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December 7, 2011 / Aware of the Void

Car Rental Mental and the Mystery of the Aloe Vera Road Map – Part 1

Mr Blue Sky

I think I could teach a class on how to hire a car. I am no expert on it but I think I have done it so often now that I am at the stage when I can no longer be annoyed or disappointed by the experience. When I approach the check in desk to collect the keys I have reached a Zen like state that no matter what they say or do I just smile nod and hand over my credit card to pay whatever extras they have dreamed up to relieve me of as much money as possible.

I love the process, you logon to the internets and search for your required term. My most recent adventure was “cheap car hire Fuerteventura” it yielded about 1,800,000 results in  0.19 seconds. Your first instinct is – wow 1.8 million results I have to be able to get a bargain here. This is wrong and you need to suppress the initial feeling of success or you will not be able to cope with the disappointments later in the adventure. You input your chosen dates into the wonder machine and the computer tells you that you can can hire a Ferrari 458 for 12 days for €129 including all taxes, insurances and fuel for the duration of the hire. You think great a Ferrari just what I need for my Island adventure.

I generally book whatever car is on the screen at this point. I never choose the dearest and I rarely pick the cheapest. I just pick anything knowing that what is on the screen in front of me is not what will be waiting in the airport. On the last trip I had the added bonus of being met in the airport by a man with a clipboard that had the name of my car hire company, spelt wrong in large hand written letters blazed across the back of it. I found out that it was this mans job to drive me half an hour away from the airport to an industrial estate to collect my car.

The desk was the usual ball of fun, I presented my drivers license and gave the girl a laugh when she looked at the picture, I presented my passport and I thought the poor girl was going to have to be resuscitated. I signed all the usual forms and then I was hit with the extras. It turns out when I payed  for my all inclusive package it did not include the charge for the fuel that was all ready in the car. The girl at the desk explained that I was lucky that the car had petrol in it so that I was not inconvenienced by needing to visit a petrol station and I could start my holiday as soon as I drove out the door of the car hire warehouse. I had to pay a local car hire tax, my Spanish is not very good but I think what I read translated as “stupid tourist tax” but as always my personal favorite is the extra insurance.

I was offered extra insurance at the low, low price of €60 per day. I tried to decline this offer but they went and got THE BOOK. This is a hard bound tome that outlines all the terrible things that are covered by the extra insurance. If a chipmunk undoes all the wheel nuts while you are driving and the car rolls down a cliff – you are covered. If bandits steel the car and use it to rob a bank – you are covered, not just for the loss of the car but also you will not be prosecuted because you allowed your car to be used in a crime. If the world ends and you cannot return the car – you are covered.

I continued  to try and decline their kind offer. Then they showed me pictures of my wife and they had used photoshop to cover her in injuries. They explained that if I did not take out the insurance more than likely we would have a crash and my poor wife would receive most of the injuries – this was said in a way that suggested that they would make sure this crash happened. So I paid and paid again. I was handed the key to my car. I headed outside to put on my hot blue 1999 Fiat Panda with 239 thousand kilometers on the clock. I drove off into the wilds of Fuerteventure repeating my little mantra, right hand side, right hand side, right hand side…..

No 7 Main Street, Los MolinosNikon F100 35mm Polypan F 50

A Beautiful Death

Nikon F100 35mm Kodak Ektar 100

Whats Cooking - Zebra?Nikon F100 35mm Polypan F 50

Las Bohemias Del AmorNikon F100 35mm Polypan F 50

OctolunchNikon F100 35mm Kentmere 100

PandamoniumJust on the off chance that someone wants to know what a 5’11” Irish man poured into a Fiat Panda looks like this is a photo that my wife was kind enough to take.


Leave a Comment
  1. marinachetner / Dec 8 2011 12:17 am

    I adore the second photo of the flower. LOVE it!

    • Aware of the Void / Dec 8 2011 2:39 am

      Thanks Marina, I is one that I am proud of, I had to climb over a fence on the side of a very steep hill to get it. The shot appealed to my sense of adventure.

      • marinachetner / Dec 9 2011 9:15 pm

        The things one does for an amazing photograph 🙂

      • marinachetner / Dec 11 2011 8:42 pm

        i would love to use your flower in my inspiration post #5. Is that ok? Thank you!

      • Aware of the Void / Dec 11 2011 8:51 pm

        I would be honored….

      • marinachetner / Dec 11 2011 9:05 pm


      • marinachetner / Dec 16 2011 7:40 am

        Hi! I nominated you for a Versatile Blogger award. Details on my home page 🙂

  2. trtreece / Dec 8 2011 10:22 am

    Some gorgeous photos there..

    • Aware of the Void / Dec 8 2011 10:43 am

      Thanks very much, it has been awhile since I shot anything using colour film so I am a bit shell shocked by the brightness!

  3. David Hall / Dec 8 2011 3:21 pm

    Brilliantly written and oh so true…well most of it anyway!

    • Aware of the Void / Dec 9 2011 9:05 am

      Thank you, it is all true every word….ok maybe not every word!

  4. wolke205 / Dec 8 2011 5:18 pm

    Beautiful as always 🙂

  5. abu zar / Dec 8 2011 11:29 pm

    love the clouds in #1. Did you use a polarizer or its the film used had that look ?

    having rented cars quite a few times myself, i could relate to the funny piece you wrote. I have recently (very recently) started to decline everything that the ‘salesperson’ at the airport rental throws at me even when they give me those ..’are u crazy’ looks. I just tell me my personal insurance covers everything and walk off !

