Sunday, May 20, 2007

Parallel Parking

I never had to drive a car in India so the only driving experience I have is in the US. It was a huge blessing for me that the state where I first got my license did not need me to demonstrate my non-existent prowess at parallel parking to give me a driver’s license. Had that been a condition of satisfaction for the road test, I would have most likely have never made the grade and gone back home where it is still possible to get oneself a full-time chauffer for a few thousand rupees a month. That would have proved the definitive end of my American Dream.

When it comes to parking, I never seek challenges and will park as far away at it takes from my destination to avoid anything that remotely resembles one. After all, walking half a mile never killed anyone. So when I go out with friends who can parallel park blind folded and will seek out the most punishing spots to hone their already razor sharp skills, I wait breathlessly for the deed to be done without hitting any bumpers. I am in awe of these people but will never try to emulate them. There is always the parking garage option for the likes of me. You either have the skills or pay your way out of your deficiencies. Sounds perfectly fair to me.

I've seen folks like NYT columnist Calvin Trillin in action. Even after decades of parking parallel they are in awe of what they can accomplish and will step out of the car to admire their handiwork. It helps have clueless people like me in attendance who will be rendered speechless by their feat. Despite ourselves we will go "Wow, how did you do that ?"

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Well I too admire people who can parallel park effortlessly. This reminds me of my driving test. I was asked to parallel park but failed miserably. After this, in a funny kind of way the pressure to perform well, lifted and I drove without any further mistakes. Incredulously I passed the test and cynically wonder whether the short skirt(not intentionally) I had worn played any part in the outcome!!! Needless to say after 9 years of this test I am still unable to parallel park.