Oh, the things Molière and Hugo could talk about…
I always liked this corner in downtown Grenoble. I first saw it when I did my study abroad in Grenoble in 1999. Later, I went back to visit with Mr. Gren and baby Rana in 2006 and made sure to get a picture. There’s not much to it, but something about seeing those two names together… It’s like the convergence of history and possibilities…
When you move to a foreign country, there are plenty of things that you expect to be different: the food, the clothes, the architecture. But you don’t usually think of the mundane things like street signs. Most of Europe has standardized their traffic signs with color, shape, and helpful symbols. They look different from the signs in North America, but most aren’t so out of the ordinary as to cause consternation. (Usually, said consternation was caused by the decided lack of signs, at least in France. A popular proverb among ex-pats living in France was, “You can’t get there unless you already know how to get there.” Even born-and-bred Parisians carry maps of the city in their cars.)
We did, however, find a few signs that made us laugh. We enjoyed the digital signs spanning the French highways that gave driving tips in the form of pithy little rhymes. We liked the Ausfahrt signs in Germany because, well, sometimes our brains revert to 9 year old humor. We liked this sign in England because, what the heck is a bollard, anyways?!
(It’s ok; you don’t have to tell us. We know now).
This sign in Wales was just too good to pass up without a photo:
How many points are they worth? *snicker*
But our very favorite was this masterpiece of government-commissioned art back in France:
As Pacific Northwesterners, that symbol calls to mind just one thing.
Remember, Speed Slug just wants you to be safe.