Monday, June 20, 2011

Coffee and French Bean's Car Search Quest

Readers of Two Beans or Not Two Beans are probably unaware that almost two weeks ago, our blog came very, very close to becoming one Bean short.

Coffee Bean was involved in a car accident. Although she came out rather unscathed, the same cannot be said for her car...which is why she is now on an impossible quest to find an automatic car for under $4,000.

Following a brief weekend in humidity-and-mosquito ridden Miami, she and French Bean drove back to Orlando. The two Beans could have fun hanging out with each other while French Bean temporarily escaped from the grand highlight of McDonald's cheeseburger specials while she met and discovered new people. It was a win-win situation!

Amidst all the partying and beer-drinking, Coffee Bean also had to face the reality that her rental car wasn't going to be hers forever and that she needed a reliable mode of transportation. After doing some internet research and jotting down locations, the Two Beans went off to find THE dream car.

(The names of various car dealerships have been altered to protect their identities.)

Car Dealership #1: Lemons Fo' U

The Two Beans came across this world-class vendor by chance. While on the quest for a different dealership, they spotted Lemons Fo' U located adjacent to the other place. The wooden, hand-written sign announcing the property could not be missed, nor could the metal, barbed-wire fence protecting the vehicular commodities. The owner of Lemons Fo' U made his appearance when he exited his work station of a minuscule hut and approached his clients by walking on a graveled pavement.

The proprietor of said establishment was a well-dressed urbane gentleman sporting a white, sweat-stained wife beater and had a respectable mane of long, flowing dreadlocks. As a sign of his financial success, he had teeth which glistened a golden sheen in the 100 degree F sunlight.

Yes, indeed. Coffee Bean had certainly declared the sum to be $4,000.

The proprietor thought for a moment until he pointed to one of his many exemplary vehicular beauties. After a few seconds of glancing around the place, the Two Beans realized something: the cars which were available were indeed far too nice to be sold for fewer than $4,000. A nearly brand-new red Chevy Malibu?

A revelation came upon them. These cars were probably stolen.

Ergo, the Two Beans did what any sensible car-buying client would have done: they assured their salesman with a diplomatic "we'll come back."

(That translates to "fat chance you'll ever see us again, bub." )

Car Dealership #2: Cheap Korean Kars!

The next location on Coffee Bean's list required the use of Tomtom, the GPS navigator. Once the address was entered into the device, Coffee Bean followed the instructions in a figuratively-blindfolded sense. If Tomtom said to turn left, the car went left. If Tomtom told the car to go straight, it went straight. If Tomtom said to drive to the closest Cartier shop and rob the store at gunpoint...the Two Beans would have probably obeyed him.

Instead, Tomtom let the girls know they had achieved their goal.

Funny thing is that they hadn't. There was absolutely no sign of Cheap Korean Kars! Yes, there was a complex of townhouses on one side of the street and there was a Nissan and even Honda dealership on the other side, but no Cheap Korean Kars!

But Tomtom steadfastly insisted that they had reached their destination. Could Cheap Korean Kars! have been an invisible dealership? Who knows...

Car Dealership #3: Worldly Cars

The Two Beans decided to give Tomtom a second chance by navigating them in the direction of Downtown Orlando. With a promising title like Worldly Cars, the Beans thought that they were going to encounter a car dealership paradise which sold even the odd flying unicorn.

Instead, Tomtom guided them to the wrong part of town.

The really, really wrong part of town.

The one complete with menacing individuals congregating under a bridge.

It became quite obvious to the Two Beans that their quest to find a nice car for under $4,000 was leading to them to a life or death situation.

They called it quits for the day and headed home.

No wonder they couldn't find the damn place.

French Bean and Coffee Bean

Monday, June 13, 2011

Dear Universe: You Have GOT to be Shitting Me...

Dear Universe:

As you may very well know, I am currently stuck in the four walls of my Miami bedroom.

While I am ecstatic to be surrounded by my loved ones again (and not be paying a cent for rent), I am sorely beginning to miss the independence and access to mobility that I once had merely two weeks ago in Europe. This change from being a carefree and daring young woman to now wondering what the hell will become of my life has been a drastic one.

Universe, I only wish to be able to at least move around without having to rely on my car. Is that really so much to ask for?

I already know the answer to my question: in Miami, yes, it is.

Do you know what it is like for me to have spent living nearly two years in Dijon, a city in which I had access to lush parks, a fresh market, art and archaeological museums and a train station, all no more than a 25 to 45-minute walk from my house?

Universe, what is it that you have provided for me in my native Miami? Do you know that the closest attraction to me is...a McDonald's? Seriously? With these conditions, the highlight of my life is to wait until Wednesday and Sunday to walk 15 minutes to Mickey-D's to take advantage of their 39 cent hamburgers and 49 cent cheeseburger specials. Nope. I don't see anything messed up with this. At all.

Oh, and to make matters irk me a bit more: my laptop doesn't want to cooperate and detect the ethernet cable. This means that I must resort to using my Grandpa Computer which is incapable of letting me load photographs from my various trips around France and Spain.

Now, I should probably stop bitching and take advantage of the fact that I live in humidity-and-mosquito ridden Miami. I obviously can't rely on this city to fulfill my cultural and artistic needs. My options are limited to shopping in the malls (for which I would need a car) and swimming in the beach (which also requires me to drive to). I guess that I might as well stay home and watch the local basketball team win a championsh--

Oh, what's that? The Heat lost?

Meh. I never watched them play a match anyway...

Universe, I guess what I am trying to say is...if I have to remain in this town for a very, very long time, I might just be driven to the point of blasting my brains out. My life is not meant to be here, and you know that.

Barb the French Bean

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

One Year Bloggiversary!

We can hardly believe how much has happened in this past year, or how quickly time seems to pass on by.

Well, rather than looking back, all we can do at this point is to look forward and continue with our adventures!

We here at Two Beans or Not Two Beans certainly couldn't have reached the one-year bloggiversary without our readers! It really means a lot to us to know that there are people out there who read our crap writings.

Here's to many, many more years to come!

French Bean and Coffee Bean

Friday, June 3, 2011

Last Morning in Mustard-Town

Welp. This is it.

Today is the day that I shall leave my cherished France. My chapter of "Barb the Care-freeTeaching Assistant" has come to a close...

After two years of enjoying the Dijonnaise life, I will soon find myself dragging a 30 kilo suitcase around Parisien train stations to catch a flight in Orly. However, rather than it being a direct flight to Miami, I shall experience what it is like to sleep overnight at a Berlin airport. I should be on firm, below-sea-level American soil by Saturday around 3 p.m. EST.

In the past couple of days, I've really been reconsidering my goal in life and have been asking myself "what do I really love to do?"

Apart from writing, drawing and singing, I also love to cook. I especially adore baking cakes and cookies. My French friends know this, too.

At a dinner this Tuesday, by dear friend Florence told me the steps to make a pastry shell and gave me this:

"It's my first pie pan. I bought it before I had even met my husband. I want you to have it and to send me pictures of all your quiches and tartes."

I have been so touched by her gesture. Food truly has a way of connecting people to each other.

It goes without saying that I will deeply miss French food. My solution is to try to make some once I'm back in the States. Who knows? Maybe my baking will be my next big venture.

Anyway, I've got to run. I'd like to bid my Dried Fruit Lady an "until next time" while the market is still open.

Barb the French Bean.