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Old 20th August 2010, 12:25   #16
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Originally Posted by Sam Kapasi View Post
We have landed in CDG.

Of course the bags come out at an unexpected place. Of course we now have no idea where the car rental agencies are. Of course nobody can really help.

The instructions from Sixt say:
Between 2D and 2E or in 2F or in 1D.

That's amazing.

And every sign we see points to any other alphanumeric symbol but 2D, 2E, 2F or 1D. Typical.
CDG is a mess. One will take 10 trips (probably more than that) to understand its layout. I still cant understand why did they make the airport in 8 shape. The language issue adds to it all.
For all BHPians: If you are transiting through this Airport, never ever get stuck there for the night.

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Originally Posted by Sam Kapasi View Post
Hello Meester Kapazi, yes we have your reservation and a car for you.
Excellent.
You requested for automatique.
Yes.
There will be an additional charge of 50 euros for thees.
No. The website said no charge if available. I show her my print out.
Yes, but thees is a request. If you get it it is 50 euros extra.
OK. I'm confused.
A request means if it is available, you get it, if not, not. Right?
Right.
So you're saying now that because it is available I must pay extra.
Right.
So do you have the car in manual transmission?
The Mercedes, no.
I turn to look at Jenny, tired and equally confused.

OK fine, give me the car. I'll pay the stupid 50 euros.
You are weeling to pay 50 euro additional for automatique.
Yes.
She looks at her computer.
Sorry we don't have the car.
No?
No.

I give up and sigh. OK miss what car am I getting?
A Khenault Laguna.

...
...
...
Haa Haa Haa. That’s Typical France. I guess renting online works better in USA & Canada. France is difficult not because they want to be so, but because they don’t write (In English) what they intend to (Writing English is an issue and I am not sure if they seek the professional help in doing so. I guess they still hate English). Ever withdrew money from ATM in France? It will thankyou before giving you the money.



Quote:
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P.S. I would like to add that Sixt France was also perfectly happy to accept my Maharashtra state Indian driving license ka xerox along with a xerox of my passport and was happy to inform me that I was allowed to drive in France with it. No special license required.
I have experienced the same

I was in Rennes (Brittany) for considerable time and we used to rent form Hertz quite often.
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Old 20th August 2010, 12:28   #17
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Originally Posted by ajmat View Post
The Laguna is one of Renaults follys. Previous one looked good but was problematic. This one is boring. By the way, that key has a high failure rate
So Sam gives us a couple of pics of the key, questions it's use and now you tell us this. Hint of things to come?
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Old 20th August 2010, 12:30   #18
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Originally Posted by Sam Kapasi View Post
P.S. I would like to add that Sixt France was also perfectly happy to accept my Maharashtra state Indian driving license ka xerox along with a xerox of my passport and was happy to inform me that I was allowed to drive in France with it. No special license required.
Quote:
Originally Posted by sanjaykaul View Post
I have experienced the same

I was in Rennes (Brittany) for considerable time and we used to rent form Hertz quite often.
All in the world knows that if anyone can drive in India, he can drive anywhere on the planet.
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Old 20th August 2010, 19:22   #19
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Originally Posted by ASHISHPALLOD View Post
All in the world knows that if anyone can drive in India, he can drive anywhere on the planet.
Completely wrong Ashish. Those brought up in chaos, often have trouble dealing with order.

More importantly, driving on the other side of the road with the steering wheel on the left is sometimes literally like learning to write with your left hand (or right if your are left-handed)

It may be anything. It is not easy and I do not recommend that someone just go to Europe and think that driving is a piece of cake. It isn't.
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Old 20th August 2010, 19:39   #20
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Originally Posted by Sam Kapasi View Post
Completely wrong Ashish. Those brought up in chaos, often have trouble dealing with order.

More importantly, driving on the other side of the road with the steering wheel on the left is sometimes literally like learning to write with your left hand (or right if your are left-handed)

It may be anything. It is not easy and I do not recommend that someone just go to Europe and think that driving is a piece of cake. It isn't.
Exactly what my dad says. He finds it incredibly stressful driving in Sweden, but Chennai? That's a peice of cake!

Nice log Yeti, looking forward to the rest!
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Old 20th August 2010, 19:50   #21
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Default Still friday, 13th august

The Renault is simply strange on the inside.

We get past the start/stop button and somehow manage to enter the address into the onboard Navi. The method of entering the data seems crude, even though it has a cursor like an idrive.

I have the correct street and I have the correct house number. I choose Paris and we're off.

The idea is to spend a quiet eveing in Paris before we leave for Le Mans and the wedding tomorrow. But first, to get from CDG to Paris.


The day is OK, we have some sunshine and some clouds, not too bad. The weather is like 18 degrees, so it is comfortable. The Navi is guiding us through the highways and into downtown Paris where we will spend the night at my friend's empty flat.
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Soon we're there.
This doesn't look like the place says my colleague who has also joined us for the wedding
No?
No. I was here a few months ago and it looks different.
Well there's the name of the road. Rue de lalalalala.
(I forgot)
Yeesss he says still not convinced.
And here it says, house number 12.
uh-huh. You'd better call the groom.

