At The Carwash-Yeah!

Dude had the most French experience today at the car wash. I’m glad I wasn’t with him. This time you get to hear his story.

Today was “wash your car day” so tonight Dude stopped by the teller machine at the bank so he could get some money to go wash Benoit (our family car). He took out 40€ hoping to get a 20€ bill and a couple of 10€ bills to be able to break down into change. Well, he ended up getting 2-20€ bills instead. So he goes over to the gas station next to the car wash just to get some change. Well, the lady at the station said she wouldn’t give him any change for the car wash and to just go over to the car wash itself to get it. So Dude goes over to the car wash and finds out that you have to put a whole 20€ bill in the machine, but it doesn’t give you any change it gives you 20 jetons (car wash coins) that can only be used at the car wash! Well, who the heck wants that?? I want my change back thanks very much. Stupid Elephantblue!

So he drives out of the car wash and remembers that the new bank by us has a money changer. He walks up and puts his card in (cuz you have to do that to get change-goodness knows why)and (thanks to his not so good French) it ends up taking him a few minutes to figure out that the money changer will only take a 10€ bill and all he has are 2-20€ bills.

So then he goes back outside to the teller machine to try his luck and see if the machine will give him a 10€ bill so he could go back inside to the change dispenser and change his 10€ for coins. Well, unlucky Dude that he is, gets another 20€ bill. Now he is totally pissed because he has 60€ in cash all for a stinkin’ 2€ car wash and he wants to know why the dumb teller at the bank only gives you 20€ bills, but their change machine will not take it and will only take a 10€ bill! My answer to that is, “Cuz it’s France”.

Now he is flaming pissed. So he decides that the only way he was going to get change out of the lady at the gas station was to go and put 2€ worth of gas in the car and then hand her a big bill for change. So guess what?? That’s what he did. He literally drove up to the pump and only puts 2€ of gas in the car. Then he drove up to the window where the lady was and she gave him a look like “what the heck do you want now”? He was like “pump 3” cuz can’t you see that I just put 2€ of gas in my car to make you give me some change?? So she gets all huffy with him and starts rummaging through her change and making her little “you’re bothering me” noises as if she is so put out by this. She is also trying very hard to be a jerk and not give him any 1€ coins for the car wash. So she finally gives him 4-50 centimes, a 1€ coin (not enough and she knows it) and then a 5€ bill and a 10€ bill.

So Dude decides to go around again and put 1€ worth of gas in the car to get more change out of the lady. He then drives up to the window and the lady is just giving him this “you’re a big darn pain in the butt” look. Dude gives her a 10€ for change for pumping 1€ worth of gas and she gives him most of his change back in 2€ coins.

Finally he makes it to the car wash. When he arrives, there happens to be a guy and a girl in the next stall that want to wash their car. The guy runs over to the same lady at the gas station who proceeds to tell the guy, “No way”. Dude said he could see her just shaking her head “no” at this guy. So he comes running back over and asks Dude where he could get some change. Dude (again cuz he doesn’t know French) tells the guy and girl that the lady is sad (he was supposed to say mad but he messed up his French adjectives). So the girl puts her hands in front of her eyes in a motion to show that that the lady was crying.

By now Dude was over the edge on this issue and he told me that he just let it go and said “yes” to the girl. What difference does it make if you’re a sad b*tch or a mad one.

When leaving the car wash, Dude was so angry about the whole thing that he ran into the Elephantbleu sign as protest.

Just kidding, he wouldn’t do that. Apparently someone else who had this same experience did, though, cuz now the sign is all bent and messed up!



About backyardprovence

I was finally able to realized my dream of living in France when I moved here in 2010. I love to read,I love history and road trips. I want to be doing anything outside in the fresh air. I want to have an entire room devoted to a personal library.

Posted on October 10, 2011, in French Daily and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. Seriously, I don’t know whether to ‘laugh’, ‘cry’ or ‘cry with laughter’. All I can say is “don’t you just love the French”? Poor Dude.

    • Right?? I’m so glad I wasn’t with him at that moment. I do have to say I wouldn’t have been as persistent. I would have just gone some where else to wash the car or not done it altogether!

  2. Its not only the French who are loathe to give change. I had the same thing happen in the Geneva airport this week when I tried to get change to get a luggage cart. I go up to a guy with piles of coins in front of him at a cash register and ask for change in French with a Bonjour Monsieur and S’il vous plait and he holds up a sign in English that says “No Change”. Pissed me off.

    • Ha Ha! Man Michel, that topped my story. I laughed out loud on that one! All I know is that I couldn’t be that mean if I was the one who was being asked for change. I guess I must have customer service genes. I am convinced it is genetic, too. Some people have it and some don’t !

  3. It seems to me like the ATM at La Poste gives out the smallest bills. Not coins, of course. Have you got one of those anywhere nearby?

    • Lee-
      Yes we do, but it isn’t super near by. It is, however, close enough to try it out, which I think I will do next time. In any case, I’m sure it would have been worth the trip. Dude probably spent more time driving around and doing multiple fill-ups than if he would have just gone to La Poste! Thanks for the tip!

  4. Ashley, I needed to hear someone else tell a good French story like this. I laughed. When I tell my friends in the States it’s different here and not as convenient, it’s hard to explain exactly what I mean. This story says it all.

    • Toni-
      Isn’t that the truth! Our friends don’t get it either (except for the ones who live here or have in the past). There is just something about it that you can’t quite put your finger when describing stuff like that to those who have never been here to experience it. That’s what’s also wonderful about those of us who live here. We know exactly what others are talking about and can feel the pain 🙂

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