User:NFH

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en This user is a native speaker of English.
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My favourite article on Wikipedia is the Driving on the left or right, in which my interest stems from my student days. I studied French at university, and I spent one academic year teaching English in a school in Aulnay-sous-Bois, a suburb of Paris that later became infamous for the 2005 Paris suburb riots. Every day when I drove into the school, the pupils would take great interest in my RHD car with British number plates, amid comments such as "il n'y a personne au volant" ("there's nobody at the wheel"). I needed to open the window and insert a card to open a barrier to drive into the school, and because electric windows were still a luxury in 1992, the easiest way to do this was to reverse through the barrier, as the card reader was on the left hand side. I had got this idea from a BBC Top Gear programme where Jeremy Clarkson reversed a LHD car through a drive-through McDonalds in the UK to demonstrate the absurdity that the car was available in the UK only in LHD. When teaching, my objective was to get the pupils to speak English as much as possible, no matter what the subject. One of their favourite questions was "Monsieur, why does England drive on the wrong side?" as well as asking when the UK would change to driving on the right. Given the frequency of such questions, I researched the subject, and discovered various facts that demonstrated that the UK was actually not very peculiar in driving on the left and there were good reasons for it. I later spent six months living in Switzerland and a year living in Berlin, again with a British-registered RHD car. Given the three periods I have spent living outside the UK and various long distance driving holidays, I estimate that I have driven an equal number of miles on the left and the right, but nearly always in a RHD car. This subject therefore remains very relevant to me.