Friday, 24 October 2014

Dreaming of a Car Park

When you start obsessing about getting a car park outside your house, you know it’s time to get a life. One with off-street parking.

It wasn’t that long ago we lived in the inner city suburb of Potts Point, in a one bedroom flat with no lift, a newborn and no car space. If you simply got a park, it was a good day. The fact it might be a 10 minute-walk to your front door was beside the point.

When we moved inner west, parking out the front of my house was a joy. And one I never took for granted because, as I knew only too well from past experience, a car park is never a given.

However a few years have past and I’ve come to expect my car park out the front. The problem is that now the area has increased in popularity and there seems to be a lot more cars in our street. Most households have two or even three cars and even though they may have off-street parking, they choose to park on the street. To which they are completely entitled.

However what frustrates me is when people do not park efficiently. There is room for three cars outside our house. Unless someone parks lazily across two spaces. That makes me furious and forces me to say things you should never say when you have young children in the car.

Back in Potts Point, no one wastes car parking space. You consider your fellow parkers by not leaving unnecessary gaps. Not so in the suburbs. Without the buzz of the inner city, people are more relaxed. They feel they can stretch out and park casually. Which means I have to park down the street and struggle up with cranky kids and bags of shopping.

I always used to tease my mum who would obsess about the car spot outside their house. She would be cross if it was taken and had a constant feud with the neighbours over their unregistered boat that always sat out the front.

‘You don’t own the spot,’ I would say to her. 

Now I have to say it myself. Every day. And unless we dig up our front courtyard and put in off-street parking, I have to put up with it.

So for now I close my eyes and think back to my inner city days when life was cool and car parks were not important.

And then I remember that 10 minute-walk and the three flights of stairs up to our very hot flat with no balcony.

And things don't seem so bad.

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