Dude hit the ground running today. Last night he got a call from a friend of ours who just bought a flat in Biarritz (that needs a ton of work) and asked if he could come straight away to do the fix up work. “How soon is straight away?”, Dude asked. “Tomorrow”, was the answer from our friend.
Ok-better jump on that ticket. It turns out that there is no TGV from Marseille to Biarritz. This meant that Dude had to take the SLOW train. No kidding-there is such a thing here. The trip was going to take him 9 hours and 2 changeovers. All by himself?? No French?? Good luck with that.
Once his ticket was bought it was time for the packing. Mind you, this is 22h00 at night (I forgot that part). Dude’s train leaves at 11h20 the next day and not only does he have to pack his clothes and man-toiletries, but also his tools.
I will tell that story a bit later. What an ordeal!
This morning we get up and Dude finishes his packing. He has accumulated in a short period of time three suitcases, his computer bag, and a cot (the apartment he is working on is empty and he is just going to crash there). Nothing like waking up to work!
At 10h20, I was like, “Dude, we HAVE to leave in 10 minutes, you only have your confirmation. You haven’t gotten your ticket, yet!”
He says. “I’ll be ready! Oh, can you make me some breakfast?”
What?? The man doesn’t have time to eat. He is standing there in his underwear and slippers (very sexy I might add) and wants to eat and we need to fly NOW! Good grief! So I go and make him his breakfast (and ironed his shirt) and quickly helped close up his suitcases while he ate. At 10h40 we were out the door.
Down in the garage, while we are getting ready to put everything in the car, a wheel of one of the suitcases just breaks and falls right off. Really and truly, no lie. He starts freaking out! It’s a sad thing to see in a grown man who, not 10 minutes ago, was looking sexy in slippers and underwear. The suitcase that failed him happened to be the one with his tools in it and it was a heavy duty one, too.
While I go and pull the car out of the garage he is scrambling around in there to find another suitcase to put his stuff in. Remember, our garage has half our belongings in it. It is pretty full in there! It felt like an eternity just to find another dog gone piece of luggage. He finally finds a suitcase big enough to be a proper replacement, but it’s stuck behind a pile of boxes that goes from floor to ceiling. With no time to waste, since the train won’t wait for commoners, he gives a big heave and topples over every box that was surrounding the suitcase he wanted. Stuff goes flying, since some of the boxes weren’t closed and taped, and he ends up tripping and almost falling trying to get out of the garage!
I started picking up the fall out because some of the boxes had my shoes it in it! The horror for any woman is to see her shoes flying through the air and landing all over the garage floor! Meanwhile, Dude is working his butt of trying to change out suitcases. He finally manages to do it and while he gets in the car to take off, I am still trying to do clean up.
I quickly jump in the car and off to the station we go. Now it is 10h55 and he is driving like he is Mario Andretti. Normally in Provence, this kind of driving works. Everyone here drives like a complete loon and most of the time you’re scared for your life. Today, however, we get behind two of the slowest cars you could imagine. What makes this day so special in the life of the provincial?? Step on it, grandma!
Good thing the station is about 5 minutes (give or take) from the house. When we arrived there was, of course, no parking space. We pulled up to the front of the station and unloaded the luggage and I told Dude to go stand in line to get his ticket while I found a parking spot. I finally did, WAY IN THE NORTH OF FRANCE, and went running the whole way back to the station. By now it was 11h05 and I walk in to see him standing in line and the guy behind the ticket counter is talking on his cell phone! Come on! This is not break-time, I don’t care if you live in Provence! Get busy and give the Dude his ticket! Tik-Tok time is awastin’.
Finally Mr. Ticket Man gets finished with his “I’m on the clock, but I am taking a personal call” and processes Dude’s ticket. I’m sure that was very difficult for Mr. Ticket Man.
All looked good now. We got to the platform, Dude and ALL his heavy suitcases with about 5 minutes to spare. Yahoo! What a team J
When the train arrived, he was able to find a spot for himself and his affairs. A nice gentleman helped us out with putting all the suitcases on the train. That was a nice surprise after the hectic morning.
I waved bye as the train pulled out of the station. With 2 stops to go and a lot of luggage, I hope Dude makes it. I’m sure a phone call will be headed my way in no time.
Say “Bye” to Dude. Here he is in the station ready to depart with all his stuff. He looks a little nervous, I think.