Un pneu creve

un pneu creve

Car trouble again. Not quite so dramatic this time, but a lot more expensive.

Un pneu creve.

And we didn’t notice in time to avoid wrecking the tyre, which meant buying a new one.

We found the local equivalent of Kwik Fit, and arrived there at about ten to midday.
I asked how much it would cost to replace the damaged tyre, and Monsieur retreated into the office to check with the computer.

Computer says bloody loads of euros, twice as much as they cost in blighty.
Anything cheaper? I ask.

Lots of chewing of teeth and discussions about how you have to have the same type of tyres on the front otherwise who knows what unimaginable disasters may befall you.

There is though, a cheap tyre already lurking on one of our back wheels.

How about swapping them round? I suggest, so the two cheap tyres are on the back and the two Pirelli A1 specimens are on the front?

He accepts that might work, peut-etre.

So how much is a cheap one? I ask.

More teeth sucking.

“Je ne peux pas maintenant, il est midi,” he shrugs.

It’s lunchtime, and he can’t consult the computer until after 2pm, or we’d be cutting into his stomach break.

It’s a cry that goes up across France a midi, and woe betide the person who expects decent service from someone who could easily check a price on a computer and be back in two minutes.

I know we’re on holiday, but really.

So we order the Pirelli and return the next day to have it fitted.

Next time we come we’ll bring a spare spare with us, then if we don’t need it we can sell it to pay for the fare home.

About Beta Mum

Here you can find the ramblings of a trapeze artist turned journalist who ran away from the circus to join the BBC. Cathy "mine's a Kir Royale" Keir then spent thirteen years working in Jersey, Guernsey and Devon, before downgrading to what you see before you. She has contributed articles to The Guardian, The Stage and Television Today, Junior Magazine and both the BBC and Bad Mothers Club websites. She has two children who think women can’t be prime ministers. She blames herself.
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6 Responses to Un pneu creve

  1. Alasdair says:

    “It’s lunchtime, and he can’t consult the computer until after 2pm, or we’d be cutting into his stomach break.” – This from the nation that was up in arms when they got slapped with the 35 hour maximum working week …

    Tyres are hideously expensive at the best of times I dread to think what you ended up paying if it was twice the price … eek!

    Of course it could’ve been an “Ah-ha! Tourists!” thing ::rolls his eyes::

    I hope you’re having a good holiday though, aside from the whole tyre thing.

  2. I’ve just had to replace all four tyres at once: obviously with a Prius you have to make up the shortfall on the fossil fuels somewhere…

    Did you ever play the game Mille Bournes? That taught me a lot of useful French breakdown vocab.

  3. Omega Mummy says:

    No, no – it wasn’t his lunch break, but the computer’s obviously. Attempt to ask questions between 12.00 and 2.00 pm and you obviously get ‘Computer dit ‘non”.

    I get the impression that as a family you’re not terribly car friendly. But I admire the way you’re able to laugh about it (even in retrospect).

  4. A bloody rip off tyres in France…and they ALWAYS sell you a Pirelli or some other pin-up tyre. Rest assured, it’s not you, it’s having a car in France.

    Wasn’t it a beautiful day today? We watched the sun sink into the sea in Houlgate, hope you had a gorgeous day in spite of the car.

    Cochon dans la cuisine (devant l’ordinateur)

  5. Tracey says:

    Ah, I just love it when you parlez Francais. What an experience, being able to just wander over to France for a holiday! And let’s face it, you don’t really experience a culture unless you immerse yourself in it… by having to get things fixed. Keep the anecdotes coming!

  6. joe says:

    Nice blog! We can never tell when car trouble can happen. It may happen anytime at any place. I for one experienced it. The most recent car trouble – was when my lexus radiator overheats and my car won’t start. It happened on my way on a important meeting with a client. I ended up paying expensive repair plus had to take the cab to our meeting place. *sighs* It was really a bad day for me.

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