Saturday, July 12, 2008

No parking? No problem!

With all the new construction and building going on in Doha, there is little room left for parking. Most parking lots are minuscule considering the number of cars on the road and the number of shops opening up. Basically, when there isn't a proper place to park - people basically just stop their cars and get out. Double and triple parking is more of a rule here than an exception, despite the threat of parking tickets and fines. For those of you who don't know, if you have parking or moving violations on your car's record, you are forbidden from leaving the country until those fines are paid. I know of people that have been turned away at the airport because they didn't pay their fines. Despite all of that, the number of people double and triple parking has not decreased, it has only gotten worse. I see it all the time - 4 lane roads turned in to 2 due to people parked on either side. And my personal favorite: people parking in the middle of the road over the median. People do it here as if it is a proper parking spot. This is a picture of the road near our compound during prayer time (note the mosque at the end of the street). I just have one question: Are these people getting parking tickets????

Today we went to eat at Ric's, a popular place to get "American" food. We usually avoid this place because of the parking situation (there usually isn't any open spaces) and because there is usually a long wait. With all the expats gone for the summer we took a chance and went there for lunch today. We found a spot with no problem, but we noticed a few cars parked behind other cars in the parking lot. Not unusual. When we returned after eating, we noticed that there was a car parked behind us, but not enough to prevent us from leaving...but as for the poor saps in the two cars it was blocking...I don't know. I went to take a picture, and was going to get a view of the whole parking lot, but there were Arab men mingling around and were motioning for me not to take a picture of them (don't get me started on that one). So all I got was the shot of this one car (there were quite a few) that was behind us.

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