“Can I park here?”
“If it’s a rhetorical question I’d say ‘yes’ but frankly, I’m not sure because I come to Pornic exactly once a year. I don’t think my dad paid last the last time… let me read the sign.”
“What does this mean?”
“… I’m not sure. I’m gonna ask around. Excusez-moi, can we park here?”
“Yes but you need the disk.”
“Well, you are in the blue zone.”
“Sorry, I’m completely confused here… this is not a common parking lot thing around here. I vaguely remember playing with a parking disk’s thumb wheel in my grandparents’ Volkswagen campervan but that was back in the 1980s. As for the blue zone… not a clue. Let me see. So blue zone, 90-minute free parking. All we need is a damn parking disk.”
“Can’t we just, like, write the time on a piece of paper?”
“I’m pretty sure we can’t.”
“Oh, so we found a French rule that can’t be bent?”
I shouldn’t have shown Feng how to protest, dodge the tramway fare and make fake student IDs (long story for that one).
I shrugged. “Exusez-moi encore… where can we get a parking disk?”
“At the tourism office. But you won’t get it for free! It’s €0.50!”
“Come on, let’s buy one. It’s gonna be a cheap souvenir.”
And so we queued at the tourism office, bought a French parking disk, displayed it proudly on the windshield and didn’t get a ticket—yes, the police actually came and checked everyone’s disk.
Thank you, Pornic, for this deliciously vintage moment, especially considering these days, you apparently need an app for everything.
And all that to buy some bread in one of Pornic’s bakeries!