The French are notorious for their carparking habits. It seems nowhere is out of bounds, on a pedestrian crossing, on a corner, on the pavement; anywhere in fact – where a space intended to safeguard pedestrians and other road users exists – it seems to also double up as a free parking space.
Moreover I have seen pavements used as roads – much to the detriment of many a surprised pedestrian, and I have even seen people argue with the police over their right to park in a cordonned-off space: “You say there’s a military parade about to come around the corner? No problem, I’ll be back in a minute, I just need to pick up some pastries!”
So it seems access to parking space is regarded as much of a constitutional right by the French as their access to bread.
Of course illegal parking does carry a risk: spot fines.
But if you ask me – eleven euros (â‚¬11) isn’t exactly going to deter even the most hard-up Frenchman from parking his wheels wherever he damn well likes.