The Battle for That Safe Spot

A white, horribly visible scratch on the left passenger door of my shiny blue car welcomes me early one morning. I suspect that the culprit is a huge 4×4 that parks too close, and that one of its passengers carelessly opens the door, hitting my car as a result. Of course, by the time I get to the parking lot, the car that hit mine is no longer there.

Unfortunately, the building where we live in is an old one and does not have enough covered parking spaces to accommodate all the cars, so we park in the open space next to our building. It’s just a wide, empty lot of soft desert sand, really. There are no distinct white lines that divide the space into uniform rectangular boxes that brings about discipline in parking. As a consequence, people simply park their cars where ever and however their hearts desire, sometimes without taking into consideration the distance between two vehicles. To give you an idea, take a look at this picture taken from my 9th floor window:

The picture is taken at around 8 pm. By midnight, there’s not enough space for even a motorcycle.

Taking the car to the shop to have the 1 Β½ inch scratch fixed costs 400Β dirhamΒ ($110) because, according to the repair guy, “We’ll have to paint the entire door.” We think about it and decide not to have the door painted because, well, what if we get a fresh scratch in the parking lot again? Like in the next two days? There’s no guarantee for as long as we are parking on that empty space. Given that our car is at a high risk for such scratches, we decide to get the paint job done when there are at least two or more scratches, to justify the cost. Also, we only have the basic, third party insurance because we’re looking at halal options (like Takafful, for instance).

Fortunately, we discover a safe spot not too long ago.

Notice the blocks of concrete located at the front and back of the car? They conveniently act as a safety barrier that prevents other vehicles to park too close to ours! However, given the fact that this isn’t a private parking lot for my exclusive use, there are nights when there is another vehicle parked in that spot. Luckily, I get the space most of the time. The moment I see it empty, I race towards it like there’s no tomorrow, struggle to parallel park (with Masood standing outside and giving me instructions), lock the car, walk a few steps away, and then look back with a smile of triumph on my face. Once in my apartment, I rush towards the window and take a look again.

The guy who cleans our car asks Masood one night, apparently after seeing me take fifteen minutes to park the car, “Why do you have to painstakingly park there when there’s so much empty space around?” We briefly explain the scratch story, to which he replies, “Ah.”

So until there’s a vacant covered and safe parking space available in our building, we’ll have to outrun the other cars to claim this safe spot.

28 comments

  1. haha! tawa ako ng tawa… πŸ™‚

    ‘yong sister ko, parang ganyan din, as in…she has plenty of funny, crazy anecdotes about parking. actually, ang nakakatawa ay ang mga kapraningan nya, ahaha.

    hope you and the car are well. shall i await the story of the next scratch? peace, nadia! πŸ™‚
    doon po sa amin recently posted..Di Magmamaliw

    1. Ameen to you prayer, Pervisha!

      OK, so let me recap: I’m going to pen a book, write travel-related posts in magazines, work in the travel industry, and now become a crime reporter! Ok. Done πŸ™‚

  2. This story reminds me of my own experience some 14 years ago when I first bought my brand new car. At that time, I was single, renting a flat with some other girls. The car was only three weeks old when one morning I found a two-feet long scratch at both sides of the car! The scratches were long enough that they affected both doors on each side. So all four doors has got a fair share of the scratches. I cried! I believe someone did it on purpose, because these scratches were consistent with each other. Owhh….
    Atie recently posted..Leaving him on the 44th day

    1. What a horribly painful experience! You are a strong woman. I would’ve fainted for the next ten years out of utter disbelief and grief! And yeah, same type of damage that too on both sides of the car? Definitely sounds fishy.

      1. I think someone hates me too much that he/she is willing to ac t to that extent. Told my brother about the scratches, he encouraged me to fight back. He suspected I know this person. So he told me not to give in, dont show any expression on my face. If I let this person see me cry, that’s victory to him/her. FYI Nadia, I didnt show any reaction at all, just pretended that nothing happened to the car until the day I sold it 5 years later. Who scratched my car, I have no idea. But I am sure he/she felt annoyed when the scratch didnt manage to kill me….! Hahaha….
        Atie recently posted..Leaving him on the 44th day

        1. “I am sure he/she felt annoyed when the scratch didnt manage to kill me….!” I’m sure about that too! πŸ™‚

          But I’ve been seriously thinking about this incident that happened with your car. Can a person be truly that jealous that he or she goes and damages someone else’s property? But then, there are some people who set fire or kill another person out of jealously…alhumdulillah that this is just a damage to the car.

  3. I love reading your blog, which I do via my e-mail when I receive updates. In Egypt we have the same problem. For instance, when we spray painted our car because of all the scratches, a few days later we find a brand new scratch after parking it outside a friend’s house for the evening. Of course no one admits fault here, they park, scratch and go! πŸ˜‰

    1. Hello Londoneya. Welcome back and thank you for reading!

      Park, scratch and go — that is exactly how it happens! Spray painting sounds like a good idea instead of taking the car to the repair shop. Maybe I should get myself a bottle of blue paint.

  4. So sorry to hear that about your car Nadia. Double parking is a constant problem in Malaysia too. Few weeks ago in NZ, our car window got smashed because we parked our car too close to the garbage bin at the roadside and we suspect the garbage man broke it accidentally while doing his job and just left! All the coins were left untouched so we were pretty sure it was not intentional. Bad luck for us!

    1. Ouch! That’s painful…I get all emotional upon seeing that scratch, and there you had a window shattered! We should all learn a lesson from this experience: never park near the garbage bin.

    1. Hahaha! I suppose you didn’t face these problems when you were staying here. Maybe parking wasn’t a problem then, or you’d be familiar with the concrete blocks πŸ˜€

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