Thursday, March 27, 2014

Parking Principles!

The twins are why I have this obsession, compulsion, phobia about parking spots. Now that I only have one toddler I don't even use the pram parking. When a friend of mine with a three year old said she still used them and didn't see who would need them more than she did I had an answer: the lady with twins. Her other friend with twins had told her the same thing.

I am pretty loose about the pram spots. I don't need them anymore and I am grateful. I am happy to leave them to whoever feels they need them.

But Australians – Queenslanders anyway – take parking to a whole new level. Or maybe it's just the parents at our school.

They basically park wherever they like.

The problem is they need about twice the parking space a New Yorker would need for the same size vehicle. And I would whinge about it except I am still American enough to think that anyone with a pickup truck (or ute) could be packing a gun. And German enough to think that I need the walk up the hill anyway.

It's the principle of the thing though.

Curbside parking at the school is not the freeway. YOU DO NOT HAVE TO LEAVE A CAR LENGTH IN BETWEEN VEHICLES WHEN YOU ARE PARKING! Or sorry, three-quarters of a car length, just enough so that my seven seater can't get in there.

And you don't need to shoot me dirty looks when I try to get in there anyway. I mean, what are you leaving all that space for mates? The kangaroos?!

Haven't you people heard of bumper to bumper parking? Eleven point turns to get in and out? Actually USING the bumpers in front and behind to maneuver your way in?

I guess not from the looks I get.

You people would be shot in New York for parking the way you do.

I think you might get shot in Germany for it too.

Today a friend of mine from Belgium caught me scouting out the cars as she walked behind me up the hill to school pickup. „What are you planning?“ she asked. „I'm not planning anything but I could easily get four more cars into that row of seven,“ I replied.

„Ah, yes,“ she agreed, „ but we can use the exercise.“


In America, we enlist friends and relatives in the hunt for a spot. „OOH. Look, a spot just opened up. You go and stand in it and I'll run down and get the car and circle round and make sure we get that spot.“

„Ah, it's a busstop“ said my same friend when I jokingly tried it on her today.

„Oooh, then let's do the German thing and copy down the license number and report it to the police.“

What about pretending to be German and parking on the grass?“ said a naive Australian friend.

Germans? Park on the grass? Mates, we aren't even allowed to WALK on the grass half the time!

It looks like I'll be complaining about the parking no matter where I live but I really am happy to be where I am right now, in a child-friendly country full of sunshine and families, where it doesn't matter that I have to walk a bit farther because it isn't raining and it isn't cold and I no longer have two infants to carry.

Speaking of which – will someone go and help Anita get out of the house and out to the Biergarten please? Once it stops raining.

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