So we drove to Monaco. It’s not like driving to Pewaukee. In fact it’s not like driving, it’s like the seething hell pit of anxiety as you head into armed battle in a subtropical swamp (or so I imagine). Our car, which is the size of a regulation American garbage truck despite having reserved a compact car—when handed the keys for an SUV in Nice I refused them and asked for a small car.

Let me rewind, after landing in Nice we headed for the car rental, stood in line there for a while before the guy (there was only 1 clerk) stood up on something and told all of us in line (I dunno, like 47 or so people in front of me) that we should go to terminal 2 where there were more clerks and that’s where the rental cars were located anyway. I’d like to say he told us that in French and I understood perfectly, but he did not. Had he been speaking French I’d have had a nervous breakdown.

So we headed out to terminal 2 on the navette (whatever, it’s a French word for shuttle bus) along with the other 47 people in line and various other losers and once there, after some circumnavigation, found the building which housed the car rental desks. He was right, there were more clerks, 1 more. I got in line once again with my fellow losers, uh, travelers and being so, you know, zen, calmly began my wait. Finding the rental building located somewhere in the back of one of the Nice parking structures had not been easy and many of my fellow travelers ended up behind me line, joining the queue (French word, too) well after me thereby putting me at, oh, I don’t know, 37th in line. I will say that Hertz or who-the-hell-ever did seem at this point to up their game and pretty soon there were 4 clerks. (I imagine that on an hourly basis it’s hard to know how many people are just going to prance in out of the blue with their over-privileged toddlers without reservations, and want to rent cars and baby seats, although based on my experience it’s about 40 to 45). So eventually I got to a clerk who handed me keys for an SUV which I refused, as I said. I showed her on the print out of my reservation that I had reserved a small car. So that was good, another long wait (and I’ll say, she was super pleasant and understanding) she came back with keys for a Peugeot and everything was all hunky dory. It is now hours later, we head out to the car located somewhere, oh Christ, on another level, blocks away and on finally finding it discover it’s a fucking SUV anyway. Fine, I got all the insurance I could get and if I destroy the damn thing I don’t care. Although, I’d just as soon not kill myself or anyone else (I’m being charitable here).

So I have an SUV in a country where the streets are wide enough for a donkey and I am driving to Monaco. To be continued…

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