Legends from our own lunchtimes

Friday, April 08, 2011

When he arrived to pick us up after returning the rental car, Gerard our Taxi chap welcomed us with open arms, like siblings, or perhaps as the benefactors who had provided his entire family through winter.

It was our departure last year that tipped the balance we think. It is a little known fact that Taxis meters here tick over at a double-plus-a-bit multiplier on a Sunday. This is probably little known because on a Sunday any Frenchman worth his salt is resting quietly with his elbows on a table laden with food, and there is simply no thought to moving further away than the kitchen or cellar, and therefore no opportunity to test nor desire to discuss the economics of Taxi travel.

By some quirk of fate many months before we had booked a train on that date,without regard to the day of the week on which it may fall and this one fell on Sunday.

We had aside a small amount of cash, enough for the fare and uncharacteristically, a small tip (the tip being uncharacteristic rather than the size of it), with perhaps enough left for an even smaller coffee en route.

We squirmed in our seats as we watched first the fare, then the tip, and finally the coffee dissolve before half the journey's distance was done.

Nothing is too much trouble for Gerard though, and he cheerfully led us on a grand detour past every "Sorry we're closed on Sunday" ATM, kindly waiting while we tried a couple of others which lethargically refused to take our card, humming all the while in time with the ticking meter.

By journey's end both parties had I suspect achieved something of a personal best. The twenty five kilometres had cost just a whisker less than 4€ per kilometer, and Gerard's children and grandchildren would not want for anything over winter.

All of this is to record that today we are once again without car, happily confined again to life aboard.


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