Totally Frenched Out

From the blogger formerly known as Samdebretagne

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

So, here I am, back down south for one night only. It's been really strange to have to drive again, but I was lucky enough to have found an automatic car this late in the tourist season. Though technically, it's a "sensodrive" car, sort of like half-manual and half-automatic. I got the keys from the (cranky) rental agent and got in the car, and then realized I had no clue how to drive it! It looked like a manual, but there was no clutch. There was no way I was going back in to ask Miss Crabbypants how to use it, so I took out the owner's manual and saw that if I put it in E, it was in automatic and that if I put it in M, I could shift up and down as I wished (still minus the clutch). I kept it in automatic, and I have to say that I'm not really a fan. The whole car kind of lurches forward every time it changes gear. I also learned the hard way that even in E, I had to keep my foot on the break when stopped or it would start rolling backwards. Oops.

And good lord are gas prices high - diesel is at almost 1.60€/L down here - that's like a 30 cents/L rise in just the past three months!! Makes me really glad I no longer have a car and can use public transportation. Besides that, I'm feeling sort of like I have a split personality. Or maybe a double life. It's just so odd to go from playing Barbies and Battleship one minute to taking a flight to do an upgrade on a $150,000 machine the next.

What a strange life I lead.



Blogger Justin said...

Yeah I hate those senso drives. I also did not like that the automatics still rolled backwards... freaked me out the first time. I only drive a manual now, so no big issues anymore.

I knew it, you are really a spy aren't you? ;-)

Enjoy your day in the south, living your double life.

July 8, 2008 at 7:28 AM  
Blogger kylie said...

does this mean that you are really a spy or something? 'cause that would be kind of exciting. (to watch and observe. from the outside, of course. i'm not one for torture.)

July 8, 2008 at 8:54 AM  
Blogger L said...

B's parents just bought a citroen C4 and it's a manual, but there's no emergency break. Apparently it's kind of a cross over car as well because when you let off the break, you have a 2 seconds window while the car is held still to get your foot on the gas, or else it starts rolling. This is apparently to compensate for starting on a hill since there's no emergency break.

July 8, 2008 at 4:27 PM  
Blogger Cindy said...

Hi Sam,
I'm amazed that you find time to blog every day, but I'm glad you do! Thanks! The one time I was Biarritz, I remember thinking it was very cool. Have fun!
I did watch the Tour on TV yesterday. It went through my husband's town, and he was there--not me! But I'm going soon, and I'm so excited! I'll be in Paris the 25th of July! I'll think of you!
Cindy in Lincoln NE

July 8, 2008 at 7:02 PM  
Blogger Jennie said...

Sensodrive sounds bizarre. Is that like semi-automatic where you push a button to change the gear instead of using the clutch?

Gas prices were really low in Vaucluse. I was surprised to see the most expensive gas (98) was only 1.45 in Sarrians, near Orange.

July 12, 2008 at 2:51 PM  

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