There are many things I like about this country. One of these things is its relative safety. The news, especial if you have never been to Lebanon, will insinuate otherwise, but if you’ve been here once, you will understand that this society has an overall safe feeling.
So safe, that I do not think twice of giving my car keys to a total stranger .
You see, finding a parking spot in this town is like mining for gold; they are so rare, especially in front of the premises where you need to be, that it is always an occasion of great joy when I manage to find a space right in front of the store.
This has created an intricate industry of valet parking and abandoned lots that are turned into makeshift parking lots. But the demand is so high that they will invariably cram more cars into a parking than it can possibly accommodate, and so they ask you to leave your key. This allows them to shuffle cars around, including yours, during your absence.
And so this evening, while buying an ear thermometer, I left my car, and keys, at aparking lot next door to a shop.
My dad, 101 years old, is visiting from Holland, and he was in the car. He had just been in and out of the supermarket, and since this thermometer thing was going to be a quick stop, he chose to stay in the car.
And as I hopped into the store, I left the car keys with the parking attendant. I told the parking attendant that there was someone one the car.
When I got back to the car, some 5 minutes later, he did not want my 2,000 pounds. He looked rather ‘odd’, I’d say. “No, take your car,” he said.
When I got into my car, my dad said, rather alarmed, “There was this Lebanese that wanted to start your car. At first I thought he might have made a mistake, but he started the car!”
The parking attendant, I thought. He must have had to move my car.
“So what did you do?”
“I told them to get out of the car. ‘This is not your car,’ I told him.”
“And what did he do then?”
“Well, he got out of the car.”
Well, that explains it.
101, and he kicks people out of the car.