Traverser la Rue

passage.jpgIf I am to survive my time in France I need some urgent advice about crossing roads! I strolled into town after lunch for un cafe at le cafe but experienced some difficulty in getting from one pavement to the other.
There are zebra crossings or whatever the French might call them (passage du noir et le cheval blanc?). However standing hopefully and purposefully at one side looking very much like one would wish to cross has no effect at all on the flow of traffic. Thus it would seem that the only option is to step purposefully out as an indicator that the traffic should stop. It’s a good theory BUT it doesn’t necessarily mean that the traffic coming immediately towards you will in fact stop … and even if it does this seems to pretty much guarantee that the traffic coming the other way won’t. As you reach the middle the traffic that has (if indeed it has) stopped, sets off once more and you find yourself perilously trapped in the middle. Even this would be ok-ish if the middle was a definite concept on French roads but it appears not to be, the French viewing any available space as a legitimate way forward!
There is a charming redeeming feature though in that if you nearly get run over, or if as a pedestrian you cross inappropriately , it all seems to just elicit a cheery wave and a kind of c’est la vie … or as it more accurately feels, … c’est la mort.
The spirit of Asterix and the Gauls is very much alive me-thinks.
Advice appreciated

3 Replies to “Traverser la Rue”

  1. They’re intended for crossing the road? I always assumed they were just some peculiar French form of road decoration for all the notice people took of them!
    I’d suggest getting a pole vaulting pole and going across that way…

  2. Yes, Stu, that ‘look left instead of right’ is the most key advice. I spent the weekend in Amsterdam, narrowly avoiding being mown down on a large number of occasions, for not getting my head round that one. And they not only have cars, but dedicated tram and cycle lanes all dropped randomly on the same road.

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