Thursday, August 05, 2010

Oh, Voiture (French Driving)

I have discussed before the French attitude to driving. The French drive like tomorrow is for wimps and today is the last day of the rest of their lives. As the very French Philosopher Descartes put it, "I think, therefore I am; I drive, therefore I probably won't be much longer."

Scene From French Road (c) 2010 Peter More
In driving down the small roads of rural France, one meets two classes of "other road users." Those who drive three times slower than you and those drive three times faster than you. The former is usually a nonchalant, sun-weathered rustic driving some enormous piece of farm equipment; or it's a little, old couple on holiday from somewhere outside of France. Little, old, French couples are so surprised they are still living, they speed along the narrow, country backstreets like aging bats out of Old Peoples' Hell.

So while us tourists grip the simulated leather of our vehicles as we scoot along, not wanting driving on a French road be the last thing we ever do, the French are content in the knowledge that, at some point, driving on a French road will be the last thing they ever do. So once again the French win on philosophy, even if that philosophy is "Drive fast; die young."

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