Hallo, we are here
say I brightly.
Oh are you? Excellent. Go on up then.
Well, that's the problem. S keeps insisting that this is not your apartment building.
No?
No.
Well where are you standing.
Les jardins de Paris.
Ummm
I can hear his mind ticking. No. What do you see before your eyes?
A pedicurist shop.
A pedicurist shop?
Yeah.
No you're on the wrong street.
It says right here, Rue de lalalalala.
OK you need house number 12.
I AM at house number 12
say I exasperatedly.
No you're not, there is no pedicurist near my apartment.
Yes, it is in your building.
No.
No?
No.

O...K...
I am thinking. Right road, right house...
WRONG CITY yells the groom as it hits him. Did you enter PARIS in the Navi.
Of course!
Well I live in Issy-les-moulineaux!
I thought you lived in Paris.
Issy-les-moulineaux is a city just outside Paris and is considered as a suburb...

So. Right street, right house, wrong city. We laugh about it a lot. OK I laugh about it a little.

OK actually it isn't funny.
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Old 20th August 2010, 19:53   #22
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It's true the other way round too. After a few years in US when I returned to India, I could not drive. Here you do not move until you have all clear. You respect others' right of way and do no depend on their ability to brake for your survival, even in lane changing. It was difficult learning that discipline when I came here.

In India we somehow gauge the perfect opportunity and just jostle in. I have lost that gauging ability now.
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Old 20th August 2010, 20:19   #23
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Originally Posted by Sam Kapasi View Post
P.S. I would like to add that Sixt France was also perfectly happy to accept my Maharashtra state Indian driving license ka xerox along with a xerox of my passport and was happy to inform me that I was allowed to drive in France with it. No special license required.
Did you have to pay additional Insurance because of this? In US, insurance charges jack up if you use Indian Driving License.
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Old 20th August 2010, 21:13   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam Kapasi View Post
Those brought up in chaos, often have trouble dealing with order.

More importantly, driving on the other side of the road with the steering wheel on the left is sometimes literally like learning to write with your left hand (or right if your are left-handed)
Quote:
Originally Posted by vivekiny2k View Post
After a few years in US when I returned to India, I could not drive. Here you do not move until you have all clear. You respect others' right of way and do no depend on their ability to brake for your survival, even in lane changing. It was difficult learning that discipline when I came here.
In India we somehow gauge the perfect opportunity and just jostle in. I have lost that gauging ability now.
I completely agree with both of you.

I should have typed the words '' just kidding'' in my earlier post.

When i returned from Malaysia, i told my wife about lane discipline and no honk at that place.
Wife insisted me to follow that order and discipline or at least practice no honk.
I tried my level best for a week and then you know, aal is well in India.

My wife still reminds me those words of NO HONK and i start laughing.

@sam,

waiting for more, but take your time.[ no follow up this time].
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Old 20th August 2010, 23:18   #25
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Originally Posted by NetfreakBombay View Post
Did you have to pay additional Insurance because of this? In US, insurance charges jack up if you use Indian Driving License.
You have to pay a slight additional premium if you increase the number of drivers (as the drivers are insured) but it makes no difference in price if you present a german or indian DL.
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Old 20th August 2010, 23:39   #26
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Did you have to pay additional Insurance because of this? In US, insurance charges jack up if you use Indian Driving License.
This is news to me! I've never been charged more than the customary 10-12$ insurance per day .
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Old 20th August 2010, 23:40   #27
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Originally Posted by Sam Kapasi View Post
So. Right street, right house, wrong city. We laugh about it a lot. OK I laugh about it a little.

OK actually it isn't funny.
It is! So long as it is happening to someone else!

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Old 20th August 2010, 23:44   #28
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I have had similar experience renting cars here in US - they show you a Ford Explorer or similar for an intermediate SUV on the web site and you end up driving a pontiac Vibe. Did you buy rental insurance as well? I remember my first few days here - even while crossing streets (some what deserted) on foot I tend to look opposite to the direction the traffic was supposed to be coming from :-)
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Old 21st August 2010, 10:42   #29
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Default Still Fridaz, 13th Aug

We've reached Issey. Parked the car in the underground garage and have decided not to drive for today.

It has been decided to spend a pleasant evening in gay Paris. After all this is Jenny's first time here. Strange that she has seen the world but not Europe. Ghar ki murgi and all that.

Having just a few free hours in Paris, we decide to take the train and the metro to the Concorde place, which I believe is the essence of Paris.

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From here after something to eat (ah delicious Paris street food) we decided to walk through the Jardin de Tuileries upto the Palais Royale.

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One evening in Paris is far from enough, one needs many many many evenings just to appreciate the wonder and beauty that is paris.

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We walk on through the city, wandering upto St. Michel, Notre Dame.
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Old 21st August 2010, 10:42   #30
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More importantly, driving on the other side of the road with the steering wheel on the left is sometimes literally like learning to write with your left hand (or right if your are left-handed)
Everytime I wanted to change a lane, I made the wiper running on the dry windscreen - that was my first experience with driving on the other side.
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