Friday, December 22, 2017

Another Good Use for Duct Tape

Having our car window smashed by vandals this week has led to some interesting social - economic - linguistic - government discoveries.

Social insomuch as it revealed that, even in our little paradise, relatively isolated from the more serious concerns of the world such as terrorism and consumerism, life is not always perfect. Day to day, we live our lives peacefully (apart from the frustrations of politicians and bureaucrats), but every once in a great while someone - likely high, drunk, or simply disgruntled - takes out their angst on our exposed property, whether the car or shredding / burning the flags we've hung over our door.

The economic is somewhat obvious - the 200 euros to replace the glass - plus the productive time lost for vacuuming the car, filling out police reports, driving to the glass replacement in the next town and killing time waiting.

Dealing with new contacts, such as the village maintenance guy sweeping up the glass in the parking lot, the gendarmerie, the CarGlass guys ... reinforces how I've regressed in my francais skills from lack of practice, not to mention my ongoing hearing issues. Need to double down on the language study in the new year.

And then there's the shift from local government services, such as vehicle registration, to a system of online and third-party contractors. Instead of walking down the hill to the mairie for a replacement carte gris, we now must go online for a duplicate registration and then pick up the hard copy at a local supermarket or other vendor. Guess that means some bureaucrats are losing their jobs to technology and outsourcing.

There have been some pluses in this episode:
1. Beautiful sunrise and morning sky on the way back from the 1st trip to the glass replacement shop
2. Spectacular view of snow-capped Mount Canigou in the sunlight on the way to the shop this morning
3. My legs are getting in better shape from having to walk from a parking spot that is further away from the apartment
4. I did a great job, if I may say so, on using a plastic shipping back and duct tape to cover the window temporarily - held up to high winds and 90 kph driving for two days (wish I'd taken a photo of my masterpiece)
5. While waiting for the glass replacement, I found a sweater for Sherlock on the marche

Looking for things to get back to normal. Just never leaving anything in the car of value, or even things of little value within visibility.

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