Monday, 23 August 2010

Les Vacances De Monsieur Bus Driver - 11. Some Good Advice In Arras On The Homeward Leg

Like leaving France, leaving Switzerland was a wrench.

Being a sentimental old fool, the thought of replacing all the food, weather and ambience for a trip around the M25 began to make me depressed. But it wasn't that bad. We had a stay of execution, visiting someone in Alsace and stopping for one more night in a hotel in Arras.

Near Basel there is a shopping mall called Shoppyland. Perhaps England should adopt this name. Shopping is the No.1 pastime so what better name could there be? The Swiss had adopted an old English phrase on their road sign asking people to merge when joining the autoroutes, with the words: FAIR PLAY.

As a result of far too nice a time in Alsace, we didn't arrive at the hotel in Arras until after midnight. There was an English tour bus parked outside. The driver was standing on the steps, smoking a cigarette. I couldn't resist asking him how the world of buses fared.

We talked for twenty minutes. Inevitably the conversation came round to rude and obnoxious English children on school trips on the continent.

"We're too soft, us English drivers," he said. "I once had a German relief driver for one day during a trip in Germany. There were some nasty children on the trip and the teachers did nothing. So I warned the German driver.

'I will show you how to resolve this problem', he told me. So we gets going and we get to the outside of the town where he stopped in a lay-by outside a Lidl. He walked to the back of the bus and pointed at the worst behaved child and said to him:

'You will leave zis bus now.'

When the teacher complained he simply turned to her and said:

'And you will leave zis bus too.' He ushered them down the stairs, out through the middle door, shut it and drove off leaving the teacher and pupil standing by the sideof the road. It cost them 18 Euros for a taxi back to the hotel.

He was right. For the rest of the trip, we had no problems."

"I now have become tougher," he continued. I do a lot of school work and when I take them home after school in the Midlands, I know that I have the upper hand. They want to get home quickly so that they can buy sweets and cigarettes. So if they misbehave, I just drive round the same roundabout six times and they soon get the message.

I never have any problems."

Sounds like great advice. I'm going to try it. But wait a minute there aren't any roundabouts in the North Pennines.

1 comment:

  1. You could drive around Allendales Market Place a few times.