No more honking for this franco-Californian girl
My eye flitted between the digital clock display and the red light hovering above the road two cars ahead of me. If the light turned green in the next minute I could still make it to my meeting on time. Just as I finished calculating just how long I could afford to sit there (not much longer) the light finally changed.
The relief I felt as the light switched from forbidding red to glowing green was short lived, banished by the fact that the Dodge sedan at the front of the line didn't move. I waited a few seconds for the driver to look up, but something in his lap was captivating his attention.
Had I not been in such a rush I would have patiently waited, maybe even enjoyed the slight delay.
And had I been in the car directly behind the distracted driver I would have flicked my headlights to try to get his attention. But I was running late and I wasn't right behind him so my hand fell hard on my horn.
The strident sound startled me as much as the two drivers in front of me. As the front car leapt forward I tried to remember the last time I had sounded my horn, but I just couldn't remember. I, native Frenchy who had learned to drive in the crazy streets of Paris where people use their horn as often as their turn signals, if not more often, hadn't used my horn in well over a year.
I laughed as I pulled into the parking lot at work. No wonder M had been so horrified at my liberal use of the horn when I had first moved to the Bay Area. Rushing into the office I sent him a hasty text message:
"Am finally really Californian. Will explain later. LOL."