Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Parking the Car

Parking in the Building
The manner in which the cars are parked makes for fascinating viewing and it is quite amazing to see just how close a car can be parked next to a building. A whilse back I changed the preposition I used with parking from, ‘in front of a building’, to, ‘in a building’. Consequently, lots of public buildings and pavements now have concrete bollards strategically placed to stop cars parking 'in' the entrance.

Parking Over White Lines
I really didn’t understand the reason behind people parking their cars over a white line and taking two parking spaces. It's especially annoying when you can't find any spaces in a car park and the people who’d gotten there before me had two.

I started taking photos as a silly obsessional thing and finally asked someone why so much space is used when parking. His reply was,“they park like that to protect their cars. If they take up two car spaces then no one will scratch their car.” ~still not convinced~

Parking in the Heat
I always attempt to find the shady spot when parking. It gets so hot in the summer {see future blog archive: } somedays it's impossible to touch the steering wheel when you return to the car. Lack of direct sunlight helps keep your car from unbearable to merely extremely hot.

Watching the pavement to see the curls of hot air escaping from the car is fascinating and keeping the windows slightly open helps to let the hottest air escape whilst the car is parked.

An Example from the Newspaper
In the past, you didn’t even have to pay the fine if you had wasta,” {wasta, see future blog archive: } a source in the traffic department told me. “Once a ticket is put into the computer system, no one can delete it. However, it can be assigned to a different national identification number or iqama number. That’s what was happening before. Your record would be wiped clean at the expense of someone else,” he said.
Taken from: www.arabnews.com/?page=1&section=0&article=53516&d=27&m=10&y=2004

Urban Legends

A girlfriend was looking for a run away housemaid, who stolen lots of her jewellery, managed to find out where she was hiding through one of the boys who washes cars.

In addition to the ‘in the lobby’ type of parking you’ll also come across cars parked in the middle of the road or double or even triple parked. On the day I watched a policeman help a driver park in an illegal parking spot I knew I’d lost that particular battle forever.

I was going to work early one morning and my husband was driving. Because we were late we took a short cut through one of the back streets. Parked in our way, in the middle of the road, was a large waste disposal machine. The road was completely blocked.

For a while we waited for the vehicle to move but the driver of the machine was obviously not in the vehicle. We looked around a bit and found the driver and his helper eating their breakfast in a nearby restaurant.

There’s one public car park I used to use which was always full. So the car washer, a local Arab boy with the adopted name of Matthew, had worked out a system which not only let me park my car in a full car park, but would give him income too.

He used to take my car keys and drive the car around the block and return to the car park when it was emptier. The first time I handed over my car keys I did wonder if I’d ever see my car again, especially when I saw my car going past me on the road as I left the car park. I had to stop for a minute and think it through; “Arabs never steal things - my car will be back in the car park when I leave work. Please.” Sure enough it was.

Some years ago a girl friend came to visit me for a holiday and parked her car in the car park she used when she lived here. She was so pleased to find Matthew still working in the car park. But what really made her day was when he remembered her and called her by her first name. The friends she’d brought with her were astonished.


Noor said...

So true, lol. Arabs just do what they want.

Megan said...

People take up two spots here too, mostly people with fancy cars. They don't want anyone parking next to them.
When I was younger I owned a very small, extremely decrepit car and I would sometimes squeeze into one of their spots with them, lol. If there was room. They certainly weren't going to hit my car, not that it would matter.