In case you’re wondering, I’m not going to talk about the Aventador. I just really want it. I’m not going to fit in it and I’m sure I far exceed its payload rating. But I still want it.
Parallel parking sucks. It really sucks. And I can imagine it never losing its ability to suck, not unlike an overpriced British vacuum cleaner. And it’s deceptively simple the way it was described to me: keeping a distance of half a metre between your car and the other car, line up your rear bumper with the other car’s (or side mirrors if your vehicle is the same length), turn the steering wheel one full circle toward the curb, back up until your mirror passes their bumper, lock the steering in the other direction, back up until you’re parallel to the curb, leave some space in front of your vehicle and you’re done. It works, and it conforms roughly to the instructions given in the Ontario Driver’s Handbook. It does not, however, reflect what I observe in the real world, which usually begins much, much closer to the other vehicle and locking the steering wheel to the curb before any reversing happens.
And it’s not the only thing out of touch with reality. But before we get to that, I have an admission to make: My name is Andy Lin and I am a slow driver.
I drive at the speed limit. I do 40 or less in a school zone, even on weekends. Even, I might add, when Mr. Wong isn’t sitting beside me and regaling me with all the ways I can fail a road test. Legally speaking, I am a paragon amongst lesser (but much faster) beings.
And there are a lot of reasons to drive at the speed limit. Or rather, I have a lot of reasons to do the speed limit. One is a lack of confidence, be it in myself, in the road conditions of North York, in the little Civic that could or in the dubiously licensed drivers around me. Another one is the fact that I’m driving someone else’s car, and that someone is sitting beside me and possesses the watchful eye and general demeanour of a grumpy screech owl. And finally, the combination of ongoing road work and the worn-out suspension generates a rattling in the chassis that rivals a front-loading washing machine loaded with nuts and bolts doing its spin cycle in the back of a bus full of twerking teenagers, and the last time I checked, this thing wasn’t called the Honda Boneshaker.
Here’s the important part: I keep to the right lane. The left lane is the passing lane. I know this, you know this, anyone who’s managed to pass their road test knows this (or so I’d hope). Enter the left lane and you’re doing one of two things: passing or making a left turn. Return to the right lane when you complete the maneuver. Couldn’t be easier.
And here’s where reality rears its ugly head. I’ve seen people go slower than me in the left lane. No, they weren’t attempting to merge. They weren’t attempting to turn, either. I think he was just out for a nice Sunday drive in an M3. Honestly, I weep for our youth. (Maybe he was just starting to learn stick?)
Parallel parking in Taipei and Taroko Gorge. Neither is for the faint of heart. Click image to enlarge