Monday, 25 June 2012

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Portofino

Men are great.

I happen to be engaged to one, so I know what I'm talking about.

But there's a quality, marked somewhere on the Y-chromosome, which never ceases to flabbergast me.  It's a certain stubbornness that manifests itself in the usual clich├ęd male ways: ie. the refusal to ask for directions, the refusal to admit when one's lost and, as I discovered the other day, the refusal to admit that the car needs gas.

About 20km after leaving Beaune on our drive to Portofino, I saw a sign for a gas station and noticed that the little pointer thingy was within the final quarter mark of our gas gauge.  (I prefer the names of nail-polish to car parts, okay?)  Let's get some gas, I said.  We don't need any, was Monsieur's response.

And with those Y-chromosome driven words, our little A-Class - loaded with luggage, Monsieur's bike and the de rigueur purchases of Meursault and Pommard that one simply can't leave Burgundy without - sped past that little gas station on France's southbound A6, only for the 'reserve' light to flash no less than one minute later.


You know when an 'I told you so!' is just too obvious to be necessary?  This was one of those situations.  So instead, I sat there silently - we both sat there silently - hoping that the power of positive thinking would will the next gas station to come up soon.

Yeah right.

The only thing coming up was our turn off to the A40 towards Mont Blanc, and storm clouds.

We'd driven at least 35km before we spotted the first sign for roadside services, another 27km away.

Each km felt like an eternity. We held our breath as we counted them down, somehow believing that the less air we expended, the more fuel efficient the car would be.

With 5km left the rain started to come down hard.

With 4km it was torrential.

At 3km I found G'd.

At last we found a BP Station.

And Monsieur found a hidden talent.  €88.00 on the nail.

Style File Followers Take Note:
1. Had worst come to worst, Monsieur could have put his bike together and ridden off to get some petrol in the rain, while I sat in the car drinking Pommard.  At least that's how it worked in my mind. 
2. I wasn't quite so able to refrain from an energetic I told you so! when we got lost under the searing midday Tuscan sun while hiking on my birthday.  (That story to follow.)
3. I think Monsieur looks kinda cool in those plastic gloves.
4. For those who've asked, the gloves are dispensed freely at French pumps.  Another reason I love this country: Manicures must be protected at all times.

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