Expat Magazine

Non-Parisian Drivers

By Sedulia @Sedulia
Yesterday I drove N and F to the Eurostar to take the train to London. It was a crowded day in Paris, and the city was full of non-Parisian drivers. I've become Parisian enough to want to honk at them when they hesitate so long at an intersection that I miss the light... but I'm American enough so that I usually don't. The people behind me are not so reluctant! The mayor has deliberately made it hard to drive in Paris, blocking through streets with one-ways in the wrong direction, putting in huge bus lanes so that a six-lane road becomes one lane in each direction, and shortening lights. (He has also made the buses and metros run later, so I'm grateful for that.) 
My car, like an old mare, headed for the airport so without realizing it, I found myself on the Périphérique ring road instead of on the Grands Boulevards to the Gare du Nord, where the Eurostar comes in.  But that turned out to be a blessing because it was fairly quick. On the way back home to the 16th arrondissement on the west side of Paris, I thought it would be fun to go through the central city to see the Christmas lights. Luckily I had lots of time because... every bus from eastern Europe, taxi filled with Japanese and Chinese tourists, and provincial French doing their shopping for Christmas was driving through downtown too. What a beautiful city at Christmastime!

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