    • Aware of the Void / Dec 9 2011 9:04 am

      Hi Abu, I used a circular polarizer on my 10-20mm wide angle lens which I think added to the look. I had not used Ektar100 before so I am not sure how much that is to blame for the look!
      I do love the car rental ’are u crazy’ stare.

      • abu zar / Dec 9 2011 10:20 pm

        i quite like the look of the sky.I use a CP quite often and yet always end up debating whether I will use it the next time 🙂

      • Aware of the Void / Dec 9 2011 10:38 pm

        I think it worked out ok here! I was on a beach earlier in the day and had put it on the lens as protection from the sand-it was a bit windy. it was still on the camera when I hit the hills. Happy accident or forward planning….

  6. magsx2 / Dec 9 2011 11:36 pm

    Believe it or not I have never hired a car, now I know why. 😀
    Lovely photos, I especially like the 3rd photo, what an unusual shade effect from the logs above, very nice.
    Thank You for visiting my blog.

    • Aware of the Void / Dec 9 2011 11:54 pm

      You know renting a car is one of the greatest adventures you can have in life. I travel a fair bit for work and pleasure and I like to have a car if possible so I can see bit of the world other than the inside of a hotel. The most fun comes from car rental in countries where my understanding of the language is very limited – this is most countries BTW. I say embrace it let the experience wash over you. What does not kill you can only make you stronger….

  7. Arindam / Dec 10 2011 10:42 am

    Beautiful pictures. Great job with lens!!

  8. Glamorholic / Dec 11 2011 8:37 pm

    You are very funny..:)) The people from the warehouse where you got your car are just doing their job and their job is to make you pay as much as possible. :)) Their salaries depend on how they manipulate you to pay a lot of money. I laught so hard when I read about those situations in which you are covered if you take that insurance… However, they gone too far with those photos with your wife…that is really unbelievable.

    • Aware of the Void / Dec 11 2011 8:55 pm

      Like you say they are only doing their job, they just do it a little more aggressively than is strictly necessary….Thanks for stopping by!

  9. eva626 / Dec 11 2011 9:19 pm

    lovely photos…the colors are so vivid. I love it!

  10. sibokk / Dec 12 2011 8:32 am

    Wow! I’m struggling to wait for la segunda parte.

    This line is magical: “…we would have a crash and my poor wife would receive most of the injuries”
    Not just some or a few, but most! It made me think of Douglas Adams.

    • Aware of the Void / Dec 12 2011 5:28 pm

      “Wow! I’m struggling to wait for la segunda parte.” – that’s weird because I am struggling to write la segunda parte… but I now have a bit for the title, thanks Simon.

      That whirring noise you can hear is Douglas Adams spinning in his grave, but thanks for the complement……

  11. jusstdesserts / Dec 13 2011 2:27 pm

    Loving the colors of this set. Thumbs up!

  12. arteyeva / Dec 15 2011 6:19 pm

    dotey wee anecdote.

  13. Steve Schwartzman / Dec 16 2011 5:12 pm

    A funny article about what must be an all-too-common experience.

    For years I’ve been fond of photographing thistles in the state of the one (I think that’s a thistle) in your photograph.

    Steve Schwartzman

    • Aware of the Void / Dec 18 2011 5:44 pm

      Thanks Steve, I am glad you enjoyed it. From looking at your blog I think it is safe to say that if you can’t identify it no one will…

  14. 1cruzdelsur / Dec 17 2011 11:47 pm

    Good photos really have much expression and detail that make them very beautiful.
    Sorry for my basic English.

  15. Neil E. Das / Dec 21 2011 6:31 am

    So many lovely photos on your blog, with such rich colors. I especially like the yellow flower in this set.

  16. Tricia McDonald Ward / Jan 6 2012 5:58 pm

    Great to see someone shooting film! Very nice photos on your site, especially the monochrome images, and I love this colour one shot on Ektar 100. The composition is lovely.

    • Aware of the Void / Jan 6 2012 6:07 pm

      Thank you Tricia, I mostly shoot B+W the colour ones are a side effect of the Spanish sunshine!! Thank you for stopping by I have been enjoying your photos today and I hope to get a better look at your blog over the weekend.

  17. takingsnaps / Jan 21 2012 7:55 pm

    Fabulous photos….keep up the good work.

  18. deirdremarieosullivan / Mar 28 2014 9:50 am

    I am quite enjoying your blogging babbles 🙂 Keep up the good work.
    Always have the strength to say no 😉

  19. deirdremarieosullivan / Mar 28 2014 10:19 am

    Reblogged this on Deirdre Marie Photography and commented:
    if anyone is interested to follow a funny and informative photography ( a lot of film work) then here’s one I would recommend!


  1. Bolt of Inspiration Series, Part Five (Sundays) | Marina Chetner
  2. Car Rental Mental and the Mystery of the Aloe Vera Road Map – Part 2 « Aware of the Void
  3. Las Bohemias Del Amor. « Aware of the Void
  4. A Terrifying Insight – Caution Maths Ahead « Aware of the Void
  5. Delayed Gratification – India on Film | Aware of the Void

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