Monday, November 06, 2006

Whose hick are you?

Cars in France are registered within the département where the owner of the vehicle resides. Each department has it's own 2 digit number, which is used for administrative purposes, including license plates and postal codes. The code for la Mayenne, the department I live in, is 53. All 5 digit postal codes within the department begin with 53. Laval, being the préfecture of the department is 53000, for example. On license plates, the last two digits are the department code. Although this may not last - a Europe thing.

Anyway, this weekend I was in Nantes with the kids. I left early friday after my 8:30 class. The boys and I stayed with Husband's parents and had a lovely weekend. I neither cooked nor cleaned, my idea of a very lovely weekend. I drank much coffee in my favorite cafés in Nantes, Les Flesselles and La Petite Epicerie.

While driving around in extremely hazardous downtown Nantes (so much road construction going on and rerouting of traffic it was dizzying), I noticed that the 44 (the Loire-Atlantique - Nantes' department) cars were giving me a lot of space. Strange.

Husband and I discussed. It's a hick thing. Everyone knows that people from Mayenne are hicks. And of course, drive badly. Oh, like the Mayennais think of the Sartois? I asked. (La Sarthe - an agricultural department to the east of la Mayenne). Yes. And it would appear that there is even a hick pecking order.

For the 44's, the real hicks are the 49 (Maine et Loire - the department of Angers).
For the 49's the real hicks are the 53's (Mayenne)
For the 53's the real hicks are the 72's (Sarthe).
Of course, for a Parisien, a 44 is a real hick.

Everyone is someone's hick. Husband thinks that Parisiens must be Londoner's hicks and Londoners, New York's. But we're not sure.

So back to my question, whose hick are you?


beth said...

Good Question - it would require more thought - but off hand I would say that after living in the city of Chicago for 10 years (migrating from a south burb) - almost all Chicagoians consider anyone outside the city (with the exception of a few north burbs) to be hicks - I didn't agree - but that was their general rule of thought. So, does that make me a hick - I guess so.

Eric said...

Amusing, a Hick Pecking order. Like Kent Vs Auburn Vs Enumclaw
Check out another french themed film on my blog. this one was concieved by dylan and edited by mois

christi said...

that's classic. in bloomington, IN and the surrounding couple towns, their license plates also start with whenever we saw a bad driver, it was always, "oh no wonder, its a 53 license plate".

zeb said...

Honey you are a real real hick. Those people who think you are a hick need to me the Lumberton Crew.

Lorraine said...

In Washington, Oregon and California drivers are hicks. And I suspect we are hicks to them. Funny.

Samantha said...

MOH is obsessed with which dept people come from, and he's passed it on to me - so much that when i'm driving now, i HAVE to look at the license plate of everyone who passes and then figure out which dept they are from.

PS. i'm from 56, and 22's and 29's are hicks to us, though i imagine we are considered hicks by 35 and 44.

Anonymous said...

I'm in Haute Marne (52). We let les vosgiens (88) have lots of space because, while they know how to drive chez eux, once they're out of their departement they're frightening. And Parisiens--because they do not know how to drive meme chez eux.

Oh Zeb, is that Lumberton, NC?

charlie said...

Everybody's! Le hick, c'est moi. Le sob.

Nicole said...

Beth - Anyone born in the town we were born in is definitely a hick.

Eric - OHMYGOD I'd totally forgotten about Enumclaw.

Christi - I guess 53's are hicks worldwide.

Zeb - Are you kidding? I'm an American living in France, I'm the ultimate hick.

Lorraine - Let's hope they vote better than they drive.

Samantha - Ah, the 56's aren't hicks - Vannes is very swanky and the beauty of the department must save you from hickness, but EVERYONE knows the 56's are terrible drivers...

Doc - I'll answer in case Zeb doesn't, yes, it's Lumberton, NC. Mom's side of the family lives there.

CBW - You big fibber. You're nobody's hick and nobody's fool.

Anonymous said...

Oh my! I know Lumberton! I grew up not too terribly far from there and have friends from that neck of the woods. World really is small!

charlie said...

But what about the old saying: There's no hick like and old hick?