December 23, 2011 14 Comments
Day before yesterday, car full of all my Christmas food shopping, I returned to the garage to see that someone was parked in our spot. (Yes, we own a car. No, it doesn’t keep me up at night, wondering if I will go to emissions hell – it’s a hybrid, although we didn’t know that when we got it…) I huffed and I puffed, I got out and touched the offending car’s bonnet. Hot. He’d just arrived, parking spot stealing bastard! I took a picture of the car with my iPhone, emailed it to the garage landlord. I turned my car around, found a parking spot on the street, got out (in the rain) fed €3 into the meter went upstairs. Printed out VERMIETET (yes the capitals are absolutely necessary) on an A4 sheet of paper, put in it a plastic sheet and stomped back out of the house (in the rain but this time with an umbrella) to the garage where I fixed that to the wall. I also left a note, the gist of which was ‘call me on this number once you’ve moved your vehicle out of my parking space pinhead!’. Meanwhile the garage landlord writes to let me know I can park in the dentist’s bay. I go back down (in the rain, still with the umbrella), move the car and because I am feeling petty, affix the €3 ticket to the car’s windshield. Then I putter around my kitchen until 1 hour later, the phone rings.
Hello. I am the man who parked in your space.
Ok – so you’re leaving now?
Yes, I am so sorry.
Um, well, where should I leave the €3?
The wha..? Oh – yes, don’t worry, it’s fine.
I hang up.Once again, the disparity between most German people and every other European citizen is glaringly apparent. Most German people will always do the right thing, even when no one is looking. So if I left someone in a room with a jar of cookies and these instructions. “Do not eat the cookies. If for some unfathomable reason you do eat a cookie, pinch yourself really hard on the arm as punishment.” I think, the majority would not eat the cookie and the minority would eat the cookie and pinch themselves. No one would say, scan the room for hidden cameras or strain their ears to make sure no one was approaching before saying…What? F**k it, I’m leaving and I’m taking the cookie jar with me. Read more of this post