11 Dec 2006

Car Buying Exercise

Drove to Susie’s house at 9.30 to head off to Carcassonne. The plans in the meantime had become more complicated. Apparently 2 years ago, Bruce had given her a soft-top VW for her birthday – one that needed a ‘bit of work’. It was still sitting at the mechanic shop – a whole lot of problems had ensued apparently, and there were disagreements over this and that. A bit of a nightmare apparently. Well Susie had decided that she was going to take it out of there, and drive it to someone she knew in Carcassonne who was more reliable. She was unsure of whether it would make the journey. Could we travel in tandem? She was taking a tow-rope and had I ever towed a car?? I said ‘no’, definitely not. So the tow rope went in my boot, Bruce was put on standby to come to help if a tow was needed, and we went to the garage. Not surprisingly, it wasn’t ready to drive – something needed to be done to ‘make it start’ and the guy who could do that wasn’t there. I’m not sure where this story is heading, but I think it has some way to go…
So we head to Carcassonne, meet Abdel the car salesman who is very pleasant and helpful. It’s beginning to rain but we look at a few in the car yard. I had already decided I wanted an automatic Renault, a Peugeot or Citroen in any colour but grey – and definitely diesel.
What I bought and will pick up on 9th January (when the damage to the door and rear end and bumper has been fixed) is a manual Suzuki wagon, colour grey – and definitely petrol. Nearly 3 years old, 29,000 kilometres on the clock and one not-so-careful owner.
So after lunch with Susie and Bruce and their son Lucas, a bit of shopping, it’s back to the house to continue unpacking. I try to ring Pascale, using the number Msr has given me. It’s a wrong number. I try the mobile, and go through to the voice mail, and leave a message in French that I doubt will be understood.
I also need to go the Maire’s office to get a Certificate of Domicile, which I need to then fax through to the Abdel at the car yard so he can arrange for the paperwork to be completed. I wasn’t able to make myself understood completely to the very helpful woman behind the desk – in desperation she got her mobile phone and rang her daughter – who spoke very good English, handed me the phone and I explained what I needed. Voila. Problem solved, and out came a small pad of tear-off forms which said I was a resident of the village (I had to produce my passport and paperwork from French Telecom as proof). How is that for service!
This Certificate was more important in more ways than one. Apparently I needed it to produce to get my rubbish tip card.

Moving sideways

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