Tuesday, July 07, 2009

The Driving Experience

Since I landed in Geneva, Switzerland and needed to go to Chalon Sur Saone, France, I've had the wonderful experience of driving in Europe. And, let me say, driving in France has turned out to be quite the adventure too! It’s better than England because the French drive on the correct side of the road, but that’s about it.

To start, the French aren't big believers in signs. Street signs, speed limit signs, highway number signs, any old kind of sign is really over rated and unnecessary. As far as I can tell, the French don't want to spoil the scenery with any awful highway sign bigger than a stop sign. And trust me they don't.

Conversations with the wife were always interesting.

Lee: So, seen a speed limit sign anywhere?

Wife: Not for 20 minutes.

Lee: Ok. Let's leave the cruise control where it's at. How about a highway number?

Wife: Nope. Not for 40 minutes.

Lee: Ok. Straight ahead it is! CHARGE.

The real problem was the map. I was smart enough to buy maps of France ahead of time so we would know where we were going. The problem is I purchased a true road atlas that showed ALL the roads. It isn't complicated, it's just detailed.

Let me make this statement now. I love my wife. I believe my wife is smart. She was a lawyer before becoming a stay at home Mom. She is smart.

BUT, dammit, handing her a map is like handing Kryponite to Superman. Yes, I stole the line but it's just so true. And, handing her a detailed map about a foreign country is like handing her a huge chunk of gold kryptonite. It's like she got dumber the more she attempted to read it.

If the conversations weren't interesting before they only got better over time.

Lee: Can you tell what road we're on?

Wife: I don't know but I think we're on this green line.

Lee: I can't see the green line but I know we're not on the green line.

Wife: If you can't see it then how do you know we're not on the green line? Hum smarty pants?

Yes, she actually called me a smarty pants

Lee: Because, I looked at the map before we left. We left Switzerland on the A6...

Wife: A6? Where's the A6?

Lee: I mean we left on the yellow-red line and we haven't gotten off it.

Wife: Now you're just patronizing me.

Lee: Fine. Can I see the map now?

Wife: No. You're driving. You need to focus on the road. I'll figure out what road we're on.

10 minutes later.

Wife: I think we're on the blue line now.

It's a miracle we ever got here at all.

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