In France, you need to get your car inspected every two years. We had to do this in Pennsylvania several hundred years ago when I lived there, while in California it was just a pollution check every couple of years.
I have to admit that I haven’t really gotten into the swing of this yet, as the 2 previous times I had it done while Beanie was in for her regular maintenance and didn’t really have to think about it. I knew that this year it was due in June, and I had assumed that it was the end of June.
I discovered today that I was wrong and it was due by June 1st! That put me in a bit of a bind, because with Cheryl coming next week and leaving on the 26th, that was cutting things a little close. I didn’t think it was fair to waste part of her visit while we sat in a waiting room as mysterious things were happening to the poor Beanie-mobile.
Nothing ventured, nothing gained, so I decided to call the nearest Controle Technique station and see if they could do this today. They COULD! I was quite thrilled, because it gave me an excuse not to clean the house for a little while.
Luckily, Beanie passed with flying colors (well, she IS a Toyota, so it’s not a surprise). However, I learned a couple of things. First, you should never watch while they do a controle technique on your car. It is scary as hell, because they actually “drive” it while it remains motionless. The speed clearly gets up pretty high, then they slam on the breaks. They do this several times and it makes horrible noises and you can actually see your car kind of bounces up and down. I know they’re used to doing this, but I was really worried about it for a few minutes.
Second, Toyotas really ARE great little cars. The mechanic told me that a lot of times when they get cars from the States, that they come with whole lists of things that don’t conform to French regulations but that the Drire (the body that approves cars for registration in France) gives the owners a paper that says it’s okay and they should pass the controle anyway. Interestingly enough, this is NOT the case with Toyotas, which always pass with everything being acceptable.
So, Beanie is cool for another 2 years and I know that we will be safe as we drive Cheryl around doing touristy things.
Something strange when I came back, and I don’t have the answer yet. On the sign that says “CHALABRE” as you enter town, there was a poster saying ÄBYSS with the picture of something exploding. I do not know if this is a commentary by someone in town, or if there is a badly named rock band that is going to perform! If I find out, I’ll post about it.
Ciao for now