Sunday, December 30, 2007

Don't fence me in!

I have admitted frequently that construction sites intrigue me and have mentioned that my flat is now surrounded on three sides by a giant work-in-progress. The latest development, viewed from my kitchen window while making Friday's first mug of coffee, is the clear intention to enlarge the area fenced off. On the left in the photo below, the barriers which until now left two narrow traffic lanes free (one invariably blocked) and permitted nose-or-tail-to-kerb parking on the right.

One might have thought that in advance of such an encroachment there might be signs warning people not to leave their cars where in future only through traffic will be possible. But no, you come down from your flat and find that the new fence is already taking shape and drive off angrily deploring that yet more central district parking places have been lost.

Now all of this works perfectly well after the locally prevalent system of concatenating improvisations until some kind of satisfactory conclusion is reached.

But... that black Mustang has been parked in front of the laundry I frequent weekly (wash and iron, shirts and polos for just under EUR 0.80, trousers at almost EUR 1.00, nice!) without being moved since at least summer 2005. At the time it amused me when the proprietor of the laundry simply shrugged... "The man, he has other cars!" Could this happen in Europe? I think not, if the 'Stang hadn't been stolen or vandalized by the end of the 2005 summer it would at least have been towed.

Yesterday was Saturday and I was struck by the absence of the parker whose definition of 'long term' was so remarkable. I fact only the blue saloon on the left remains this Sunday morning. I hadn't noticed it before, parked under the only tree in the vicinity. It must have been around for a while, though. The tree is popular with flocks of birds; the back end of the car is thick with the evidence of long term avian activity.

Ah yes, and three of the windows in that oddly pink building in the background are where I live.

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