.) MUSE concert is on the 15th.

And I'm driving :( 

Anything for Muse, I guess.

5.) I have no space in my suitcase for all the stuff I've bought.

No joke. I have soooooo much stuff that I will have to double, triple, and quadruple my jeans, shirts, etc to make room in my suitcase. This is all for YOU (and me). Too many souvenirs, not enough space. And now I'm wondering what on earth possessed me to buy a PILLOW?

Anyway, that's it for now. I will be home soooooon!

Bisous, ciao!
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Al'Quawn on

Jerk......that mechanic could have helped you out

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