Thursday 1 December, 2005

a pinch and a punch…

Filed under: Claire's Entries — claire @ 9:47 am

We have a car which for the most part keeps guard out the front of our apartment. Jim cycles to work and as we live pretty much in the centre of town I can walk to everything I need. I’d love to say we jump in it every weekend and head to Spain but budget restraints, the fact we live here and aren’t on holidays means some weekends we just need to relax around Lille. I do drive the car from time to time but its not something I do without a second thought. Driving on the “wrong” side of the road is tricky. Well it’s not so much that I find that hard its that the drivers side is on the “wrong” side. Once when we were on holidays in the South I had driven to this little village not far from the gite we were stay at to do some shopping. The South of France kind of shopping where you take your litre container to the vin de cave and they fill it up with the local stuff which is only 2Euro but still great, you grab a melon from the lady who sells just melons which she grows and are flavoursome beyond belief because they are in season and you know it will be fabulous served with some pineau charente before you have the saucisse de canard. So as you can imagine Im pretty happy as I hope in the car looking forward to the drive back passing the miles of sunflower fields. Only problem is, as I’m about to start the car I note the absence of a steering wheel in front of me, I turn my head left, apparently its the shopping’s turn to drive, its sitting in the drivers seat. Having parked in the main street and being a small village it did not go unnoticed that I had to get out and walk around to the “right side” of the car. The locals laughed and called out who knows what, I just smiled and nodded. “Oui, Oui, Je suis anglaise”. Its not only the steering wheel I misplace but the gears, if conditions change suddenly my foot finds the brake but my left hand flys down only to find the door. Maybe that’s my best option, to bail out! I indicate when I want to wipe and wipe when I want to indicate………are you getting the picture?! One time when I was driving in Switzerland with a friend I told him I struggled a bit getting a sense of distance between the right of the car and the edge of the road and could he yell “gutter” if I was edging to close. We had to abandon conversation, it was impossible when so frequently interrupted. However he was good humoured so we perserved and I was doing ok by the time we got to Italy. Jim said he’d be happy to see the gutter, its the wavering to far the other side that bothers him!

Ok lets not panic here, really I am fine now! I promise!

And NO that is not our car! It was parked on our street, I took the photo on a Sunday and those people are just out from church. One look at that car and out goes thy will not judge!

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