So I am on my trip to Greece, and I am driving a little two-door rental car. It’s got 4,000 miles on it and runs like it has 400,000. Greek renters are not kind to the local cars. It is – this became a theme – bright, canary yellow.
So here I am on Paros Island, happily tooling around in my cheery yellow rental car, and I decide to explore Paros Town – the main town on the island, also the port – on foot for a while. It’s a cute little town, I highly recommend it. White washed walls, cats everywhere, bougainvilla to make you weep, it’s just so pretty. I spend most of the afternoon walking around the pedestrian-only section of the town, all tangled walkways and narrow steps up to surprise views of the sea. It’s perfection, really.
And eventually, I get tired and head back to my car, which is right where I left it in the public parking lot. But something is wrong. My key won’t turn in the lock. In fact the key doesn’t really even want to slide in smoothly. What the….?
I am getting a little flustered now. I turn the key upside down and try again. Still no luck. Crap! what is wrong??? I’m getting hot, and frustrated now as well. (Given that I am writing this back home in Atlanta where it has been 50 degrees and raining for four days, the mental image of that sunny, blindingly bright parking lot comes back to me like the wave of a hallucination). Okay, I am really close to the rental agency, thank god, I can walk over there and explain that I somehow broke the key, or the lock, and hope they don’t charge me a million euro to fix it….
Just as I am running this worst-case scenario through my mind, I realize there is a German woman calling to me from across the street. Has she been trying to get my attention for long? She must have been, because she and her friends are looking at me with concern and hurrying across the street. I catch the last few words they are saying…”our car?”
Oh, my god. “Our car.” THIS IS NOT MY CAR…..
I look up and see MY car – a virtually identical, bright yellow two door (the rental agency must buy them by the gross) exactly where I had left it… one row over.
I look back to my right and see the nice german ladies in stitches, laughing at my confusion. At least they had a sense of humor about it. It’s probably not everyday some clueless American woman tries to steal your rental car… by mistake!