Off-Ramp | Off-Ramp host John Rabe and contributors share thoughts on arts, culture, and life in L.A.
Arts & Entertainment

What the French are good at: driving



A car in France.
A car in France.
John Rabe

If you followed us on Facebook, you’d know that I spent the last couple weeks in France. The French get a lot of heat for many things – the guillotine, dog poop on the sidewalk, Serge Gainsbourg, Napoleon Dynamite -- but you may not complain about their driving.

From Paris to Avignon to Montélimar, I drove the lanes, streets, highways, and freeways of France. I encountered thousands of drivers, and only one was what I’d call a bad driver. He was a jerk driving a huge SUV way too fast one a 1-1/2 lane country road on the way to the town of Lussan, and who very nearly caused an accident. I’m assuming he was an  American, or a fan of the movie Ronin.

This was a movie, not real life. In real life, when driving, the French do a number of things we might consider wrong, or “foreign.”  

I know this list is weird, and you probably are a little reluctant to believe that there is such a freak show happening on our own planet, but there you have it.

Totally off-topic, but I just read a great blog entry in EastingAsia about driving as the best means of seeing Turkey.

 I cannot overstate how much we love road-tripping in Turkey. As far as we're concerned, if you've got the time and can swing it financially, driving yourself is the only way to travel in what could easily be one of the world's most road-trippable countries.  "Why would I want to self-drive in Turkey?" you ask. Well, for us it's mostly about food. We love Turkey's open roads, the people and places they've led us to and the food that they've set before us. 

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