Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Trials and tribulations of travel

Can you believe it - yet again we got snake eyes in the rental car lottery and ended up with a french car - a citroen c4. I can only speculate that this particular car was given its name from the fact that c4 has about the same odds of blowing up on ya.

As soon as we got the car at Bergen airport Flesland, we were puzzled by the fact that the c4 was supposed to be in the "Golf" class despite the fact that I had a really hard time fitting behind the wheel. Even in the way-back position, my legs were severely squeezed between the seat and the steering wheel. Way back in 2001 and 2002, we used to rent a Nissan Micra for our Norwegian vacations which had way more legspace than this freakin' piece of french "engineeering". Not only was it small, it was damn small.

This particular car had a number of features not mentioned in the brochure, including: side-view mirrors not adjustable by other means than by pushing/forcing each mirror to its desired position (using the electric controls only resulted in the mirrors being retracted into their parking position, regardless of which way the controls were manipulated), electric window being locked in the "down" position (which is a slight disadvantage in Norway during December), the windshield wiper locking up sometimes (that's a real treat when the thing won't freakin' stop), a "parking sensor" which started screaming and beeping whenever the vehicle would get within a five-meter distance of another object, and another "convenient" sensor which starts beeping and complaining plus displaying "Risk of ice" whenever the temperature would drop to or below three degrees Centigrade - yet another plus in wintertime Norway. Not to mention that it ranked somewhere between cardboard and styrofoam on the hardness/durability scale. Whenever we would do something drastic to the external structure of the "car", like close the doors, the exterior would ripple. In short, we've had a bunch of different rental cars over the years, including the brands Peugot, Renault and Citroen, and let me say that without a shadow of a doubt, Renault and Citroen are the worst cars I've ever driven. Ever.

On our way back to Trondheim, our flight was - surprise, surprise - delayed. More specifically, it was two hours delayed due to "incoming aircraft being late", which turned into "technical problems". To pass the time, I I took a second stroll past the two-bit scum-of-the-earth douchebags who have frequented Norwegian airports lately with their incessant credit-card offers. "Excuse me - do you use Visa?" Apparently, they weren't prepared for my response: "No dude - we're paying for all our transactions with pearls of glass and polished sea shells".

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