The clock/thermometer reads 31° where I am on the 3rd floor of the house. The electric fan hums on the pc tower. The sky is its usual summer blue. Then, the excited French, aroused by the summer heat + the tourists, local ones included, to mark the official R & R of the year in France. The Viaduc de Millau
Although there are three principal periods of holidays in France, Christmas, winter & summer, the latter is still the most busy season. There are three ways to travel around - by road, by rail & by air. On the news, it was computed that Paris-Nice by plane will cost ±750€ for a family of four. Around 550€ by train & ±350€ by car. Adding the economic crisis, the French will have a shorter vacation & a closer destination. And part of that destination is here in the south but it feels like everybody is already here.
My short drive to Cannes & back was peppered with curses, mocking laughs, conflict scenes & near accidents. Only more current at this time of the year. There is a curiosity between the heat & the tourists on the road. Not only that it's so hot & it's so traffic & that everybody is trying to get to a manmade beach by the main boulevard of Cannes and the island of St. Marguerite, everybody is damn rude & impatient. Not to mention how they can allow themselves to do whatever they want like double park on the middle of the road to get a baguette, or make a U-turn anywhere.
The highlight of today's drive was between an old lady & a young man who happen to shout at the old woman who was literally driving in the middle of two lanes. After a minute or two & when the lanes were back in order, the old woman began screaming curses to the guy, complete with hand signals I have never seen before, throughout the 200meter road with 3 stoplights. The guy was just laughing at the old woman who seemed to be more pissed. The only thing that reassures me with this scene is that you'll be sure there will be no guns to finish a petty road conflict.
In a way, I thank my 10 year driving experience in the horrifying streets of Manila & somehow taught me courage in this crazy world of driving. And I just don't mean here or back home, but anywhere else. I guess crazy is universal. So we are truly not deserving of the quote, "Only in the Philippines". The driving rules might be square & clearer here but it's the human nature of selfishnesst & pride that makes driving stressful.
I still love summer. It's the best season. But we try to avoid peak times & go during the last leg of the season. So that's two less crazy people.