Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Roadside Assistance

Today was great.  All of it.  Liz and I spent the day with Fuse and her friend Ines touring the Alsace, a really picturesque region in northeastern France.  We visited Strasbourg and the tiny village of Riquewihr, then had a stereotypical “French picnic” on the shore of a river in Kaysersberg—a baguette, a wheel of brie, grapes, and French wine, and we were set.  In a word, perfection.

But it wouldn’t be a true adventure if everything went right all day long.  So as we were coming home over the mountains of the Vosges, we ran into car trouble.  Thankfully it happened going down the mountain, rather than up it, because suddenly Fuse found that she was unable to put the car in gear…any gear.  We were just coasting down the hill. 

So when the road leveled out, we pulled over and started making phone calls.  First a call to Fuse’s dad in the States.  After a description of the problem, it became pretty clear that the clutch had gone out.  Then a call to Guillaume, of course, and finally a call to their insurance company. 

Now, we’d been feeling a little bit stuck, because 1) we were over an hour away from home when this happened, and 2) it was almost 9:00pm, and the last train for Nancy had left a nearby town about an hour before.  Soooo we weren’t really sure how much the trip home was going to cost us.

Luckily, though, it turns out that Fuse and Guillaume have roadside assistance.  The tow to a nearby garage and a taxi ride home for us would be covered, and we wouldn’t have to pay a dime for that! 
Our spirits lifted considerably. 

After waiting what seemed like quite a while, the tow truck arrived.  Since there were 4 of us, the driver informed us that we wouldn’t all fit in his cab, and 2 of us would have to ride in the car.  We said (or perhaps just thought and didn’t vocalize), who wants to ride up front? We all rode in the car.

You know what’s really fun?  Sitting in a car that’s facing backwards and attached to the bed of a tow truck and watching the world go by.  And waving at the kind townspeople sitting outside who were definitely laughing with us.  They seemed as happy as we were.    

So, we got back to Nancy about an hour later than planned, and Fuse and Guillaume will have to deal with getting their car fixed and paying for it, but even so, I think everyone along today would agree that today was pretty great anyway.  

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