I am powerless in this situation.

So (as previously discussed) our car is an Opel Zafira.  

Opel is a German manufacturer – which is good – because that’s about the only positive thing this car has going for it.  From what I understand, it’s the frame and engine from the Opel Astra – a small 4 door car. This car form was also apparently sold in North America as the Saturn Astra – but with a bigger engine.  And therein lies the problem.  Ours is the smallest engine available in the 5 seater car – but with the 7-passenger body of the Zafira.  To put it in perspective – it’s a 1.6L – you know, the size of engine that one could find in such heavy, fast cars as say: a Honda Civic.

The only reason I bring this up is because of two things the kids have said lately:

A few weeks ago, we were following a car from Paris (last two digits on French plates tell you what department the car is registered in) up the mountain when we were coming home from church.  The guy obivously didn’t have much confidence in either where exactly he was going, or much familiarity with our windy mountian roads. Jonah suggested: “just pass him”  (note: this is one more sign that our children are adapting to life in France, he suggested this on a blind corner on a hairpin turn going uphill)   I told him I would show him why this would not happen.

 "Hang on" I warned him.  

“Did you feel that” I then asked. 


“that was me putting the accelerator to the floor”

“Feel that”


“that was me doing it again.  That’s why we’re not passing him.”

The second thing was a week ago when there were some workers here building a lean-to on the side of our house. A giant lumber delivery truck had completely blocked in our car when I went out to take the kids to school.  Seeing our predicament – Madame Ribo gave me the keys to her car and told me to take it instead.  (again … world’s greatest neighbours)  The kids were saying things like “WOW – is this a sports car?” –   “This sure is fast” and  "what kind of car is this Papa"

It’s a small –  Diesel-powered  – Citroën (French made) hatch-back.