I don't know why I do that. Yesterday, I mean. I had two perfectly good blog topics — nothing earth-shaking, for sure, but fine for a blog like this one — and what did I do? I posted them both on the same day. Now what in the world am I going to post today?
Well, as usual, I have some photos. They are mood pictures — atmospheric, of the season. November. Yesterday morning it was really pretty cold, and there was a spectral frost on the ground, especially on autumn leaves and down the rows of vines. By "spectral" I mean ghostly, like a specter.
So yesterday I posted two perfectly good blog topics as one on a morning when I was rushing around to get everything done. Maybe if I hadn't been in such a hurry, I would have thought more about what I was doing and saved something for today.
Not only did I need to come up with a blog topic yesterday morning, but I also had to walk the dog. And then I was supposed to take the car in for service at 9:00 a.m. That's a lot to get done before nine in the morning.
My plan was to leave the car and then walk from the mechanic's over to Intermarché and do some grocery shopping. I had scanned the weekly flyer, so I knew what was on special. There were several specific items I wanted to get, and then I could just browse around the store, looking for the new and unusual. It would be more fun than sitting in the mechanic's waiting room for an hour or more, reading trashy People-type magazines.
Actually, sitting in the mechanic's waiting room can be pretty entertaining. It's like some kind of medieval comedy playing itself out right before your eyes, with a full cast of odd characters. All you have to do is take a seat, spectate, and say Bonjour, Monsieur or Bonjour, Madame to the people who walk in to explain their car problems. I did all that one day last week.
Some customers will come in and bend the head mechanic's ear for 15 or 20 minutes, laughing and joking. Some come in looking completely lost — one older monsieur the other day walked in wearing his green khaki work clothes and his green khaki knee-boots, looking like he had forgotten he was planning to do some gardening that morning.
He said bonjour to me and several other customers who were waiting around. Then he just stood there, off to the side. He made no effort to get in line with the other customers seeking mechanical or pneumatic solutions to their automobile issues. Then he just left. Ten minutes later, he came back in, said bonjour again, and smiled sheepishly. Again, he just stood there for a while, making no effort to get up the the desk to talk to the man in charge.
After a while he walked out again. I figured he would be back. Maybe he was going out to smoke a cigarette or something. But he never did come back in. Why he stood around for a total of 20 or 30 minutes without ever even trying to talk to anybody, I don't know. Just timide, I guess. I'm pretty sure he wasn't waiting for a car that was already being worked on. If he had been, he probably would have sat down the way I did and thumbed through some trashy magazines.
Meanwhile, some boisterous people were telling what must have been hilarious stories about their cars, but I couldn't really hear what most of them were saying. One pot-bellied 40ish man in coveralls did say he needed a new tire because somebody had punctured one of his. He said it was the second time that had happened in a week, and he laughed uproariously. If somebody were puncturing the tires on my car one by one, I wouldn't be laughing. Maybe he was just nervous. Maybe I just don't have a very good sense of humor.
Well, yesterday, I didn't get anything done to the car after all. I wasted my time, in a way, but never mind. The mechanic's office was a madhouse. The man in charge was trying to find the right brake pads for a car that was already up on a lift, its brakes in a million pieces. Evidently, it was impossible to find the right ones, and the head mechanic was cussing and fuming.
« J'en ai marre de cette Europe ! » he was muttering — "I've just about had it with this Europe thing!" I'm not sure what the EU had to do with it, but he evidently knew it did. « Comment peut-on travailler dans de telles conditions ? » he ranted as he raced from the garage back to his desk. At least three of his junior mechanics were scurrying around behind him, trying to help him, and as a result nobody was getting anything done.
There were five or six customers standing around, waiting their turn. One couple with two babies in strollers said they absolutely had to have their car back by 5:00. The man in charge looked frustrated, and then he blurted out that if their car couldn't be done by five, he'd give them a loaner. He'd figure it out, nom de Dieu ! That seemed to satisfy them. Another customer needed new tires, but he couldn't decide which ones to get. I saw at least six cars up on lifts out in the garage.
When I got a chance, I went to the man in charge and said maybe I should come back another day. Otherwise, I thought I might have to spend the day there. My car problem is not urgent — it's a crazy turn signal that starts blinking whenever it feels like it. It stops if I touch the wand, so the repair can wait. I don't drive that much anyway. The mechanic looked relieved, said maybe it would be better to reschedule for next Tuesday. That was fine with me. I just went grocery shopping and came on back home.
It's far more peaceful here.