Saturday, March 15, 2014

A Parking Safari

I live in the city, where parking is the equivalent of big game hunting!!!

First, finding a parking space can be very dangerous. You drive down (or up) a busy main street simultaneously looking for parking spots on both sides of the street. This means that your head swings regularly from side to side and you rarely look at the road ahead of you - very dangerous. The rule of thumb in any parking hunt is that, every available spot will be on the opposite side of the street. This means that you have to be very good at quick and dirty U-turns - also very dangerous.

Next, as most street parking involves backing into a spot slightly larger than your car, the angles you have to turn are very sharp and you invariably cut off a lane of traffic in the maneuver. Drivers blindly hope that the oncoming cars will stop long enough for a quick alignment - if you have to do some jockeying back and forth, you're dead!

Hunting parking spots in a mall lot is a little easier, however, you often have to stalk your prey by following shoppers leaving the mall as they walk to their cars. You then lay in wait, while they fiddle with their this and that before they finally start their car and back out. You also have to be very quick at getting into the vacated spot, or someone else may sneak in, while you are fiddling with your this and that.

Now, the easiest parking spots should be on the street where you live. Often this is not the case. On our street, for example, there are not enough parking spots for the cars there, so getting a berth is like playing musical chairs. In fact, once you have secured a spot, you are loathed to leave it for any reason. I often wonder why I own a car!! Yesterday's parking fiasco cost me $70.00. Here's what happened -

1. My husband had forgotten to pick up our son's prescription the previous day.
2. Today, the meds were needed a.s.a.p., so I offered to drive down to the drug store to get them.
3. But, the pharmacy hadn't filled the script, so I had to wait.
4. When I finally drove back to my parking spot, I was two minutes late. Someone had just taken it.
5. As a result, I had to park further down the street in deeper snow. The worse was yet to come!!
6. The next day, I knew that I would have to pull out all the stops to get out of the drifts I had to park in the night before. However, since I have managed to "blast out" of my parking spots every day this winter but one, I was confident. What I didn't see, though, was a bunker of solid ice under a few inches of light snow. Anyone who has ever driven over those cement blocks in mall parking lots knows what happened next. Yes, I managed to impale my car on the icy ridge. I wasn't going anywhere and the tow charge was $70.00. I'll spare you my argument with the tow truck driver, who tried to inflate the stated charge by another $30.00.

Time was of the essence here and had things gone according to plan, I would have saved myself a lot of time and money. Unfortunately, life, being what it is, rarely goes according to plan. There always seems to be a bunker of some sort here and there along the path and I somehow always manage to find it :) Hunting for parking spots is just one of life's daily challenges. It does, though, give walking a whole new dynamic :)

The picture? My car is  '98 Honda Civic with many battle scars. This year I lost this insignia from the back of my car. I miss it :(

Have a great day.

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