Le Deux Chevaux

Alors, today I am in Vallabrix experiencing the frustrations of auto ownership in France.  My cute green D2C or Deux Chevaux needed its control technique yesterday, something like a physical for cars in France where you discover what a citron you really have.  By that i mean lemon not Citoen which the car actually is.   Upon reflection it is in fact both a citron and a Citroen!  Sour fruit or not I was determined to carry on.  With the list in hand and confidence in the brilliant sunny 1st of octobre morning, I headed out back to Sauve to enlist the help of a mechanic to put the list in order.  I must preface this with the fact that for the first week here I have been driving a borrowed Trois Chevaux which is in far better shape mechanically and physically than my car.  It has another horse pulling and even though the steering column is on the right(it being of English descent) I had grown accustomed to a considerably higher degree of mechanical security than I would experience down the road.  As soon as I started her she reminded me of her finicky attitude; I may or I may not…We pulled out and onto the narrow patched road headed to Uzes.  The soft suspension I had remembered from fifteen months ago felt more like I might bounce and touch my seat bottom to the pavement and I felt a distinctive diminishment of power.  Ok, shall we try second gear, maybe third, oh no sorry, not that one….we are sounding far too gutteral here… HANG ON here comes the first corner!  The woman behind me passes at the first chance.  It is the gorgeous saturday market in Uzes so I go the back route because I may be able to avoid the stop and go traffic she hates.  At one point on the single track looking up the autumn landscape I felt at one with the curve of the road, the shadow of the crumbling stone wall, the spire of the cypress ahead on the rise by the olive tree, the breeze through the window.  Ah France!  La vrai France… moi et mon D2C…

At the top of the hill Uzes sits on I weave my way to the busy Boulevard Gambatta only to discover I have not avoided a thing.  With a single one way road around the bustling medieval city, traffic creeps as tourists wander like geese from behind every parked car to cross to le marché in the heart of the Place des Herbes despite the best efforts of a noticeable plethora the traffic gendarmes.  I make a clumsy retreat downhill from first attempt only to be met with a near head on at the curve where I had noted to USE HORN on the ascent.  Scabbing to the right to avoid the car and the slightly vacant gaze of two teenage girls out for le weekend; she falters and stalls dead in her track.  Merde! Quelle chance!  I get out to push her exo-skeleton off the track so the girls can continue and sit like a stuck turtle in a danger zone.  From experience I know that waiting is the only solution to her carburator flooded with gas which I can smell evaporating my good mood.  Ten minutes later she reluctantly starts and I decide to take the low road and avoid the city all together.  There, in a second tight situation, afraid to pull out from a tenuous standstill into testosterone driven french traffic imagining a possible stall…I STALL AGAIN!  “I hate this stupid car!” I shout.  Embarrassed by my situation and other cars using the same detour as I trying to pass me, I decide.  Get back to Vallabrix, park it and put a sign on it.  A VENDRE.  Romance aside, I have had my fill of excitement.  Je suis une artiste et pas un mechanic. So I am here making the most of a bad idea, sitting at an impossible french keyboard correcting all the q’s and turning them into a’s!  The one     thing I do

 

love about their system is that the ? is less important than the !  I am both questioning and exclaiming today??!!!!

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