Monday, February 26, 2007

Chinese New Year of the Pig: Celebrations at Paris...

A literally translated dialogue from a popular Bollywood film goes this way - "My bad luck is simply too bad..." - and apply to me it truly did.

As if all that had happened in the week that was wasn't enough, I was to suffer some more in the weekend. A Chinese friend and I decided on a last minute plan to visit Paris. Hotels were booked, and on Saturday, the 24th morning off we zoomed on our way.

French freeways / autobahns are notorious for their toll. One is at their mercy and a trip to Paris that requires only 300 km of travel inside France requires one to shell out a good 46 €s (~60 USD). To avoid the killing, many take the scenic national roads that are toll-free but also slow as they are winding and travel through little villages and cities alike. However, the French countryside is always worth a watch!

One of these cities is Metz. Being an exception in the sense that it seems to be alive and kicking with a reasonable population (most villages look like relics to be honest), we decided to enter the city and take a lunch break at a French Baker. As we waited on a signal at the bridge over the Mosel, bang - a Renault slams into the rear of my car. The guy came limping out with a walking stick - limp not caused by the accident, blabbering something in French. He could speak neither English nor Deutsch to save his life, and our broken French helped get him show some important documents - the DL and the insurance papers. We called the police, had the area photographed. We got lucky in that the policeman spoke perfect German and helped us out.

I also felt sorry for the guy - while my car suffered a broken rear lamp and scratches on the rear bumper, he suffered a flat tire and a smashed front-left edge - all on a car that had been purchased by him only 9 days back. I guess, he is going through a real bad phase in his life too. The supreme force (if there is any) must have simply decided to bring two such people (him and me) together to optimize on bad luck and keep it from falling on others!

In the meanwhile, we realized that my Chinese friend had forgotten to take his driving license along. This meant that I was supposed to drive the car all the way and back. Initially, given the accident et al - I decided that we return home. A coffee later, the masochist in me urged me to take the way forward and off we went - to Paris.

The Chinese New Year's celebrations scheduled for the next day were only partially witnessed by us - reason being that I the only driver wished to leave by 16:00 that we could do the 8 hour drive in comfort (if we took the freeways, it would cost us about 6 hours instead).

I reached home at 30 past midnight and was more than happy to sleep!

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