Friday, a beautiful day in DC and I am out for a short walk before going back to work. On Columbia Road I notice a van trying to park between a car and a motorcycle. From the angle of the car, I know that the driver is having troubles.
As I walk past it I can't help but looking to the driver. She too turns her head and looks at me with a pleading air. I stop and start to direct her: "You can go back some more, some more, some more. STOP. Now go forward"' I say going back to the front to check the distance to the motorcycle.
After a couple of back and forth, she is parked but about 2 meters away from the sidewalk. I shake my head. "You should try again" I suggest. I can see that she is afraid of the traffic zooming past her while she is parking. She is hesitating and this trial is also for naught.
I ask her "Do you want me to park the car for you?". She shakes her head and asks me if I would not mind helping her for the third time. I don't mind. I tell her that learning to drive in Paris is a marvellous recipe to learn to parallel park anywhere.
I give her all the tricks and start shouting "back, back, turn, turn, turn, back again, turn the other way, the other way, now forward, forward...".
She is parked in less than 5 mn, 10 cm away from the sidewalk, so happy of her prowess. I am happy too. I think she got it completely now. Another 2 or 3 times like this and she'll park like a Parisian in the streets of DC.