07 September 2015

Driving in France Takes Its Toll

OR "Toll Terror"

Yep, I did it. Even after the extra help in French class on driving in France, I managed to invoke a good 20 horn honks (in just one situation!).

How did I accomplish this amazing feat? Well... I was exiting a toll area. I avoided the clearly marked electronic-pass-only lanes. I aimed for the ticket lane. Turns out the lane I picked was for credit card only payments. Well, I had a card. The wrong kind*. I tried the other card. Also the wrong kind. I flipped both of them. Still no good. Finally I pushed the button for assistance. A very pleasant voice came on and asked for my card number. No good. How about the other one? No good. Did I have cash? Yes :-) OK! Someone would come. A moment later, we handed money to a nice fellow, he gave us change =:-0 and opened the gate.

Nearly the entire time, horns are blowing (gosh, I wonder why?).  But! (1) I could see the fellow directly behind me, and he remained quite calm :-)  (2) horns honestly do not bother me anymore - perhaps due to my time in Costa Rica, where horns are either friendly, or you realize there is simply nothing you can do about the situation which are causing the horns...

* Credit cards in France use  chip and pin verification. Most USA cards are stripe and signature. Some are chip and signature. Eventually we're supposed to move to the more secure chip and pin, but for now, no...

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