To begin this journal entry, I want to think back to 1997, when I was learning to drive. As I prepared to take my driving test, I felt good about most aspects of driving. However, I was not 100% confident with my parking, either reverse parking or parallel parking. To rectify this problem, my father too my to a quiet side-street to practice. I found this a disturbing experience as – with my test looming – the pressure was on. However, my experiences were nothing compared to those of a gentleman I saw in Monte Carlo.
Allow me to set the scene. My girlfriend and I are strolling pats the Cafe des Paris towards the Casino, We were not planning to spin the roulette wheels, rather we just felt like absorbing a little bit of the atmosphere. The small square outside the casino is renowned for the cost of the cars that you see driving around it. It is common to see a Bentley following a Rolls Royce and being shadowed by a Porsche. On this particular day, though, it was a bright yellow Ferrari that caught ours attention – and everyone else's attention.
As we strolled towards the casino, the Ferrari signalled its arrival with the powerful throbbing of the engine. It had come up the hill from the port of Monaco and the driver was looking for a place to park. With his choice of car, it was clear the driver was happy to attract attention and was not looking to blend in to the surroundings. Having made such a decision, he maybe should have re-considered his decision to forgo services of the valet and attempt to park his car himself – because when it started to go wrong, there was nowhere to hide.
The Ferrari went past the entrance to the casino and identified a space between a BMW and an Aston Martin. The driver then decided to slide his expensive machine in between the two. However, his first attempt ended badly as he had to break sharply to avoid breaking one of the BMW's headlights. His second attempt produced a similar lack of success as he flirted with the front wing of the Aston Martin. By this point, a crowd was beginning to grow. Not only were passers-by stopping the watch the show, but customers at the Cafe de Paris were getting to their feet to watch,.
It was clear that the driver was growing frustrated at his inability to control his car. As he sat behind the wheel, he seemed in two minds. He certainaly did not want to damage his pr-ze-possession, but asking for the valet would mean admitting defeat and looking slightly foolish in fron of scores of people. It seemed quite the dilemma. In time – after two more failed attempts at parking – common sense prevailed and he signalled for the valet, who slipped the car into the spot in one swift movement whilst the man skulked quietly into the casino.