Obsession with Reverse Parking: A Response


This is a response to a Mr DL Philips. You can read the original article here.

Dear DL Philips, we need to talk about the way you don’t park your car.

In the early days of my maligned youth, I used to park my car just like how you described in your article; I went in head first. Now, as a young driver straight out of driving school, there was nothing more difficult than reverse parking. The whole “backing into” a space, looking at the rearview mirror and the side mirror and the rearview mirror and the side mirror again to make sure I don’t bang into anything.

I’m sure you remember a time when you were young and afraid of banging into everything. I know there’s a joke in there somewhere.

As I grew older and more wizened, I realized that there are 2 things which you should never do head first; dive into a relationship, and parking. 

You mentioned reverse parking was a “83-point, five-minute exercise”, which I admit, made me chuckle a bit when I realized how true it is. But that chuckle died when I remembered the time when I was stuck in my parking spot for almost 10 minutes trying to reverse out because of the steady stream of unrelenting cars zooming past behind me.

Imagine a newbie driver, stuck in his parking spot for 10 minutes, too scared to reverse out because “so many cars lah”. You've never experienced that kind of fear. 

I don’t claim to be an expert in reverse parking (except I totally do because I am awesome at it now), and I get your frustration at some of the, ahem, older people, who probably take 20 tries to get into their spot. But this is Malaysia, where we respect our elders. We only honk once or twice as encouragement to the driver, and then zoom off on our search for the elusive parking spot as soon as we see a fraction of a space available. Hell, we even show the universal Malaysian gesture of respect after passing by the poor driver. 

We’re all just nice like that.

Plus, traffic jams in shopping malls are like, THE Malaysian culture, man. 

To conclude, those minutes you save from parking head first into a parking spot is negated by the fact that it takes even more minutes and more traffic blockage backing out of said spot. I don’t Math that well but I think that means we will still be waste time sitting in a shopping mall parking lot, listening to the chorus of honks and breathing in noxious fumes. 

Reverse parking isn’t the problem here. Shopping malls are. When the shopping stops, the parking problems will too.

A Malaysian Budak

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