I was on my way to work one rainy morning, on the bus relaxing and enjoying the people watching, when all of a sudden, the driver began honking the horn (nothing new for Nice), and the bus came to an abrupt halt! I was near the front, and so, I could see that a car had started to pull out from a gas station on our right and was partially blocking our lane — what was weird was that the car driver had gotten out of her car to go back to a second car behind hers. So, logically, I’m thinking the two cars had a fender-bender type incident — all of a sudden, the bus driver got off the bus and took the keys out of the front car’s ignition — Huh? Why? What was going on?
The second car drove off, and the lady who had pulled out was arguing
with the bus driver, who explained that she had endangered his
passengers/his bus, with a lot of yelling taking place. The bus driver
got back on the bus, into his cockpit, and telephoned the police. Some
passengers got off the bus (doors were left open) to go to another bus
that had pulled up behind; as it was already crowded, I chose to stay
put, discussing theories of what was going on with a few
elegantly-dressed, French ladies around me!
All of a sudden (French people react suddenly!), the car driver came
onto the bus and started yelling and hitting the bus driver, in an
attempt to get her car keys back — a difficult feat at best since he was
in an enclosed area, but that didn’t prevent her from trying to hit his
face and (unsuccessfully) grab the keys out of his hand. Now we
passengers really had something to talk about: whether the driver was
right in taking/keeping her car keys or not and/or whether the car driver was indeed drunk and/or crazy (the French love a lively debate!)
After about 20 minutes, the police arrived and interviewed both the
car and bus drivers (one French passenger offered to be a witness in
support of the bus driver); I could see the police giving the car driver
a breathalyzer test, then giving her the car keys; apparently, the bus
driver did not have the right to take/keep her keys, as the debate
ended. The bus took route again, and we continued on our way — all of a
sudden, I realized that my day wouldn’t be more eventful than this
morning’s bus incident (or at least I hoped not!).