Friday, April 13, 2007


For your information, the title is a classic Québec swear...

Yesterday morning, after my night shift, I went to take my Class-4 (taxi and minibus) driving license test, in Laval, a suburb city, as the SAAQ (The government office responsible of everything related to cars...) branch is less busy than the one on the island of Montréal.

So I got there by bus, as my brother needed the car to get to work. I wrote my test, then I anxiously watched the examinator correct it. Let just say I have a tendancy to rely on my intelligence/logic/sheer luck to get away with anything, including University exams, without studying much. This time was no exception as I never read anything about taxi/minibus specifics. It was a mistake.

But I passed nevertheless, and I got my licence! Happily, I got back to the bus stop (three metro stations will desserve Laval soon, opening at the end of the month, including one right in front of where I was) and then learned that the Laval transit employees were on strike (I learned later they went on strike to protest a blown tire)!

You don't want to be stuck in Laval, where parking lots take at least half of the size of the island (Laval, like Montréal is an island), which probably helps you imagine what it looks like...

So a few frustrated users got together and we shared a taxi to the closest Montréal metro station. Our cab driver was a caricature of the typical driver with an opinion on everything but no actual knowledge of what he's talking about. There's a TV show in Québec that plays on the stereotype, I thought it was exagerated...I was wrong! The taxi ride cost me as much as a bus ride, but only half the time.

Back in town, I decided to finally go get my iPod, who has been at the repair shop since I dropped it in the toilet on Halloween night. They didn't have a replacement harddrive for my model and they were apparently really hard to find, and they finally called me last week to tell me it was ready.

So I got there and asked for a rebate, which was abruptly refused. You should see the place, it's a really thin building, so the small piece makes for the whole width of the building. The repairshop is located over the store, so the guy looks down to me from the third floor (I'm on the second, there's an ice cream place on the first) and basically yells at me. I've been in the customer services long enough to know that it should be the other ay around, and despite understanding why I need to pay that much for replacing an 30gb video iPod, the point I was trying to make was that they should have at least called me once in a while to update me on the status (I'm not saying every week, but say, at least every two months!)

He finally relented and gave me an appreciable rebate.

I got home relatively late in the afternoon, which didn't make for a long sleep before work(it didn't improve today, as I did a cleaning contract this morning and I'm still up at 2PM), but a potentially shitty day turned down being quite satisfying!

Time to go get desperately needed sleep!

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