Je suis un converti de UBER

Posted: April 22, 2016 in Travels

J’adore my UBER app

What is it that turned me into a taxi sympathist?!! ๐Ÿค” I’d somehow forgotten my severe taxi blues from living in San Francisco. My beloved Nilmar is the only way I survived that taxi hell. Also buried deep was the memory of Rose Cab crazy with their $10 Santa Barbara Airport minimum and shitty red ‘beater’ cars. Somehow my years in Manhattan turned me into a taxi sympathist with the gypsy cabs, exorbitant black cars and seriously dysfunctional UBER. ๐Ÿ˜


Whilst living in Bordeaux I felt true empathy for the taxis when they went on strike and even supportive as UBER threatened their French livelihood. How did I overlook that key phrase: ‘on strike’? ๐Ÿด What the f*ck was I thinking?!! I suppose I didn’t pay Bordeaux taxi much attention since sleazy Jean-Luc tried to kiss me after taking my mother’s luggage up three grand flights of stairs. ๐Ÿ˜ฃ


Not intentionally a shout-out to the brilliant job of my frenchman… but living in Toulouse pretty much never requires the thought of a taxi to enter one’s mind. Our public transportation system is divine, ridiculously clean, efficient and dirt cheap. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Until those bastard taxi strikers decided to block all of it, and the roads. ๐Ÿ˜ 


After a relaxing and cozy Easter avec quatre enfants in a beautiful French compagne labyrinth, we headed to Blagnac to greet our dear friend visiting from Zurich. It’s not as if the tram from just beside our flat is less convenient, but we wanted to greet my first visitor ร  Toulouse in person. ๐Ÿ˜Š We passed a lovely week together dans La Ville Rose. We ate cassoulet, drank champagne and wandered the winding Roman streets. We laughed with my frenchman, took the SNCF to Bordeaux ๐Ÿท and relived unforgettable memories of our long history.


Come Friday, we were ready to kick off printemps with a little road trip to Costa Brava. Olรฉ! The hometown of Salvadore Dali in Cadaquรฉs is adorable. A perfect Catalan getaway, despite the rain. It is a beautiful small Spanish village which proudly displays their Catalan flags high. It must be amazing in summer! Perhaps we’ll find out because the amount we save in grey goose at the Gran Jonquera Outlet pretty much pays for the entire trip. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Just before the Spain-France border is a big store where you can buy 1-liter bottles for โ‚ฌ23, it’s un-f*ing-believable! ๐ŸธSalut! Salud! And santรฉ a la votre! ๐Ÿ˜ฒ


Once home, we learned of a Toulousain taxi strike for the following morning ๐Ÿ˜  which would block all the roads to Blagnac, and literally stop the airport tram and buses. I thought to myself “phew so lucky” since my frenchman had the day off work and could drive our Swiss Miss using all the backroads. Really, it was fairly calm and seemingly low-key. The next day was my turn to the airport for a highly anticipated cocktail lunch in Paris with an old friend. Definitely not to be missed!


But… the f*ing strike goes on. ๐Ÿ™„ I awoke promptly with all my Tisseo tools in hand and my frenchman on alert. It was suggested I depart at 8:00am and take metro to Compans and get on the airport bus. I did just that… except for my journey began at 8:17am. ๐Ÿ˜ด Naturally I arrived just 7 minutes after the airport bus and watched my Tisseo app slowly delay the arrival of the next one from 23 minutes to over 2 hours. ๐Ÿ˜ฃ With a few Americans in tow, and an adorable Swede… we raced back to the metro, changing lines and stations to get to the tram, yes: the same tram that begins just aside our flat! I realized I would never make my boarding time unless I jumped out at the closest stop and high-tailed it ร  pied. In the rain! โ˜”๏ธ


Tout est bien qui finit bien! I was last on my plane and the only thing those taxi drivers managed to strip from me was my really good-hair day! ๐Ÿ˜‰ As seems to be the norm in France, the strike was quickly forgotten and our subsequent three trips to Paris were unaffected. Yet, it’s once again the taxis which irritate my memories.


We sadly and unexpectedly needed to be in Normandy, which requires some careful logistics for the trains, planes and automobiles it requires. With just a little over an hour to get from Orly to Gare St. Lazare in Paris, the plan was to taxi between and pick up a bottle of champagne for the train.๐Ÿพ Bonne idรฉe… until we had the world’s least aggressive taxi driver, who, happened to drive like my dear grandmother. Love you Gram but you know what I mean: there’s no one ahead for a mile yet there’s a quick press on the pedal only to abruptly let go… in a constant yet random pattern which invokes a petit case of whiplash and car sickness. ๐Ÿค• As the clock struck the hour point and the driver fumbled with his little bullshit credit card contraption, it was time for American me to be a little abrupt! I tossed him my champagne money and poked my frenchman to get the hell out of his freaking Asian-car death trap, as he said under his breath, “you really made your asshole-American.” ๐Ÿ™„ Haha… that was nothin’! Needless to say, we had no time for champagne. ๐Ÿ˜


Just a couple days later with quatre enfants in tow… we were back on the Parisian streets, but this time headed east for Disneyland Paris. It was sweet, except for the severe tonsil infection ๐Ÿค’ which, conveniently on a French Sunday cost โ‚ฌ130 in car services for a run to the pharmacy! ๐Ÿค‘ Disneyland Paris turned out to be quite fun, yet it was soon time to show the kids a little bit of Paris. So back to les rues we went! With our home-away-from-home Le Meurice as our base, we trotted off for the Louvre, Tuileries, La Seine and Tour Eiffel. We left our fate to the hands of Le Meurice thinking it should be no problem for them to find us a van-taxi large enough for our six in rush hour on a Tuesday. But we were mistaken!


Low and behold ๐Ÿ˜ƒ UBER to the rescue! Just a quick click on the app and 7-minutes later our Mercedes van arrived! With nothing more than a quick exchange of enchantรฉ, fresh water bottles and a modest bank account withdrawal… we were off to Orly in no time.


C’est la vie! C’est mon nouveau UBER vie! ๐Ÿ˜‰ or is it nouvelle?!! Sigh…


Cheers to Americans in France!


The view from my room


Micky et moi


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