I would have had to have been terribly naive to think that Thessaloniki didn't have a parking problem. I would venture to say it is almost as bad as Athens, although in the end that probably isn't true. Needless to say, living downtown and having a car is as pleasant a combination as being on the run from the police with a dead convict attached to your leg.
We've been lucky, I guess, on the couple of occasions we did venture out with the car we have been able to find parking spaces in extremely close proximity to our apartment building. Our street is a one way street, with parallel parking on one side and diagonal parking on the other side. Now who the hell figured out this diagonal parking thing I'll never know - there don't seem to be any lines on the street designating it as such. Maybe there is some unknown rule about streets like this, who knows? I guess ultimately more cars can park diagonally than can park parallel, and there is enough room on the street to do it, so it is done. Obviously, this means there is but a single lane of traffic that can go through our street. Which means that people who pull up in their cars needing to carry stuff into their apartment or run into a shop or whatever the hell people do driving their cars in the city are blocking the road entirely. And we all know what ensues when someone comes along the road behind a stopped vehicle.
HONK!!!!! HONKHONKHONK!!!! HONKHONKHONKHONKHONKHONK!!!!!!!!!
Ok, firstly, lets assume that the person who is completely blocking the entire road is well aware of this and doing whatever he or she intends to do and then returning to their vehicle. Now, whether or not said person will do this expediently or not is a whole other question altogether, but that is beside the point. Obviously they won't leave their car there all night unless they want it destroyed by morning. Keeping this in mind, I understand a couple of honks to let this person know that traffic is accumulating so if you can speed it up, please do. But the incessant honking has got to stop, before I become a true American and stand on my balcony with a shotgun and blow your honking ass to bits*. I can't even decide which is more annoying, the frequent short honking or the single, long honk, but both drive me to the absolute brink of insanity, especially if I am reading or writing or attempting rational thought of some kind.
Perhaps it is that, simply put, I am not cut out for city life. We shall see.
*Obviously, I don't have a shotgun, and I am not really in that class of Americans that think gun ownership is a right that should be practiced by every last person in the U.S. of friggin' A. And even if I had a shotgun, I certainly wouldn't shoot at people from the balcony. Even so, the fact that the honking puts these thoughts in my head is just a strong example of how completely annoying the honking is, even to a liberal, peace-loving American.