I went through a major rite of passage today. I became a Paris driver.
I have driven in Paris before, but it was totally accidental. I was in Burgundy, my husband was ill and the trains were on strike. I’d have driven through Istanbul, Delhi, even, to get him home and safe. So I did. Then I dumped the car, flung my keys at the rental people and hoped I would never have to do that again. That’s not a Paris driver; that’s a driver who finds herself in Paris.
Then I bought a house in the country. That’s not something you can realistically do without a car, though I suppose you can go the Miss Daisy route and get a driver, too. Not within my budget, I’m sorry to say, so I went for Plan B. Plan B is a rental car to tide me over until my Lexus arrives and the rental of a parking space from my key to all things Paris real estate, Francois Brunel at Apartment Living.
This afternoon I picked up the car. Let’s just say I will never actually buy a Renault Captur. It’s not fun. I got it with so little gas that I think it had air in the lines. It hiccuped half the way home. That’s over now but it will never handle well. And does it have blind spots? Yes, plentiful and huge. The guys who prepped it for me tuned the radio to the Latina station, as if Hispanic techno-pop would be just the thing to calm the jittery nerves of this tired old lady who, most of the way home, had no clue where she was headed.
At least it comes with GPS, which guided me to my destination. Unfortunately it did not park the car. After about 15 minutes I managed it. Lots of back-and-forth, lots of OMG, am I going to hit that, but I never did. The car is in its new home, safe and sound and I am recovering. Sunday I drive up to Beauvais and then I come back. Monday I drive to the country. A week later I drive back. Rinse, repeat.
For better or worse, I signed up for this. It is part of the long-term plan and part of who I now am. Among other things, I am a Paris driver. But stressful, oh yeah. Make that G&T a double!