Sunday, June 21, 2009

Free! Fearing Aix-en-Provence...

A friend responds to the story about the Stolen Euro and the Shopping Cart....(The answer to her first question is this: At the Frankfurt flughafen, the carts are free.)

How hilarious! Yes, the carts! It usually begins at the airport (how did you avoid that?) And yes, they want their money back! Usually, we put the money in and then for whatever the reason, the cart won't come free, so we just jerk on it and make a really interesting American scene.
Also, have you come across any grocery stores (you'd have to be in car for this) where you do your shopping (involving cart there or your own pushcart) and then to get OUT of the parking lot you must have your grocery receipt and key in a code at a gate to get out. The first time this happened to us, we got to the gate, saw the keypad and {husband} said, "I don't know what the hell I'm supposed to do with this." Cars lined up behind up and blew their horns (no one was there to tell us what to do.)
{son} just sat in the back like "I'm glad I'm not old enough to have a driver's license yet, so none of this involves me. I don't even know if I really know the man driving our car." Someone behind us real ly lay on the horn and {husband} swung open his car door and walked back to the folks behind us." He came back and said (kind of frantically), "we have to have the receipt. Give it to me."
I said, "I don't know where it is." He said, "You had it." Me: "I didn't. Where did you put it?" (Horns blowing loudly.)
{husband} said, "I feel like just plowing through this gate." {son} said, "Cool." I looked through the bags for the receipt. I found it on the floor, wadded up (I guess I'd stepped on it--it was raining out and the numbers were blurred. Plus the code to push wasn't exactly easily found as there were several code looking numbers on the paper.
{husband} grabbed the receipt and punched in a number. Nothing happened. A person in the car behind us, or behind them, or further back, who knows---appeared at {husband}'s window. {husband} shrugged that said, "I don't know what the hell to do." The person looked that the receipt, pointed to a code on the paper, showing {husband}, and then keyed it in. The gate (or bar ) lifted. {son} shouted, "We're free!" We thanked the man, said we we re sorry (in our lovely French) and sped away in a heavy sweat. That was at Aix-en-Provence and to this day the name of the city makes us nervous. :)


Tom said...

We have gates like that at some lots where I work -- with one small, additional feature: there's a button labeled HELP. This button activates an intercom and there's a person on the other end, who can... Help!

I can't believe this writer was the first person ever to have this problem. What was the grocer's plan?

Marina Martin said...

What if you go to the grocery store but don't buy anything?

(Not common, but I've definitely done this once or twice when searching for a specific last-minute item, i.e. EggBeaters.)

Will Welch said...

Unrelated, but - A long forgotten photo of Angus?

Anonymous said...

Had a similar problema t a university building once - drove into the parking lot but forgot to ask for the code to open the gate to leave. Luckily my Ford Focus was narrow enough to take the wheelchair ramp onto the sidewalk and out around the gate.