Sunday, September 28, 2008

Not excellence in parking

I had a very full day, and ended up downtown late at the Vancouver Film Festival watching We, a documentary about dissenters in China. It is a fascinating inside look at various individuals who wish to express dissent in China, including those from three generations. There are several sequences about house churches and Christian belief, as well as commentary on the role of blogging and the internet for expressing dissent in China. Recommended.

Somehow it was really hard to find parking tonight. I drove to the bottom of one garage only to find that it was full and not much of a turnaround down there either. Then I ended up on a rooftop lot further up. I like rooftop parking since I was once attacked in an underground lot as a teenager, and the cellphone does not work well in underground lots. In fact, what was I thinking going underground at all!

Coming down from the rooftop after the film, the attendant, who was directing several lanes of cars to merge exiting the lot, directed me to pull up tight behind the car ahead so as not to let in the cop merging from the right. I did as I was told. Then the cop yelled out that I had to back up since he had to get out urgently. Except, of course, that I was on quite a serious grade and with a manual transmission, I really could not back up very well, because I had only a few inches between me and the car ahead. But I tried, then slipped forward a couple of inches. Then the cop yelled at me to stop and not crash. As if it was all my fault. Everybody yelling. Everyone was already worked up because the car at the exit booth was stalled and the driver was out running around gesticulating and signing things and so on.

It was like an Italian movie. Then, a couple of minutes later, the police had to put on his siren just when he pulled up behind me while I was making a left hand turn, and the crosswalk was full, so where was I to go? More yelling. Crumb, I hate yelling. Pedestrians were running everywhere, I sat still in the middle of the intersection. Here is the old chestnut. Should I do as I am told, be obedient, and get out of the way of the police, running down a few pedestrians in the way, or, I should I just sit tight and wait for the mayhem to pass?

But after all that, 10 near fender benders and other mishaps, we got home safely. I was so thankful that I had made my urgent cellphone call on the rooftop parking lot and not in the intersection while hanging a left in front of the police car. Small mercies.

1 comment:

Jane said...

Makes me quite glad I don't drive ...
Anyway take care after such stress and happy international translation day!