our entire day today has been consumed by taking care of our silly twingo.
poor thing, she’s trying to hang in there (and so are we!!). but the parody continues…….
so let me back-track a little bit about the car. you are all probably thinking by now i’m sure, ‘why did you and david even buy this car? what were you thinking?”. well, it was cheap, it passed it’s “contrôle technique” in october and we can’t otherwise buy/lease a new car yet. so the red twingo seemed to meet our needs, dented up or not, we signed on the dotted line. we took the risk and knew at the time that it was a big risk indeed.
in france, all cars that are more 4 years old have to pass a “contrôle technique” every two years as a ‘compulsory roadworthiness test’. if you pass the test, based on various car metrics like brakes and brake pads, emissions, tires, transmission, etc, you will receive a stamp that you must display on your windshield (next to the your insurance sticker that is also mandatory to display on your windshield). if your car does not pass the test you are given 2 months to get everything fixed, bring back your car and try to pass a second time. if it doesn’t pass and you do not have a current stamp, you risk heavy fines from the police if you are caught (or if you get stopped for whatever reason, accident, etc). so basically everyone gets the test done and thankfully it isn’t expensive.
our twingo passed the test in october so we thought at least we could use it until we have full-time jobs when we can buy or lease a new car. well, the future isn’t looking so bright for her.
so today, (you all already know the story about the tires and keys), we went to the renault dealership. we told him the story about the keys and he said that it often happens to the older cars and they can try to re-program the keys. try being the essential word, and guess how long we have to wait? he can fit us in on friday. oh, that’s just dandy.
so until friday, everytime we need to start the car we have to click in the secret code with it’s series of flashing lights and clicks (it takes a few minutes too, and it’s super easy to screw up – – it’s hilarious, really).
we then asked about the tire and of course, our luck, they were out. well, so were we. off to massa autopneu.
massa autopneu is a chain like speedy, so we were hoping that they not only had our tire in stock but that we could find it cheaper. thankfully we did on both counts. (and they thought our story about the key was cute. yeah, sure. until we need to move our car out of your shop and it doesn’t start!! ha!)
but when the guy was changing our tire, he flagged us back over to the car and was like “i would really like to advise you that your brake discs are as thin as cigarette papers”. he literally said that.
you have got to be kidding me?!? like i said…..one thing after another.
david and i, not knowing a whole lot about cars or how things should really look, were like – – ok, so how bad is bad? like…..we can wait 2 months bad or change it now bad….? he said that we don’t have to change it today but as soon as we hear grinding, bring your car into a shop immediately.
we are talking about a 12 yr old car here.
we asked him to order the discs and he told us it would be there in a hour. we’ll be back.
so after the shop re-opened at 2pm from lunch break we left our apartment to head back.
secret code doesn’t work…
secret code doesn’t work again…
still doesn’t work…
we wait and wait for 15 mins for the damn thing to re-set.
during these 15 minutes david and i had a few laughs trying to think up different things that one could be required to do in order to start the car (instead of the secret-code-light-thingy when your keys are broken):
- honk the horn 17 times, get out, run around the car 5 times then blink twice – jump back in car
- open the door and shut the door 7 times, turn the left blinker on for 10 flashes, wash the windsheild front and back, twice
- put all the windows down, open the trunk and close the trunk, kick the bumper three times and wait for a bird to poo on your windsheild
all of these seem totally plausible, right? i mean, at this point we can only laugh.
we did get the car started after all and made it back to the shop, paid our way out and headed home. fingers crossed we can go another few weeks/months until something else happens!
all in all, the past 3 days have been a compete comedy of errors.
thank you to the people who have told me it’ll all be okay and to hang in there. i need to hear that. david and i are at least trying to laugh our way through what seems to be one difficult thing after another……..
but in the end, it’s all worth the hassle ;-)