Years ago while traveling thru northern Germany, my then housemate introduced me to a car game. Try and spot all letters of the alphabet in order from passing signs or wherever you can find them, she said.
Usually it takes two people but on long trips I tend to pass the time by playing the game by myself.
For several trips between Geneva and Argelès, I have used French license plates as a source. The plates are set up to read letter-letter-number-number-number-letter-letter: example DD-901-AV.
I can usually can finish the alphabet in three or four hours in between talking to my husband and napping.
On the trip to Normandy last week, I decided to only look for letters only on trucks or lorries for my Brit friends. I whipped thru the alphabet in only a couple of hours UNTIL I hit Q.
No company names with Q. One would think with so many French words with que I'd stand a chance. It wasn't to be. For the rest of this trip that day no Q appeared, not even on a license plate.
For the next two days we were touring with friends. Still no Q.
Then, as we were two hours into our ten-hour trip from Normandy to Argelès, one truck had Q as the last letter on its license plate.
Next time I will try the alphabet on road signs.
On trips to New Jersey in another lifetime we would play the initial game by taking the first two letters in any sign and then have to name a famous person.
Ex: Automobile Association Sticker on a car=Arthur Ashe.
The x,y,z names were the hardest.
If one really wanted to make it hard limit it to famous writers, actors, politicians, people in history.
JC=Julius Cesear or Jesus Christ.
As a kid during the summer we tried to find a license plate from each state. Alaska and Hawaii were almost impossible, although we did see one of each but not in the same summer.
In Europe it could be each country but there are not that many countries.
Rick and I have a list of all the numbers on a plate that reflect the different French departments such as 75 for Paris and 90-95 or 95 for the suburbs. It's 66 where we live, 31 for the Toulouse area. We could look for all the departments. We'd probably need a tally sheet like I had when I was a kid for the States.
I TOOK A
This is a game that we played just not trips but when my housemates and I were weeding our Victory Garden in Boston.
One player starts out, "I took a trip and in my suitcase I packed an apple." The next player say, "I took a trip and in my suitcase I packed an apple and a ball." The next player has to name the apple, ball and something that starts with C and so on down the alphabet. Somewhere around l-p there would be mmms as memories weakened.
Fortunately we often finished the weeding before getting to Z.
The games do pass the time on highway trips along with cloud watching, admiring the scenery, chatting, sleeping (I am not driving).
However, after many, many hours on the road in the last month, spending time in one place will be a treat. Today we walked to the café for breakfast and the green grocer to pick up food for lunch. Tomorrow the marché is around the corner and Sunday there is movie 72 steps from our door.
With French strikers impeding gas deliveries, there will be little time for car games to pass the time on the road but there will be a next time.
The license plate above DD? David Duke.