I’m Back!!!

Our loyal Greenie

Our loyal Greenie Beanie

Hi all! I’m back. Sorry for the long absence, but sometimes life just gets in the way of a good blog post. There are things that happen that just aren’t blog material, and other things that you just can’t write about. Between that and being generally taken up by the daily grind of life, I just haven’t been very good lately. I’m also trying to be a bit more present on FB, and I can’t do that, blog AND actually get any work done. I do  plan, however, to start trying to do more here.  (I think I’ve said that before, no?)

At any rate, we had to take Beanie in for her some new parts that had finally arrived. We needed a new door handle, something to do with suspension (no idea what and probably wouldn’t know what it was in English either!) a new water pump and new tires. We decided to go early and eat lunch at the Chinese all you can eat buffet (good deal for them with me, as I eat less than a full plate of food!) and then to pick up some books from our friend Philippe, who receives all the Black Coat Press and Riviere Blanche books. It’s a lot cheaper for them to go to Pamiers than to Chalabre, as weird as that sounds. Maybe because he’s closer to Toulouse.

On the way to Pamiers, we felt a jolt and heard a noise as if we’d run over something, but neither of us had actually seen anything on the road. We got to the restaurant and a man ran after us in the parking lot to tell us we had a flat. I definitely hadn’t felt a flat while I was driving, but damn if it wasn’t flat as a pancake. Maybe we’d run over a nail that fell out when I stopped? At any rate, we were about half-a-mile from the Toyota dealership, but about two miles from Philippe’s, so we had to tell him to put the books in a box outside for later  pick up, then I drove very slowly to the dealership. I know you’re not supposed to do that, but I didn’t have much of a choice.
We were an hour early for our appointment and they weren’t open, so we walked around the shopping center until it was time to go back.
It turns out that the tire I punctured was one of the ones that was being replaced anyway, so at least I didn’t have to wind up buying four tires instead of two!
It took them four hours to do everything that needed doing, but to be fair, this is the first major work we’ve had to do on Beanie in over 10 years of having her.
After reaching the stage of ultimate boredom, JM started looking around the showroom and noticed that a new Yaris was actually under 10,000€ and decided to just talk to a sales person.
What a different experience from buying a car in the States! They are so low pressure. The nice young lady explained that, since we wanted an automatic, that wasn’t a deal we could get. But she worked up a price on that and also on the Verso-S, which is a little bigger (more dog friendly). Even with the automatic, the prices still came out to well below 20,000€, which seemed within the range of what we would be willing to spend on a new car.
Then, when I was asking about a test drive, she went to check something. It turned out they had just taken a return on a 6-month old Verso-S with an automatic. A couple was divorcing and the husband wanted to go down to a Yaris instead. It was the top of the line Verso-S, with all the bells and whistles and has about 9,000 miles on it. It’s white (not my favorite color), but she gave us a price that was less than for a new Verso-S with no options but the automatic.
She gave me the keys and told me to drive it; strangely, she thought it was odd that I wanted her to come with me! No, no, just drive it, she said.
It’s got some kind of variable transmission, so it doesn’t actually change gears the way I’m used to with an automatic. I could get used to it, I suppose.
Then, this is the amazing part. We said we needed to think about it and she said, “Of course!” Can you imagine an American car salesperson letting you out the door without a deal? Just wouldn’t happen. We told her we’d call back this morning.
But, after getting my newly fixed up Beanie, I realized I really love her. She just purrs when she drives. I didn’t love that other car. I think even for a good deal that  you should feel that you’re getting something better than what you have, and I just didn’t really feel that. Yes, it’s got all the modern gewgaws, but it’s not enough. I don’t want to empty our savings account and then feel regret.  So, no new car for now. I told JM that even though I’m a loyal Toyota fan, I wanted to be sure that a Toyota was what I wanted before we make the jump to a new vehicle. So, Beanie remains safely with us.
To top off the day; while we were sitting there I felt my throat going weird. I seem to have caught a cold and I have no idea where or when I came across someone who was sick. I haven’t had a cold in two years, so I’m bummed out.
Ciao for now.
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7 thoughts on “I’m Back!!!

  1. Nice to hear from you again and synmpathies for the cold; I’ve got one too and I think they just float around “out there” waiting to pounce at the most inconvenient time possible. I have only praise for car dealers in France. A mechanic I didn’t know mended a tyre and didn’t charge! The head mechanic at the Audi dealership in Pamiers is more helpful than anyone has a right to expect. We were in Chalabre three weeks ago and it was cold and pouring down, hope it’s better now.

  2. I don’t know how dealers are in the UK, but certainly they are one of the most distrusted professions in the US! We actually enjoyed our meeting with this pleasant young woman at Toyota.

    The weather has been glorious the last few days, but we may have T-storms this afternoon. They’re predicted, but they often miss us.

    You should have stopped in to say hello if you were here. We’re always happy to have a chat.

  3. Kathryn,
    I am from Canada and I did find them in Chalabres. Emails are just the thing or you ask the local village cafe. No excuse!
    And it was fun and very nice to enjoy a coffee with famous american bloggers in a small french village. Believe me any french living in Chalabres would know where their house is located.

  4. Oups, forgot to write, welcome back Randy, I missed you. Am looking forward to another three months in Turkey in the fall, just fell in love with the whole country and their citizens. But meanwhile, want to know more about your daily french life, I loved your village and all the area from Perpignan to your place.

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