Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Plodding along.

Do we start a countdown?  Not so sure.  It’s still just over a month until we head home for Christmas (December 14th) so counting over thirty “sleeps” seems excessive.  

We do head over to Paris in a couple weeks.  La de da.  All that means is that I still have to decide on a hotel for a couple nights.   No countdown for that one.


My “chores” for today,  other than the usual domestic duties,  is to make a hair appointment for T.C.,  and then head around the corner to the bank.  No big deal on either account,  and the hair thingy has already been done. 

Before I say anything else,  I would just like to point out that making appointments was never anything I was asked to do when we were back home.  Somehow that became one of my “jobs” over here,  and it’s partly due to the language issue.  Plus, I’m slightly more at “loose ends" than T.C.

That’s my story anyway. 

The “Friseurin”  (hair lady)  does speak passable English,  although I know she struggles.  I’ve at least by this point convinced Travelling Companion that she indeed needs to make her own doctor’s appointments,  since there are just too many variables involved, and the doc speaks perfect English.  Well,  “perfect” within reason I suppose.   Think Arnold Schwarzenegger,  only blond, female and slightly better looking.  At this point in Arnold’s life,  I’m sure his breasts are about the same size as hers as well.  

Ooh,  did I just say that?

“Ya ya,  Ve gunna pump you up!”


Let’s just stop right there. This is getting to be a bit of a slippery slope,  and I’m sure I could work that into a pun as well,  if I gave it a little effort.



Ever had one of these??


Actually,  with the possible exception of renting a car in these parts and then discovering later that the rental company has tacked an extra charge on your credit card,  you’ll never ever have one of these. 

See,  this is why I have to take a little trip to the bank at some point in the very near future.  

Let me translate:

“Bla bla bla, ….you were speeding….you owe money..now pay!”

There,  that’s the gist of it.

And you know,  I remember the exact moment of this occurrence.  I had just dropped off Travelling Companion at the airport and I was bootin’ it …er,   coming back into the city,  there was an ambulance coming up behind me at a goodly clip,  and I just sort of sped up a bit to get around a car that I was otherwise barely passing.   Again, that’s my story.  

I do seem to recall some sort of a flash at one point when I glanced back at the emergency vehicle behind me,  but wasn’t entirely sure what had happened.  Things were flashing.  Didn’t realise there was something flashing for little ole me.  Now I know.

So hey,  I just might have saved a life by getting out of the way of that ambulance,  and it’s only going to cost us €42!  What is a life worth?  Such a deal!

In most of the countries throughout Europe,  there’s none of that “Innocent until proven guilty” malarkey.   They snap your photo,  all the while measuring your speed, and then they send you a bill. Or they send it to whomever owns the car.   Very cost effective.  It’s almost worth not having to get the lecture from some cop who drew the short straw that day,  and is stuck with Radar duty.  I would hate that job,  just as much as I would hate the lame-assed excuses that people would come up with for going over the speed limit.  Yer busted!  Suck it up. 

It’s not like there are no warnings either.  I know for a fact that,  right along that strip,  there are big flashing signs with,  “50 Radar!”   That’s kind of a clue,  don’t ya think?

In addition to not having to get the quasi-lame lecture from some cop,  there’s also no recrimination from Travelling Companion.   See, even though I was “first out of the gate”  when it came to getting speeding tickets here in Europe,  there’s this one particular spot on the way to her other office up in the hinterland where it seems there’s some sort of “trap” of the “speeding” kind?  So I’m not alone. But we’ll stick to the subject at hand.

Actually,  I’ve just now hit upon the underlying problem.   It’s those darned German engineered vehicles that we’ve started driving!   That has to be it.  

There was a long,  long period of time there,  when neither of us had had speeding tickets,  and then we went and bought the Jetta in the fall of 1999.   Bingo bango,  T.C. got her first EVER speeding ticket in that thing.  It just went like a shot!  Previous to that,  we had an Olds ‘98 “touring sedan”,  and it was fine as long as you drove in a straight line,  and didn’t go much faster than about 55. (mph)  I don’t want to say too many disparaging things about it,  but it’s kind of like buying a new pair of shoes,  at which point you then realise just how bad the old pair really were?   We’ll leave it at that.   Wouldn’t want to say anything to upset any “Olds” or “GM”  aficionados.


(Hint: It was a hunk of junk)

Let’s just put it this way.  The Jetta,  which now belongs to Daughter Number one,  is coming up on thirteen years old,  has roughly 450 thousand kilometres on it,  and is still going strong.  The biggest challenge will be keeping the body on the thing,  since it gets driven year round.

We were barely able to squeeze 100,000 kilometres out of the Olds when, in its ninth year the electrical problems that had been minor annoyances up until then started to become somewhat life threatening?   I traded it for a tonneau cover for a truck that I leased.  I was happy to get that much for it.   And when I drove it to the dealership where I was dropping it off,  the bloody thing quit on me (as it had done once on the thruway in New York state) just as I was backing it into a parking spot.  I got out and pushed.  Took the keys inside,  dropped them off and got the hell outta there.  

There’s more to that story,  but I’d just as soon not dredge it all up again.  I’m starting to grind my teeth ever so slightly just thinking about it.


That’ll be all.


Keep it between the ditches.


Thanks for looking.




  1. The speeding ticket system sure works pretty good. Simple you got caught, pay up!

  2. Here in the U. S. A., the countdown began BEFORE Halloween. Not very happy about that. I remember Christmas music began on Thanksgiving not Labor day!

    Well, this is different, to hear someone say...I'll just pay the ticket and move on. You won't win anyway, so pay and move on. It is the European way.

  3. speeding? hmm..ours are blue..not that I am speaking from personal experience but someone other than me has seen that 'blue paper' more than once!
    Here we also have redlight cameras!..now those can be tricky!..that flash can scare the 'crap' out of you as you are running that yellow/red light!

  4. They have those danged camera thingys out here in Arizona too.... Hate um..

    I had it figured out what the notice was even though I can't read a word of German... 63km in 50 km what else do you need to understand...?

  5. The other half got caught in one in Louisiana. But then again he's been stopped in Maine, South Dakota and New Jersey by a live ticket giver who never issued a ticket. But that machine in Louisiana was not so forgiving.

    Me, never a ticket in my entire 69 years.

  6. Hope you are pulling out the parkas for your upcoming visit back to Canada. Can't say I envy you!

    Nope, I have never seen a speeding ticket, so far, I was warned once! Kevin has seen one or two over his lifetime. Glad you are just sucking it up. Get TC to expense it for you, seeing as you got it after dropping her off!

    Kevin and Ruth

  7. Maybe you should rewrite you resume, add interpreter, chef, complaints department and now personal assistant to TC.

    If you get lonely when you are permanently back, give me a call!! You're hired!!


Well, I've been getting too many spam comments showing up. Just a drag, so we'll go another route and hope that helps. So, we won't be hearing anything more from Mr. Nony Moose.
I guess I'll just have to do without that Gucci purse.