Thursday, August 26, 2010

Parking Ticket

The latest episode in the ongoing Lebanese civil war, which despite the legend did not start in 1975 and did not magically end in 1990, was attributed to an argument over a parking space.

A spokesperson for one for the parties involved called it an isolated incident over something silly. Well it is, but this country is "something silly" away from becoming just a silly footnote in history. The poster pictured above appeared on Beiruti walls before the Burj Abi Haydar incident.Whoever posted it either has psychic powers or the laws of averages make it a safe bet to bring up the topic of Lebanese in-fighting at any time without fearing it will be untimely. Lebanese in-fighting shocks no one... except the Lebanese that is.

There are many, many factors that have Lebanon at a constant simmer. One of them is the "silly" parking. You see, there's a field of study called urban planning. Believe it or not, some urban planners make money by offering urban planning services. It turns out people live more happily if they knew they could find a parking spot within a couple of kilometers of their home. They would be happier if they know that there is a reliable public transport system that will get them home. But that's really asking too much of incompetent political leadership. The last brilliant idea to come out of state institutions to address the parking problem in Beirut was to build car parks in place of the last remaining human parks in town. I'm no urban planner, but I'm pretty sure parks are also part of what makes people's lives in cities more bearable.

I'm no outlaw either, but I know people who know people that can get you out of a parking ticket. Though I'm thinking an RPG launcher is a much more effective tool to achieve that, plus you won't owe anyone any favors. Hmmm...

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