We finally got our act together and bought a car. No more standing in the sun waving down taxis or calling four cab companies on a rainy day and not getting through to even one. All our troubles are over!
But not so fast. Here’s the thing. We didn’t stay long enough in Hong Kong to get a car and when we lived in Tokyo our car had a great navigation system that included a back camera with parking guidance. It allows you to program up to four parking spots so that you can park into those spots following voice guidance. Although I never had the patience to read through the thick operational manual (in Japanese) to figure out how to program it that way, I made full use of the back camera. The navigator screen turned into a viewfinder for the camera whenever the car was in reverse. The best thing about the camera was that it not only showed you what was behind the car, it had two sets of lines on the screen. The green lines showed where the car was at the moment, and the red lines showed where the car was going based on the position of your steering wheel. At first it took a little getting used to, but once you learned how to decipher those lines, parking was a breeze.
I only realized now that I should’ve never become a slave of the camera. What’s wrong with parking the old-fashioned way, without the aid of any high tech devices? I was pretty good at it before we ever had the aid of the camera. I backed our SUV into small Tokyo parking spots with no difficulties, and squeezing into tight parallel spaces was my specialty. Three years with the back camera, I don’t even know which mirror to look at when backing up. It took me four or five tries to wiggle into our own parking spot in the basement the other day and when I parallel parked on a street I was so far from the curb that I was worried about getting hit by passing cars. I am so glad we bought a sedan instead of a big-assed SUV, or would that have been easier to park because of the raised vantage point? God help me the next time I have to park the car!
Oh, did I mention I also seemed to have lost the ability to read maps?