I clearly remember the first time I watched as someone tried, with success to park his car into a parallel park, the size of which was too small for the car. After a number of attempts, he couldn’t get the car in any further without hitting the other cars. I thought this would be the stage he would drive off disgruntled. But no. He proceeded to bump backwards into the car behind him, and forward into the car in front. By slightly nudging the other cars forward and backward,
he managed to make enough space for his own car to be safely parallel parked. The only damage done (and I now noticed it was extensively damaged, perhaps from other such instances) was to the bumper. All in a day’s Roman parallel park right?
Apparently this is a done thing, and most times, people don’t put the hand brake on for this exact reason (however this would clearly depend on the type of car one owned, I would not like to be backing into an Audi).
When you are in need of a car park just because you need to duck into the shop for a six pack of beer (or here, more likely fresh bread or a pack of cigarettes), and you can’t fit into that annoyingly too small parallel park, how convenient it would be if you could leave your car in the middle of the road. Well, here it seems you can. It’s a thing. Not a legal road rule, and you could get fined, but everyone does it. Basically it’s like this; both sides of the road are full with cars, but it’s ok, you’ll only be five minutes. So you park two cars in and hurry into the shop. In theory, great! But realistically: you run into your neighbour’s cousin you met that one time, so you stop to say ciao, then you notice one of the parents of a kid your kids goes to school with, also over in the corner is the old lady from the building next to you with whom you always stop to ask how she is. And before you know it, thirty minutes have passed, you’ve had three great conversations but have forgotten the milk. And unfortunately enough for the poor bugger outside you parked in, he’s been sitting in his car for ten minutes sounding the horn. But you can’t leave without the milk.
This theory (as far as I know) works as everyone does it and probably everyone’s been parked in. However for the unparticipating pedestrian there are other unfortunate side effects. Once on the bus, down a narrow street, we were stuck outside a busy restaurant for (and I’m not exaggerating) twenty minutes as someone had second line parked. When stuck, people’s first reaction is to beep the horn consistently until the perpetrator comes to move his car. This is most annoying around the afternoon, when school finishes, people second line park for a quick and speedy pick-up, thus beginning the horn honking half hour. The daily siesta by this time, is definitely over.