23 September 2008

"Am I in France?"

I bought a bicycle today. I was riding it down a pretty much empty Page Street toward the ocean, on the shady side of the street, which happened to be the left side. Generally speaking, I avoid being in the sun whenever possible. Plus, I'm still figuring out the ropes with this bike riding thing. But then a guy, biking toward me, looked me straight in the eye and asked, "Am I in France?" But it was really more like, "Am I in France [you jackass]?"

Here were my internal responses, in order of appearance:
  1. "No [you are not in France.]"
  2. "Oh! You meant to say: This is not France, where they drive on the bassackwards side of the road."
  3. "Wait a second! Don't they drive on the same side of the road in France as we do here?"
  4. "Hey Einstein! Guess what? You're thinking of England - but you're not there either."
By then, he was behind me, gone. I thought about shouting #4 over my shoulder, but decided against it. I figured, people around me probably think they're in France all the time, because of my je ne sais quois. He was probably really happy to have ridden by someone who is so super-French they don't even know what side of the road to ride their bike on. He probably told his roommates about it when he got home, and they all got all dreamy-eyed, thinking about France.


Kathy said...

I've taken to riding my bike too & love it. Thing is I'm still a bit of a scaredy-cat and so ride on the pavement where I can (i.e where it's not too busy with pedestrians). Not ideal & I'm getting better at roads. Anyway, the other day I was riding along on the pavement when this bloke, the only person as far as my eye could see, emerged unexpectedly from the shop and was startled (he had nothing to fear but, still, I get it). He said to me "I wish I had my shot gun, you bludger". I wanted to say, "hang on, you want to blow my head off for riding on a deserted pavement?" but really, I was the one in the wrong so, yeah, i guess I deserve to die.

Suvarnaprabha says.... said...

wow. the level of hostility out there is amazing. of course i wasn't supposed to ride on the left side of the road either...but why resort to such violent language?

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