This holiday was one where we took the car. As we have a cottage this meant that we loaded up the car with everything we needed and then some more. For instance we took too many clothes, electronics and our bikes.
Yes we took the bikes. Just like we did a few years back to Germany and let’s just hope we use them. SO and I were convinced this would be easy After all we’d done it before. As it turns out it was easy, just took us some time to find out how it worked again. Never ceases to maze me though how good You tube is when the directions in the manual just fail. Once we got it sorted we were on our merry way and soon we were in Belgium where I took over the driving into France. Immediately it started hosing down with rain and given that we were driving over Lille this was somewhat of a nightmare. At one stage I was only doing 60km/h on the motorway. It was not nice. but soon the weather eased and we got the kilometers down fast. With both of us driving no need to have long rests.
A few hours later we were nearing our place of residence for the next two weeks when we decided on one last stop and change over (from SO to me again) and to get some petrol. As we entered was saw a white van pulling out of the petrol pumping area backwards which we felt was a bit odd. But soon we were next in line for a position at the pump. SO got out to get petrol and I quickly took to the toilets and thought that I’d drive away as I got back. Not quite though.
As I returned SO stood next to the car with his arms crossed and a look of utter disbelief on his face. Turns out the pump had not been released yet. A bunch of Germans had the same issue and together we stood there for a good ten minutes. Everybody was thinking aloud, do these people want to get paid, earn something or what? The issue as it turns out is that people took their cars away from the pump to the station building. You’d think to pay and with this action allowing the next customers to get ready and be efficient. If that is what you’d think, you’d be wrong. They did go inside, had a pee, a look around in the large shop, maybe get a coffee and a sandwich in the little restaurant corner and pay the restaurant and the petrol in one go as that is easier. This may take up to 15 minutes as we discovered.
During those 15 minutes that people were browsing, eating peeing or whatever they were doing the workers could not release the pump as the petrol had not been paid for. SO clearly was not impressed and was keeping a hawkish look on the car of the people before him, fearing they would drive off without paying, so we’d get the bill. But finally after about 15 minutes the pump was released and we could fill it. SO immediately went to pay, while I adjusted the car seat and we drove off as soon as we could. Away from this weird place where they sold too much besides petrol.
From that point onwards we had an hour or so to go and we soon arrived at our new temporary abode. We managed to get tot he hypermarche on time to get some stuff and then headed out to the village for a decent meal. We fell into bed around ten and slept off the trip. It was a good trip down. Even taking into account not not so considerate people at the petrol station – our petrol pirates of sorts