Our Family’s (2nd) Year in the South of France
Kids and Castles - Our year with kids in the South of France

Tip: Always Use Parking Brake When the Mistral is Blowing

It’s a cold and miserable day here in Provence. The mistral, the wind made famous by Peter Mayle, is blowing.

I stopped to get gas after dropping off the girls at school today.  This is always a bit of an adventure since our local  gas station has pumps that don’t like any of my credit cards – even the local one from France. Once again my card magically worked after failing six or seven or twelve times.

(Paranoid Thought:  Does choosing the “English” button make it fail? Is this a subtle way they torment people who don’t speak French? Easier for me to believe that then the more obvious conclusion that I simply lack the proper skill to put a credit card into a gas pump.)

Just as it started to fill up, I realized the car at the pump beside me was ROLLING AWAY.  The mistral was strong enough that it was making the car move.  The driver was grabbing at the gas-cap-door-thingy to try and stop the car while speaking very excited, very fast French. Even I could figure out that she needed some help.

I will confess that my first thought was “Dang, I just got this pump to work. If I stop now will I ever get gas?” before doing the right thing and running over to push the runaway car back into place.

I will ALWAYS check my own parking brake from now on!

3 Responses to “Tip: Always Use Parking Brake When the Mistral is Blowing”

  1. vered says:

    What a great story!

  2. patti says:

    Rather loving your first thought. 🙂

  3. Lisa Bergren says:

    That’s some kind of serious wind!