Several year ago, Paris jumped on the city-wide bike rental train and started the Vélib’ service. For a unreasonably small fee, you get access to thousands of bikes and a fun alternative to the metro. It is nice to see Paris above ground sometimes, too. Not to mention, it’s good exercise. The bikes themselves are heavy and look more like soviet leftovers with fresh paint jobs, but they work. I joined a few months after we arrived here,but didn’t really start using it much until the last few months. Paris roads can be frightening since they are full of chaos, though the parisians swear that it is all civilized. I have finally gained enough understanding to know which roads to take so that I can stay in bike lanes and avoid, mostly, crazy french drivers.
Today, I decided it would be fun to bike to the Monoprix a few metro stops away, instead of taking the train, to get groceries. Luckily, there is a station just around the corner from our flat. I wandered over to the station, selected my first bike, checked the wheels, adjusted the seat, and scanned my card. The little light turned orange as it processed and then refused to let go of the bike. Hm. I try a few more times, because sometimes they can be a little tricky to get out of the holders. Nothing. Since I was already in a decently sour mood, the bike refusing me was not helping to calm me down. I grumbled at it and decided to try a different bike. I once again check the bike, scan my card, it flashes the orange light, and beeps loudly when it decides I’m not worthy. Fuck you, bike. Fuck you. I keep scanning my card a few more times, thrashing the bike about in its holder and growling at it. Luckily, there was no one around to witness this act of ridiculousness as my display grew more aggressive. I’m sure they would have raised an eyebrow at the girl yelling at an inanimate object on the street. I just wanted to bike to the store, BIKE. I THOUGHT IT WOULD MAKE ME FEEL BETTER, BIKE. FUCK YOU BIKE. LET ME RIDE YOU, BIKE. AHHHHHHHHH. *MELTS DOWN* * KICKS THE BIKE*
Shit…. I walked over to the kiosk and scanned my navigo card. The computer didn’t recognize it. Double shit. This was all my fault. I had recently exchanged my navigo découverte pass for an actual, regular, navigo. This means, that my number changed. I had never gone onto the website to link my new card with the account. No matter how much hate I unleashed upon those little grey suckers, I was never gonna get a bike because I forgot to change my stuff. *sigh* Screw it, I just went to the corner store. I also bought a cappuccino, because I deserved it, dammit.