Monday, August 31, 2009


It was the first time I’d driven abroad, and before you get any ideas the car returned in mint condition with just a cool thousand or so more miles on the clock. If I’m honest it was surprisingly easy. As soon as we hit French soil I found myself on more roundabouts than the Romford circular, and although the French are still getting used to the phenomenon, I found myself slipping into all the right lanes. I loved the nonchalance of the drivers. They’d all pile straight onto the merry-go-round, happy to sit there for a minute or two, quietly puffing on a cigarette whist more cars poured from the estuaries into the turbine.

I quickly found that being a pedestrian in northern France is a little peculiar though. For some reason no one stops at ‘zebra’ crossings, and when I’d pull up beside one and let the fishes past, I’d be treated with the scornful expression only the French can pull off; as if I’d drank red wine with fish, or demanded an English menu.