Over the fortnight I have been in Paris I have been gobsmacked by the driving ability of the motorists. It gives a whole new meaning to the words “bumper bar” when you see them get in and out of car parks.
I had come to my conclusion that the Red man on the traffic light means. If you are arrogant and/or brave enough just go. and that the green man means RUN!
So I was very amused when I was reading the Paris chapter in Bill Bryson’s “Neither here, nor there”
He wrote this ( I hope I am not breaking copyright laws but it just sums it up so well )
“This is what happens: You arrive at a square to find all the traffic stopped, but the pedestrian light is red and you know if you venture so much as a foot off the kerb all the cars will surge forward and turn you into a gooey crepe. So you wait. After a minute, a blind person comes along and crosses the cobbled plain without hesitating. Then a ninety year old lady in a motorized wheelchair trundles past and wobbles across the cobbles to the side of the square a quarter of a mile away.
You are uncomfortably aware that all the driver within 150 yards are sitting with moistened lips watching expectantly, so you pretend that you don’t really want to cross the street at all,that actually you’ve come here to look at this interesting fin-de-siècle lamppost. After another minute 150 pre-school children are herded across by their teachers, and then the blind man returns from the other direction with two bags of shopping. Finally the pedestrian light turns green and you step off the kerb and all the cars come charging at you.I don’t care how paranoid and irrational this sounds,but I know for a fact that the people of Paris want me dead”
It is an incredibly funny book well worth reading.
Thanks to Katha and Celia for suggesting it and the cyber world for having it available on kindle