First, take a Parisian. Add car of generous proportions and place in, say, the Latin Quarter, at eight o’clock at night.
It is still daylight so spotting a space, particularly with the experienced eyes of two additional Parisians on board, shouldn’t be too hard…
As non-Parisian friends on holiday, remember to help the driver with constant comments along the lines of, “There’s one over th-! no, sorry – disabled // Oh just look at how he’s parked – otherwise you could have got a Tank in… // Hey! that bugger pinched your space!”
Such encouragement is always welcome…
After an hour or so, one of the Parisians will merrily bid us farewell and go off to meet her boyfriend at a bar we have drawn unexpectedly close to. You could suggest to the others that really, it would be just as much fun to go back to the appartment, where I could rustle something up from the contents of the fridge. The co-driver will recall that the said contents amount to half a cucumber and some old teabags of the green mint kind.
Suddenly she sees an Actual Gap between two other cars, and Manoeuvres begin! It takes but five minutes of perfect directing “go on stop go on stop turn go on back stop stop no Stop!” and magnificent wheel control, to parallel-park the car - leaving four centimetres front and back between neighbourly bumpers. If Only we’d had the camera…
Yet, this feat seemed As Naught to the Parisians… They park as they drive – ignoring all obstacles.
After dinner, as they drive you round L’Arc de Triomphe de l’Etoile - the immense roundabout with its twelve exits and several million cars aiming At Yours - you must try very hard to muffle your screams.
And then be ready to spot a Parking Space vaguely in the vicinity of the appartment.
The Fenland Reed
19 hours ago