Czech Parking

I was walking up the hill from the corner shop, heading toward the Little Café Near Home, the days provisions heavy in my backpack. I could tell that Martina was working; I recognized her little silver VW out in front of the shop. It is a no-parking zone, but because of the placement of the sign reinforcing the previous no parking sign, locals interpret the small space between a side street and the sign as a parking space. A small car can fit there and only be a danger to people pulling out onto the main road.

That spot was already taken, so Martina simply did what any Czech would do — extend the already-fallacious logic and thereby extend the parking zone. The logic goes like this: If the presence of a side street canceled the previous no-parking stricture on the main street, then clearly the previous no-parking zone ends at the start of the intersection. Therefore, parking is legal within the intersection. She is parked with her car blocking anyone who might want to turn onto the side street, her rear bumper just far enough from the curb so that anyone who took issue with her parking could not accuse her of being parked on the road before it reached the intersection (which would have blocked the turn lane). Of course, for safety she has her hazard lights on.

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