Friday, January 28, 2005


Last night on our way home from a dinner in the Latin Quarter we took the bus, my favorite way to travel in Paris. At one point the bus is making a 45 degree left turn. I'm sitting in the back next to the window and say to my husband "boy it looks like we are going to hit that car." The car, a Mercedes, was parked on the corner illegally. A moment later the bus stops -- he doesn't want to hit the Mercedes.

The bus driver gets out of the bus and takes a look at the situation. There is the Mercedes on back left side. There is a big cement block on front right side. The bus in stuck. In addition, we are also blocking a side road.

Men from the first three cars on the side road, the bus driver and a passerby try to push the illegally parked car. It doesn't move; the emergency brake must be on. So they all work together and lift the car and move it to closer to the sidewalk.

No honking horns during this 10 minute fiasco. No swearing. No complaints whatsoever. Just a normal day in the city. After some handshaking, the bus driver gets into the bus and drives off.

-- said Auntie M in Paris
3:50 PM



Love it!!!!! :-)

# posted by Pat : 5:36 PM  

Are you saying that the same thing couldn't happen at Connecticut Ave. & K St.?

# posted by DC-Giant : 6:13 PM  

DC, The bus getting stuck. Yes, that could happen. No one beeping? Doubt it. People helping.. possibly but I'd worry that someone would pull a muscle and sue the city. Am I too cynical?

# posted by Auntie M in Paris : 7:11 PM  

Honking one's car horn is illegal in Paris – and in France generally. One may honk only if there is "un danger immédiat" for other vehicles or pedestrians. Strangely enough, the French seem to obey this law. (smile)


# posted by L'Amerloque : 8:51 PM  

That so rocks! Even though we live a smallish area(200,000) the rudeness in driving makes me want to curl up in a fetal position whenever I make it home.

# posted by BohemianMama : 9:30 PM  

What a civilized way to handle the situation - cynical me if that happened in SF the bus more than likely may have taken a swipe at the car. And how nice 5 strangers pooled their muscle power to move the car and then shake hands.

There is a nice civility w. the no honking law in Paris. You don't notice it (the peace) until you've been in town for a few days.

How about the sign on buses re: the keeping open or closing a window if there is a dispute about it? Whoever was there first decides (or am I wrong?).

Terry in SF

# posted by Anonymous : 10:29 PM  

L'A, Thank you for always giving me a new piece of information. I didn't realize it was a law, but I've always wondered why horn blowing doesn't happen more often... now I know.
BM, I know.. driving seems a lot more dangerous in the US now a days.
Terry, I've never noticed that sign on the bus, I'll have to look for it.

# posted by Auntie M in Paris : 11:13 PM  

I can't believe everyone was so helpful. I swear I would have thought that the bus would have just hit the Benz. Sometimes the French really do amaze you!

# posted by Anonymous : 11:40 PM  

CMAC, Maybe the bus driver thought he'd do real damage. I thought he'd just scrape the bummer, but he must have thought it would be worse.

# posted by Auntie M in Paris : 12:07 AM  

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