Blablacar: car sharing, industrial toilets and Russian princesses
Well, after having acquired the title of Blablacar ambassador, let me spend a few words on the gasoline word of BlaBla-style car sharing. The best way to do this is answering some brilliant questions I’ll ask myself (ambassadors are simple people, that’s why we keep their salaries to a reasonable minimum). So, let’s begin with the interview:
We know that you have been sharing your car for almost two years. Tell me the truth: are you getting rich?
Yes, so rich that I can fill up my car in Italy. Moreover Italian service stations are the best in terms of caviar and high class escorts (even if sometimes they wear a moustache, but then I don’t tip excessively).
You know very well the route Madrid-Trieste-Madrid. What are the best places along the route?
This isn’t easy. I cross beautiful countries full of history and memorable spots: Barcelona, Aix-en-Provence, Nice, Milan… The choice is terrific and I try to diversify my stops in order to see as many places as I can. But if I had to point some specific places as a sort of must-see guide, well, I’d say that one can’t miss the restaurant El Vergel at km 200 between Guadalajara and Zaragoza.
What is so special about this place?
Absolutely nothing, but I like the way the keep up this nothingness.
Madrid-Trieste is not easy-peasy: you’ve to drive for about 1800 km. Do you break your journey?
Yes, I do. I’m not very familiar with cocaine.
Any outstanding stopover you feel to recommend?
The most tricky country is France. France isn’t cheap and French coffee is undrinkable. There’s one place I use to stay in when I stop in Aix-en-Provence. It’s a budget hotel near the highway with virtually no staff: to check-in you just digit the code and you’re done. No restaurant or coffee shop: only a couple of vending machines and a microwave. A Houellebecq-inspired structure. Another good option is sleeping on the highway.
Blablacar is often described as good way to travel with all sorts of people. Do you agree?
I met a lot of people, that’s true. There are four main categories of Blablacar users: the easy people, the zombies, and the Russian princesses. The easy people know what they are doing and what car sharing is: they are excellent co-pilots and very helpful in making phone calls to the passengers who don’t show up in time. Then you have the zombies. Oh, I really dislike them! Zombies are those passengers who show up in time and get in the car without even introducing themselves – not to speak of shaking hands: if they accept to do so it’s with a certain (quite obvious) distaste. Zombies don’t sleep: they are distrustful watchers who refuse to drink coffee or to go to the bathroom. They never talk. They hardly breathe. Their only feeling of safety derives from the fact that they paid you – otherwise they wouldn’t hesitate to report you as a potential terrorist. Russian princesses are common, but not so common to commit suicide. They think you are a taxi driver and your car a taxi. They think they deserve a royal treatment. If it’s raining they don’t want to get wet. The idea to catch the metro to reach their final destination scares them as hell.
You said there are four categories of Blablacar users. What’s the fourth one?
Believe me, you don’t want to know.