Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Financial Boom in Jordan?

As I was driving today to pick the beans up from school, I thought of a way for Jordan to not only be financially solvent, but to actually create a boom in the government sector. I am continually amazed at the number of people who are parking in clearly marked No Parking zones. Unlike in the US when people will pull past the sign so that they can claim they didn't see it, here in Jordan, they park right under the sign. Clearly my prior observation that people consider all rules, regulations, and laws to be mere suggestions applies to parking. However, imagine the amount of money that the government would take in if they issued tickets on these cars. I can imagine that it would double the government's income instantly. Admittedly, it would be a short term boom, but the money in the coffers could help offset other looming issues. Then again, given the sparseness of parking lots and legal spaces, perhaps the boom wouldn't be shortlived.

It continues to amaze me that almost no one has parking spaces or lots. In all of Amman, I think there may be 10 parking garages. And the population of the city is as large as the populations in each of the states of Louisiana and Alabama. And, there seem to be about 15 legal parking spots in town as well. So, I suppose it is no surprise that people double and triple park, block others in, and use "creative" techniques like parking ON the sidewalk. I suppose if the curb is no parking, that doesn't necessarily apply to the sidewalk... The upside to the parking paucity is that people here parallel park exceptionally well. I watched a guy (in his early 20s) parking in a space that I would have sworn was too small for his car. The amazing thing is less that he got it in (with about 3 inches from each bumper) and more that he did so with only one gear shift to reverse and one to drive. Now for me, it would have been up a little, back a little, up a little, back a little, and on for 10 minutes or more. So, there is an upside, but it is pretty frustrating to go almost anywhere to shop and have to park. It's also quite a challenge in the morning when I'm trying to drop the beans off at school. So, here I am wishing for parking lots, standing lanes, anything to make drop off and pick up a little easier. As it is, I'll just continue to street blocking, hand holding procession every day...

Happy Parking!


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