Friday, July 23, 2004

total road domination chaos
Do you have a question that people always ask when they find out something about you? One of mine is, isn't it difficult driving an English car in France?

English cars have the steering wheel on the right side, whereas French ones have them on the left. Since I drive an English car over here, this apparently causes all sorts of confusion and amazement amongst my French friends. I must get asked this question atleast twice a week.

Now I could understand this question if the steering wheel in English cars was somewhere really weird. Like, on the floor, or in the boot, or facing out the rear window. But it's just a little less than 1 metre to the right, facing straight out the front of the car as it is required to. Since my head is displaced sideways only a small amount, my view of the road ahead is identical to anybody else's view.

So no, driving an English car over here isn't difficult.

Now maybe some of you are wondering to yourselves, but it must be harder when you overtake other cars because you can't see the oncoming traffic?

Well, under normal circumstances that might be correct. But in Toulouse it doesn't really matter that much because the driving style here is so outrageous that people are usually prepared to react to all sorts of crazy stunts. The rules of the road here are so loose that the experience of driving is like something between go-karting and Grand Theft Auto.

They go something like this:

If you arrive at a junction and find yourself with the possibility of saving 10 minutes by driving the wrong way up a one way street, fuck the traffic rules, go for it!

When driving at 150kms/hr on the autoroute, don't worry about leaving any sort of sensible stopping distance between you and the car in front, drive right on up his ass!

And when overtaking, no need to bother yourself with trivia like the speed of the porsche coming up behind you. If you need to pull out baby, you need to pull out.

So all in all, driving is not difficult at all. In fact it is one of the greatest pleasures. We don't want any boringly ordered calmly stopping and starting in all the correct lanes type of traffic over here. We want go-kart swervy turning, sudden 10g braking, oncoming traffic hooting, total road domination chaos!

Have a good weekend :o)

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