Driving in France – What ya lookin at?

I have driven in several countries now. Every one of them being different. Let me just give you my observations.

Not organized

In France people don’t necessarily drive as “organized” as in the Netherlands or the USA. Let me try to explain what I mean by that. On the high way (French: “autoroute”) for example they make very sudden moves when they take the exit ramp. Also in Paris there are very chaotic roundabouts and the movements are very quick. Some might label this as aggressive but I would rather label it as being more passionate or energetic. This is just something you will get used to whenever you drive in another culture. For example in the USA they seem to drive much slower and less abruptly.


There are however some real differences to what I am used to. One is the parking. In the area we live in there is not a lot of parking space. Very often you see parking that would only have been possible using a crane, in my frame of reference. Numerous times I have seen people exit a parking spot bumping into the cars parked in front and behind them. We have noticed a lot of small dents in a lot of cars, including our second hand one.

Parking in Paris

What ya looking at?

Something else I have noticed that only Dutch people do is the following. In the Netherlands very often on the highway when I would be passed by the driver would look into my car. I caught myself displaying the same behavior especially when I would not agree with the driving of the person in front of me. I would look into the car after passing by. We noticed on the “autoroute” that no one here does this. A colleague of mine told me that they only do it when there is a beautiful girl in the car… So I guess that is why they were looking into our car when we were on our travels to the Netherlands 😉 Now I know what they were looking at 😉

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