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the French Police

Today dawned clear and sunny beautiful once again, and after a bit of a sleep-in, I headed out with two big bags of recycling to where I had parked last night.  (Rebecca and I drove in the Mini to Nice hier soir for dinner and got home quite late.)   Where I had left the car was a new spot, nearer to my apartment and one that I hoped could be my regular space.  As I crested the stairs, however, my car was nowhere to be seen.

This is a bit of a long story- one that involves trekking in the blazing hot sun,  receiving directions from various people and optimistically hoping that I had some idea what they were telling me, and therefore much walking searching in vain for the place where my car might be impounded, blisters, many ounces of sweat, and one tiny outburst of tears.  The story also includes some very nice people, like the girl who pulled over in her car after giving me directions several blocks earlier to the police station that was up at the top of the hill I had just walked down, and driving me there.  Then there is the receptionist at the detachment  (national police, not city) who made an exception for me in regard to the papers I needed, saying,’ Un exception, parce que vous etes vous.’  Then instead of having to take the bus and probably walk a long way, two young police officers drove me the 8km or so in their cruiser to the impound where my car had been towed. Then to my horror, the papers I needed were not in my car, so they had to drive me back to Grasse!  I retrieved the documents from my apartment, went back to the station and they kindly drove me once again to the impound where I paid 100euros and retrieved the little beast!  The whole experience took about 4 hours, was conducted entirely in French, and left me just a bit shaky, although impressed.  The graciousness of the police was astounding really, and I am eternally grateful for their rescue! I wonder if it is appropriate to send them flowers?

The area where I had parked is a normal parking lot, but there was some random ceremony this morning (it is a holiday) and, according to the man at the impound, 7 cars had been towed from the same place.  Moral: just because other people are parked there, doesn’t mean you should too…

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