Friday, March 31, 2017

Parking Lessons

A high school class mate has been living in Germany for almost three years, his dear wife is on assignment with the Department of Defense.  He has grumped about round-abouts and speed cameras in Germany.  Bill was recently back in the USA for a couple of weeks, his oldest brother died of cancer.  He flew into the DC area and drove to and from Michigan. He commented on Facebook that the drivers on the autobahn in Germany were better drivers than the drivers on USA expressways.  Oh, how right he is.  If we drove the way the Germans do, we could have roads without speed limits and all be safe.  

After living in Florida for about 15 years, I got a wild hair one summer and drove to Michigan.  It was the first time I had driven in Michigan in about a decade.  I was driving up the expressway, with the cruise control set about 4 miles per hour faster than the speed limit, and the drivers were aggressively passing me, honking and being quite rude.  I thought to myself, where did these assholes learn how to drive, then it struck me, the same place I did.  

I have a few vivid memories of learning to drive.  The driving instructor pushing my foot to the floor on the gas pedal trying to get me to accelerate faster getting onto an expressway.  And the parking test for my drivers license in Michigan.  The driving examiner had me turn into an empty parking lot, with about 200 spaces in it, and said, "get it in to the lot and stopped without hitting anything and you passed."  Good thing too, parking is not my thing.  If only I could park like the Italians do, if the car fits, and you get it stopped without hurting anything important, it passes.  

How is your parking?  


  1. I used to Smart Cars parked that way in Sevilla. So clever (and convenient). My parking used to be good, but I haven't been behind the wheel in about three years! My California license expired and I need to get a Spanish license... a nightmare to achieve.

  2. I cannot back into a parking space on a street to save my life.

    the last time I went "parking" my then-boyfriend and I were discovered by the police!

  3. Learning to drive... Oh my God. Your comment about the instructor making you drive faster really took me back. My first instructor (who really taught me nothing) kept telling me I was holding up Sydney's peak hour traffic by about 20 km/hr - which I was, because I was carefully sticking to the limit. Anyway, I didn't seem to be learning anything with him so I switched to another company where the driving instructor was great. My parking was just fine until I began driving in the real world and then that poor boy's lessons went out the window. For many years I would drive around the block a few times to avoid paralllel parking because I really stank at it. Fortunately (?) I can no longer drive due to a bit of a disability, so it's no longer my problem.

  4. What I should have said was: see Anne Marie's answer! (The first bit)

  5. And if you are really bored one day, ask me about my driving test...

  6. Anonymous3/31/2017

    About as good as my cooking. Go figure.

    1. that's why you married guido; you'll never be hungry again!

  7. Dear me I can not remember the last time I parallel parked. I suppose the new car's camera makes this easier to do.

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