Here’s where it starts to unravel. Chapter 1 of French License shows how alike France is to California. “Can’t you give a brother a break?” I ask, wondering how my similar experience warrants a zero. Chapter 4’s Idiot synchracies uncovers the dissimilarities of driving in France. For roundabouts, it’s “vive la différence.” For nearly everything else, it’s “where’s the exit?”
Here’s an extract:
“When your trip on one of these secondary roads takes you through a strange town and you’re unsure where to turn next, there’s a helpful sign that will inevitably turn up, indicating ‘TOUTES DIRECTIONS.’ This means ‘all directions.’ “Nothing to see here. Just pass through. I don’t care where you’re going to, it’s obviously this way.” So, you comply and, sure enough, a bit farther up the road, your next waypoint is clearly marked, and you breeze along, confident you will arrive at your destination.
Until you once again come across the now-familiar ‘TOUTES DIRECTIONS‘ arrow, pointing to the right. You’re about to head that way when you notice another sign just next to it, labeled ‘AUTRES DIRECTIONS‘ pointing to the left. This, of course, means ‘other directions.’ How, you ponder, does ‘all‘ differ from ‘other?’
Being well-schooled in philosophy, the French driver in front of you speeds on. Scratching your Yankee head, you pull to the side of the road and wait for the mass-market adoption of GPS.”