Selfish Drivers in Thailand - Parking
Driving in Bangkok really can drive you crazy. Even if you know your way around, getting from A to B is rarely straight forward. But when you arrive at your destination there is still one more frustration to face: finding a parking spot.
This task can be frustrating enough in a packed car park, driving around and around, while playing a automotive version of musical chairs with the other hopefuls. The frustration builds as you see a space available in the adjacent row, only to have your hopes dashed when you witness another vehicle approaching the parking spot, going against the arrows and wheeling into the space, which in a world with order and decency, should have been yours.
You continue to snake up and down the narrow one way system keeping your eyes pealed for a vacant space. You watch as people walk between the cars, attempting to anticipate which car they might be going to, hoping that the timing will be right so you can take over the spot they vacate.
Time is ticking by, and then you see it! There is it, a space! You move towards it with a sense of hope that had seemed unimaginable just moments before. There is a truck following behind you. He's hoping that you plan to reverse into the spot. That way, when you drive past it, and while you are putting your car in reverse, he will press right up behind you, giving you no room to move. Then, he plans to sit there and wait for you to move on while he avoids eye contact with you at all costs.
You are on to him, but as you get closer to the space your heart sinks. What looked like a space was actually something like this:
Right now, I'm back in Europe, and after 5 years driving on Thai roads, and contending with selfish VIPs and VIP wannabes in Thailand, I'm enjoying the break from the madness. The difference in road discipline and common curtsey is like night v. day. I'm not saying that it's perfect, but in my years of driving in Europe I've had less frustrations each year than I had in Bangkok each day!
The best advice I was ever given about Thailand was: DON'T DRIVE, DRINK! I should have heeded the advice.