Monday, July 18, 2011

French drivers are mean. And bad.

I realize I like to complain about the French. It could mean I've become more French myself by doing this. (It is, after all one of their most popular pursuits.) And I realize as I will now begin to complain about French drivers, that there are bad drivers EVERYWHERE. But I am in France. So I will complain about the French drivers--for today.

So. First to bring up is that I have a strong prejudice against French drivers because one ran over my sweet little angel of a dog, Teddy.  He was driving the wrong way down a one-way street. Teddy was on his leash, just about to jump up on the curb when this maniac turned the corner fast and didn't even stop till he parked a few meters down the road. He was going fast because he didn't want to get caught.  We took him to justice and two years later I am still waiting for the settlement check, which will never replace my precious Teddy. Nothing will.

Hence, my strong prejudice confirmed. French drivers speed down the streets, speed down one-way streets the wrong way (see above), don't slow down when you are crossing the crosswalk, drive too closely to you as they pass you in the crosswalk and don't seem to slow up or add extra caution if there is a baby in a stroller either.

In terms of parking they are the worst. I will say sometimes they are "creative," but it still is classified under "bad parking." For instance:
  • they nudge other cars backwards or forwards when they park by running into them with their bumper to move them so they have more parking space, or so they can get in (or out) of their space
  • they park on corners, which are not parking spaces
  • they park on sidewalks (mostly half-on, half-off--which is another problem (for them) because they are ruining their tires and suspension)
  • they park in the middle of two streets (see example:
    The black car is PARKED. The red car is driving past it on the street. The white car is parked on the corner.

Instances where drivers have driven too close to us are:
  • the time a woman drove too close to us with the baby in the stroller and Emmanuel hit her car with an umbrella. She didn't stop.
  • same scenarios but I rapped the car with my knuckles (and flipped the driver off) (one was a woman -- I was in the middle of the crosswalk and she kept driving at us) (one was a man who looked at me with astonishment because apparently no one ever did this to him before)
...To be continued...unfortunately.