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Why Didn't You Park There?

This is yet another episode in the ongoing series "Germans are Strange and Wonderful Creatures"...

During a particularly hard week of night shifts, I needed to get to the bank on Wednesday morning. Our bank has the proverbial "bankers' hours", they're closed on Wednesday afternoons. Wednesday is also market day in Buchholz, and the rare parking spaces downtown are even harder to find than usual.

So this particular Wednesday I had been trolling for a parking spot for nearly 15 minutes without any success. At our local Famila market I finally spotted a space, but it was very tight and I decided not to risk it. The lady behind me pulled in, I drove on and found a better spot further up that was actually closer to the bank.

I was gathering my stuff together when someone tapped on my window. It was the lady who was driving me. She was wondering why I passed by a perfectly good parking space. I was flabbergasted. She was very nice about it, but what business was it of hers or anybody else where I chose to park or not to park my car?

Looking back on it, this was a typical case of German arrogance and their inborn compulsion to point out other people's mistakes. This compulsion is especially evident in situations involving cars and driving. Never mind that my behavior was completely logical, for her it was a mistake. And even though she was very nice and polite, she was compelled to go out of her way and tell me about it. She couldn't help herself. She's German, and it's in her blood.

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