Our run along the Seine yesterday turned into an extended run/hike/run after we decided that we were far enough along and that it was early enough in the morning to make it to the Marché aux Oiseaux (open-air bird market on the Île de la Cité [the island in the Seine upon which Notre Dame sits]).
Exiting the broken-glass-strewn (the Fête de la Musique is evidently considerably rowdier in this district) path/quai along the river, we found ourselves on the sidewalk adjacent to Pont Neuf.
At the intersection was a very nice Audi, driven by a very sharply-dressed man in his 30s, who was remarkable only because he couldn’t drive a stick to save his life. We first noted that something was amiss when the white A4, with a long line of traffic behind it, wasn’t going anywhere, even well after the light became green. Then, as he erratically attempted to move himself into a turn lane, I noted to the Purrito that he couldn’t drive a manual transmission. The raised eyebrow she gave me became a knowing giggle as the nice man in the sports car that he couldn’t drive gunned the engine and proceeded to murder second gear, which shrieked in protest. We laughed again, turned away, and continued on our way as the Audi lurched and howled as its driver apparently gave up and decided that first gear and a bit of clutch slippage were all he needed.
While we’re eligible for a French driver’s license by virtue of holding a Texas license (assuming we’re willing to surrender our licenses at the préfecture), I’m inclined to pass; I’d be fine, transmission-wise, but navigating a city whose streets were set up for horse and foot traffic is another matter entirely.