The Flip Side by Patricia Fua
So, I am a couple of months into my new existence as a city dweller. It has been a bit of a learning curve, but I think I am ready to graduate from “strange haole” to “new here”. It hasn’t been easy, but it has been highly enjoyable.
I know my way around all the thrift shops on the island, the clerks know me, and I have my senior discount card at each one. After slowing down a line which grew from 2 people waiting behind me to 7, the lady behind me, having observed my basket full of housewares, smiled at me and said (sincerely), “I hope you enjoy your new home here.” That did for me, I was completely smitten.
Parking garages have presented a bit of a challenge, but my driving is stellar! I just turn up the radio so no one notices my GPS lady’s voice saying, “recalculating route” over and over! But what does it matter, I am in no rush. I have a wonderful parking place on the 5th floor of the parking garage attached to the high rise where I live. I won’t claim being perfect at any part of the experience of parking in said garage except the remote which opens the gates. I have that down pat now with just enough time to put on my shades, turn up the music and open the moon roof before the gates have opened sufficiently for me to exit.
I did run into a bit of a scrimmage more than once now on the curved one way driving path that carries one’s car from one parking floor to another. First off no one told me what those curved mirrors were for, and while I was checking my reflection to see if my car needed a wash a very loud horn blew and scared me witless. I am not sure but I think those mirrors are supposed to be for drivers to try and discern whether a car is coming around the corner.
The whole parking act though is giving me all kinds of fits. One big wig in the Home Owner’s Association said my car was too big. I don’t know if he dislikes renters and wants me to move, or if he is a hopeful car salesman. All I know is I told my Dad that practicing parallel parking with a standard transmission on a hill in a small town in the middle of nowhere probably would not prepare me to park anywhere. City parking is insane! But I almost have it down. I proceed to the end of the aisle on my parking floor and make approximately 32 forward and backward moves to turn my car around so that I can maneuver between the concrete pillars and my parking neighbor’s extra-long pick up cab with a camper on it. I am working up to backing into the space, I mean I do have a reverse camera, but there is only an inch and a half on each side.
It reminds me of the tiny garages we had in the old days when we started buying Pontiac boats. Oh, well. I always claimed to be a lifelong learner. I’ll keep ‘ya posted on the flip side.