Today, I decided to drive to the Tesco. Sure, it’s totally within walking distance, but it was raining a bit, and I wanted to buy milk and potatoes, neither of which I wanted to heft home. So I took my new-found driving confidence, hopped in the car and made my way to Tesco.
Where I learned that 3 pm is a VERY busy time at said Tesco. Now, the Tesco parking lot is actually underground, a nice clean brightly lit parking garage with very narrow spaces. But I found one that would fit our large-by-Irish-standards vehicle (a Chevy Captiva, a small SUV.) I was thrilled to find it, a middle space that I easily whipped into. I ran in, ignored the political campaigner at the door (he didn’t bother me, I’m tired of telling people “Sorry, can’t vote!”), got my cart and did my shopping.
The problem really began when I was in the store. That’s when some BMW owner decided to back into the spot next to me…badly…crookedly…and most importantly, not all the way in. His front bumper hung out a good foot or more from all the other cars. As I was checking out, an older woman backed her car in on the other side of me. She did a nice job of it, considering she had to fit between my vehicle and the cement post. But it was a tight fit.
Not a huge deal – or so I thought.
Today, I learned that not only are the parking spots narrow…but so is the main aisle where you drive. It’s all one-way, so you don’t need room for two cars to pass by. Really, two cars passing easily by one another is a bit of an anomaly in Dublin I think. But this final factor (after the cars on either side of me, my “big” car, narrow spots, BMW sticking out too far) was what did me in.
I put my car in reverse, waited, backed out…and thanks to the reverse “you’re about to hit something!” mechanism on the car, I realized I didn’t have enough room to angle the car. I pulled back in, tried again…and nearly side-swiped the older lady’s little car next to me.
I was stuck.
I was stuck in the parking spot at Tesco’s.
I glanced at the clock and realized I was supposed to be home very soon because we were to be across town, looking at a house in about a half an hour. So I did what seemed right – I called Josh in a panic. Of course, as soon as the phone started buzzing, I remembered he was in meetings today and probably should have texted him instead. But I also knew if I hung up at this point, he’d just call me back.
Sure enough, on the other end, Josh saw me calling, told the person he was calling to to excuse him one moment, I was calling and it was probably urgent because I know better.
Yeah, I’m an idiot. The idiot who called her husband in a panic to tell him I was stuck in the parking lot at Tesco and couldn’t get out and may have scraped the car against the one next to mine (the lady’s bumper had blue paint on it…turns out it wasn’t from our car – phew!)
Josh – being the sympathetic husband – laughed and said “Do I need to take a taxi to come rescue you?” I said yes. He asked if I could wait another ten minutes, then he’d be able to get away.
So I waited…okay, I went back into the store, bought a cup of candy and a Dr. Pepper, then went back to the car and waited.
Five minutes later, the older lady came back to her car, smiled at me as she walked by, got in, and pulled away easily. I leapt into action, fearful someone would pull in again, started the car, threw it into reverse and began the process of getting out of the spot – which required backing out, pulling in again at a different angle, backing back out, realizing a car has pulled up too close to my bumper, so I had to pull forward, re-angle, reverse, forward, re-angle, nearly took the front bumper off the BMW (and was sorely tempted to, just to teach him to keep his car’s nose tucked in), and zoomed out of there – all without putting on my seatbelt, rebel that I am.
It was all somewhat embarrassing. I thought I was doing so good! Obviously, I still have a lot to learn. Maybe I can have that older lady teach me how to park so I can get in and out of spots…of course, her car was half the size of mine, and that’s definitely a factor. But you won’t catch me driving to Tesco’s at 3 pm anymore!