Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Two: Get us out of here! (or, The one where we get trapped in a parking garage)

Tall Guy’s work gave him a card to park in a parking garage nearby the apartment. Parking on our street is limited, and, for some reason, the “reserved” spot in front of our place (that is almost always empty, mind you) is off limits. It costs 25 euro per day to park in the garage, so we are thankful for the pass.

The first time we tried using the pass, the bar didn’t swing up, so we took a ticket to get in. We asked the parking attendant how the card worked – did we need to validate the ticket by showing the card each time, or was there a way to get in and out by using the card itself? He didn’t speak English, but communicated, in German and with body language, that we must take a ticket, then bring the ticket and card to him for validation. Fine. Easy. We got out the next day without any trouble.


On Saturday night, we wanted to take the car out again, only there was no one working at the garage!

We tried to validate the ticket in an automated machine. It didn’t work.

I pressed the “call for help” button, but the operator didn’t speak English, Spanish or French! I started to attempt to explain our predicament in German, and he hung up!

Feeling desperate, I asked passers-by if they could speak English, hoping to have someone act as a translator, but everyone was either in a hurry (hurrying off to the sold-out Leonard Cohen concert, no doubt) or monolingual (unlikely).

Finally, Tall Guy got a hold of a colleague on his cell, and we found out that we didn’t need to have a ticket at all! We could just use our card!

So, feeling a little sheepish for not trying this out earlier, but above all relieved to know how the system works, we used our card and got out of the garage.


  1. This is all starting to sound like a Seinfeld episode. :)

  2. Wait till you read about the signs... :)