Friday, 11 July 2008

Road rage

Here we go again...on the way back from the nursery:

A 20-kg Vélib' bike jumps a red light just as we step off the pavement. We leap back on the pavement.

A motorist whizzes the wrong way down a one-way street in reverse. We don't notice as we're not looking the way he is coming. He doesn't notice because he is not even looking behind. We leap back on the pavement.

A scooter rider who has his - unfastened - helmet on the back of his head shouts at us because we don't get out of his way quickly enough. He passes so close I leap into the busy road.

A car is parked on the pavement blocking it entirely. We both leap onto an even busier road.

A man who is clearly not a tramp unzips his trousers pulls out what La Fille calls "a robinet" (tap) and proceeds to pee against the wall as we pass. Where are those splash-back walls when you need them. We cross the road.

A motorcyclist with a toddler (maximum age: 5) riding pillion goes the wrong way down the one way street.

A van is parked across the zebra crossing. As we walk behind it a woman on a mobile telephone jumps the red pedestrian light.

I moan to a couple of French people about all this. Shrugs all round. I say there should be more police. Horrified looks all round. Now they think I'm a fascist. Silly me, I should have known; this is what they mean by French freedom of spirit, non-conformity, refusal to bow to bourgeois rules and customs.

I know I'm supposed to get over it. I know it happens all the time in France and everyone I know has the same story and ha ha, it's another one of those Anglo/French cultural clashes. But, sod it. Why should I accept that sooner or later one of us stands a good chance of being killed or maimed just because some selfish, irresponsible, inconsiderate and law-breaking French twat is exercising his or her right to be a rebel?

I need to lie down in a darkened room.


Dumdad said...

I still can't get over it either. Every day there's some pillock or pillockess putting life and limb at risk.

It's like Death Race 2000. I cycle and I drive. I let people cross at crossings, I stop to let cars go past etc. It is rare that I get any thanks.

And most drivers don't indicate, just abruptly turn left or right. The kids are just as bad. I was driving down a one-way street recently and three kids on bikes were cycling up it. Did they stop when they saw a car or move to the side? Did they feck. They continued riding towards me and squeezed past my left-hand side; I'd slowed virtually to a stop.

If I'd had a gun and no scruples I'd have happily shot them dead. That'd teach 'em.

Maggie May said...

Oh dear.......... its not much different here, really.

Ian Lidster said...

I love this and attitudinally I feel like I am looking into the mirror. And then, of course, there will be the ubiquitous Gallic shrug.

Thanks for coming to my blog and please come back again, as i shall come here again. Oh, and I will write a piece about the Yarmouth Mercury.

Marianne said...

OMG! That does sound unusually bad, even for Paris. Or maybe I'm just a bit spaced out when I'm wandering around. I do have the urge to curse and scream when they turn right over the zebra crossing when it's clearly a green man though- terrifying with a baby in a pushchair.

Parisgirl said...

Dumdad, I know exactly how you feel. It provokes a wish to do something very unpleasant and extreme.
Maggie May, oh but it is. At least people in the UK fear there might be PC Plod around the corner and he might do something about it, even if he isn't and he doesn't. It makes a big difference.
Thanks Ian, I'm looking forward to hearing about the Yarmouth Mercury.
Marianne, turn right, turn left, they completely ignore green men crossings...I do a long detour to La Fille's nursery to avoid such crossings.
Thanks all.

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