One flat tire per country. I thought we had “broken the curse” this time, I really did! You see, my husband and I have rotten luck with rental car tires. We went to Ireland two years ago, and we rented a car in Dublin. I always make the travel arrangements when we go on a vacation, so in order to avoid the “extra driver” fee, I just designate myself as the rental car driver.
In Ireland, the first thing I had to do was to get in a car with the steering wheel on the “wrong” side, drive a manual transmission using my left hand to shift gears, drive on the “wrong” side of the road, and extricate myself from the largest city in the country, which was busy and full of roundabouts with a clockwise circulation. Gahhh! After a mere half-hour or so of panic, we got onto an autoroute and took a breath. Then we got off the autoroute and saw a “regular” Irish road; it was about a foot wide with stone walls on either side and a bus coming head-on. On the wrong side. Yikes!
Reaching our first stop, the ancient monastic site at Clonmacnoise, we got out of the car and heard a hissing noise. Probably nothing? Riiigghhht. We decided to enjoy the monument and deal with the tire later. Afterward, I went in to call the rental company (no, we hadn’t bought the “super-duper” insurance, so it wasn’t covered) and then to find a tire store. I mean, a TYRE store! My poor husband couldn’t find the info in the car’s manual because of the British spelling! So that’s why we bought a TYRE in Ireland. The guys at the store were very nice to us. Tyre salesmen are always nice, I think.
Last spring, we went to Montréal to visit one of the famous “Cabanes à Sucre” and to meet one of my French language exchange partners and some of her family. C’était fantastique! But…after having rented a car from a shady-looking character who I am convinced was part of the Russian mafia, we were in for another “adventure.” I did not buy the super-duper insurance from Scary Russian Mafia Guy. There are a lot of potholes in Montréal. There is also a lot of construction. So we got to meet a really nice bunch of guys at a Canadian Tire Store too.
On our most recent journey, a month in France, I was expecting this to happen. As the French say, “Jamais deux sans trois,” which roughly translates to “never twice without a third time.” We only rented a car for one week. I bought the super-duper insurance. I checked the spare tire very carefully before taking off. I was extremely careful of potholes (des nids-de-poule, literally “hen’s nests”.) We returned the car with all of its original tires! I mean, tyres, euh…pneus ? So, I don’t really know if French tire salesmen are très sympathiques (really nice), but I imagine that they would be!
But…was the curse really broken? Hélas, non! You see, my husband’s new walking shoes had a special “Air Vent” in the heel to keep his feet cool and cushioned. That’s awesome, until one malfunctions and begins squeaking with every step. When we got back, we took them back to the store where we were told that his pair had a *factory defect which equated to…a FLAT TIRE! I suppose that as far as flat tires go, we could have done worse!
*the store was really awesome about exchanging the defective pair!