French Phrase of the Day: Une Perte de Temps

French Phrase of the Day: A waste of time.

So I just got back from my driving lesson with l’Auto-École and… well, I might’ve walked out of there cranky as all hell. Since automatic cars are more expensive to rent in France and less available, I figured taking a manual driving lesson would come in handy. My driving teacher Franc was nice enough and all was going well where I was learning how to accelerate and stop, and even learned some French car terms like le volant (steering wheel) and le klaxon (car horn). That is… until about 15 minutes before the lesson was over, Franc told me we were heading back to the school and I could steer and he’d handle the braking/accelerating. Um, what?? We had already driven to the spot to practice with me just steering and him handling the pedals, so basically for 49 euros, I got a 35 minute lesson? Je crois que non.

We didn’t have time to learn how to shift beyond the first gear, which I totally get, but come on, we still had 15 minutes left and it really did not take 15 minutes to drive to the freaking school. I basically told him that much while we were sitting in the car debating what to do and I really wished I knew how to say “this is a waste of time” at the moment but I didn’t. Ugh – not being able to translate your thoughts into another language can be so frustrating sometimes!!

I had originally planned on taking a few more lessons there but after wasting the last 15 minutes just steering a wheel that I already knew how to do, I don’t think I’ll be going back. C’est dommage because I had such high hopes for fun driving lesson adventures too (plus, I was thinking this could be a good survival skill to learn in case I was ever on the run/escaping a kidnapper and the only car around was a stick shift). Looking back, I feel slightly bad that I was oozing crankiness and frustration at Franc, but what a waste of money. Oh well. Can someone tell me how to say that in French?! According to Google Translate, it’s “un gaspillage d’argent” but I’m not sure if that’s accurate.

Hopefully, I can just rent a manual car in the coming weeks and Robin (hi Robin!) can just teach me how to drive it instead.

On the bright side, at least I have a solid starting base for driving manual now, oh, and I learned a few French words. Oh là là.

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