Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Fitting Right In

The Little Princess and I have an ongoing competition trying to one-up each other in a little game we like to call "Who is More Aussie?" She seems to think she is more "Aussie" than me because she uses words like "heaps"and "ta-mah-to sauce" and calls me "mum". Usually she wins, but last week I trumped her with the holy grail of Aussie-ness. Parking.

I've noticed that Australians love to back their cars into parking spaces. I think it is actually their preferred parking method. Back in the U.S. I only backed my car in when absolutely necessary. (Like when going to see Elmo Live on Stage at the Civic Arts Plaza when a million other mothers with sleepy toddlers would be trying to exit the parking structure at exactly the same time. If you didn't back in you would never be able to get out!) But here everybody backs in all the time. I've been intimidated by all this backing in. The parking spaces here are very narrow, often bordered by cement pylons or cinder block walls. To make matters worse, street parking often involves stopping traffic on busy roads to parallel park. I have walked blocks out of my way to avoid parallel parking on the street. I've had nightmares about long lines of hurried drivers behind me honking while I try unsuccessfully to squeeze my big new Toyota Kluger into a tiny spot on the street.

But now that has all changed.

First, I backed my car into this tiny space at Woolies (the grocery store where you can by 2 12pks of Diet Coke for the amazing sale price of $16 this week).

Then I parallel parked my car on Military Road perfectly on the first try! I was too busy gloating about my amazing Aussie parking skills to take a picture of the perfect parking job. But trust me, it was spot on. Even the Little Princess had to concede. I am so Aussie. I fit right in.


Monique said...

So true about people always backing in to park!!!
Parallel parking on Military Road?!?
well done:)

Florida Girl In Sydney said...

You are so right on! The concrete pillars and trying to parallel park on the street as traffic begins to build up behind you. I'll have to tell you sometime what someone shouted out their window at my hubby last week as he tried to park-- I'm still laughing about it.

Kathy said...

Maybe one day I will learn to parallel park. Until then, I will be backing into my space at the Civic Arts Center this year and thinking of you the whole time.

Nana said...

Wow..super job Jen...I would rather parallel park than back into a stall any day..Guess learing to drive in Sabre Springs area of San Diego using a stick shift and during rush hour traffic, gave you a head start on the awesome driver you are. Remember how scared your drivers ed instructor was?

Jenny said...

Monique- Thanks, I know it is not pretty to boast but parking on Military Road is such a major accomplishment I couldn't help myself. :)

FGIS- I can't wait to hear that story!

Kathy- Maybe Elmo will be coming to the Sydney Opera House this year. . .or maybe not.

Nana- Thanks for reminding me. That makes 2 driving instructors in 2 different hemispheres that I have scared the living daylights out of.

Florida Girl In Sydney said...

It's completely politically incorrect and very obnoxious--but it was just so appropriate at the time. My husband really is a bad parker (don't tell him I told you his secret - haha)--
you'll have to remind me next time I see you to give you the details.

danielle said...

You go girl! I have yet to back in anyplace other than my own garage, which is difficult enough, but nobody is yelling at me (except for my children from the back seat!) Parking is so difficult here, parallel parking from the other side of the car, on the other side of the road - OMG can anything be more awkward?!?
Good job, or shall I say, good on ya!

Laurie said...

You're rad!!

Erin said...

You are an honorary Aussie now. 'Good on you!' (Do you say that? Cause that too is Aussie!)

I used to think I was a good parallel parker back in the US, but then again I never lived in a city the size of Sydney with roads this packed and narrow. When I moved here I froze up and I would drive around blocks a dozen times to find a spot I could just pull into. Sometimes I get so flustered that I freak out and get out of the car in the middle of the stree and have my hubby park! Same with parking garages, I HATE backing in! But only last month, when my friend was here from the US I backed into a spot and took a photo like yours for proof. Gregg was proud of me. But you are WAY ahead of me! ;-)

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