Thursday, December 11, 2008

Parking Problems

The little Fiat was parked on a dark side-street in Żoliborz, and its windows were already steamed up. Inside the car, Marek turned toward Ania. He took one hand from the steering wheel and tentatively touched her knee.

"Ania, my little kotku, I adore you. Please, please, my darling kitten! Please leave your rich dull husband and run away with me."

Marek slid his hand slightly higher on her thigh, and felt Ania shiver with ... what? Excitement? Fear?

"Oh Marek..." she sighed. "I don't know. I don't know what I want."

She leaned closer to him and sighed again. Her fur coat fell open. He could smell her expensive perfume and he ached with desire. Instantly he knew that he couldn't live without her.

Suddenly, a brilliant beam lit up the inside of the car.

"Open up! Get out!" The police officer rapped sharply on the windscreen with the torch, and Marek and Ania looked at each other, alarmed.



Hey you!

Oh for God's sake. I'm wasn't talking about THAT kind of Polish parking problem. Get your mind out of the gutter. I'm talking about another kind of parking problem.

Let's begin again.

Ahhh, Poland.

An up-and-coming post-Communist country, where people are reveling in new-found freedoms.

(Enough hyphens in that last sentence for you?)

And what says "freedom" more than bending the rules? After all, rules are for the cowering, the oppressed, the scared.

And what better way to prove how modern you are than to assert your free spirit in everything you do? Including how you park your car.

In some places, people learn that it's proper to park your car like this.

Note that car is equidistant from all pavement lines. Car is exactly parallel to lines and well inside the hash marks indicating the end of the parking space. People park like this in England and in America.

But not in Poland!

In Poland, people park their cars like this.

And this.

And this.

Eff You, car park lines! We won't be oppressed by your totalitarian controlling ways! We want to be free! We want to be modern! We want to live now, in the moment! We will not be downtrodden. We will not bend like reeds in the breeze.

We are Polish. And we SHALL, we SHALL! We SHALL park as we please.



Michael Dembinski said...

While the drivers of cars in pics 2 and 3 are guilty as charged and should have all four tyres let down by inserting matchsticks into the valves (there, now you know how to do it), I'd not be too hasty to judge the driver of the BMW in pic 1. I've found myself in the following situation: two cars straddle lines, between them a space big enough for my Nissan Micra. I edge in, go shopping and find the two offending staddlers gone and my car looking like WI 4210F in pic 1. And a note left under my windscreen wiper to the effect that is is I who parks like a sea you enn tea.

expateek said...

Okay, I definitely admit I never would have thought of that excuse! It's clever, it's logical, it's even believable! Good on you, man.

The ever-optimistic car park fairy gives you a pass. :-)

Christine said...

When we were in Seattle there was parking that messed with my orderly Canadian brain. It seems that it is legal on residential streets to parallel park in any direction you wish to face on either side of the street. At least, I am assuming that it was legal. There can not be that many law breakers around and the Americans have no reason to express their freedom in random acts of rebellion and parking anarchy.

expateek said...

Ha! That's funny about Seattle. In Europe, you can park facing either direction in most countries. Cars go every which way. Plus in Poland, you actually ARE allowed to park on the sidewalk, which looks very very wrong. I still haven't quite figured out where you can NOT park, in fact. Not at a bus stop, not in a taxi stand. After that? A big mystery!