The Long Drive-by

written by Nicholas Blincoe


Being a Francophile doesn’t make me a jerk. The truth is, I always was on the gauche side. Sitting beneath a plane tree in the public square of a town between Paris and Bordeaux, smoking a Gitane and reading L’etranger, how cool do I think I look? The last time I was here, sitting in this exact same position, I was seventeen years old and hitching my way through France. Now, twenty years on, I’ve got a rental sitting in the town carpark. Also, L’etranger is in French. Last time I was reading the English translation.


So, what happened twenty years ago, and why do I need to recreate it so nearly exactly?