A Short Stop in Paris: Part 3 of 4

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The woman was not about to give up. She circled around the front of the car, attempting to avoid view of the man, and then opened the driver side door. In a lady-like fashion, she then sat her self down and shut the door behind her. Pulling off the break, she motioned to us again for help. The man spotted her then and rushed over. His cell phone now by his side, he was demanding she get out of the car. Still helpless to move it on her own, she complied. They argued a bit and finally I could see the man agreed to push the car himself.


Deciding it then safe to help, I grabbed the open window frame and pushed. Enjoying the small momentum I gave to the tons of steel, we freed the two women, who were then already in their cooper. Still appearing tall and thin, their heads grazed the interior roof. The driver’s bright fingernails and giant bracelets flickered as her skinny fingers wrapped and released the steering wheel. Then they were off, leaving us alone again with the broken car and the man who had gone back into his pacing mode of business.

Some thirty minutes later, the driver reappeared toting a single document, his forehead glistening from a high paced walk. The man had gone all the way to the police station, which couldn’t have been very nearby considering how long it took, and fetched a one page carbon copy police report. I couldn’t believe how simple of a document it was; literally two small columns two write information, one for driver A and one for driver B, with a place to draw a small diagram in the middle. While waiting for the driver to come back, a few police cars had slowed down as they passed us, looked at the damage as any other curious and concerned citizen might and then kept on rolling by. It was another relaxing reminder of what life without layers of liability is like.

Wow, this was going to be easy, I thought. We’ll be out of here in no time. I assumed the other driver would want to discuss who was at fault at this point, but he simply drew a diagram of his car crashing into mine, labeled himself B and me A, and then handed over the paper to me. I did the best job I could filling in the all French form and gave it back. He didn’t even ask to check my information. In the meantime Desiree, noticing the two men had been speaking Arabic, had started a conversation in their native language. We were all having some laughs at our struggles to understand each other.

I looked back at the front of the broken station wagon. It was still drooling on the pavement and with the right side of the bumper on the ground, wasn’t in much of a shape to drive. Feeling comfortable with our relationship, I went over to driver B’s car and started fiddling with the damage, trying to get the cheap plastic wedged back into place, but too much was cracked. My activities had gotten the others attention that there something needed to be done. Driver B came over and started fiddling with it too. Leaving them all there with the little project, I went back to my van with something in mind.

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