Imagine you paid for a service.
In the normal world, you get what you pay for, no?
No question about it.
However, in Latin America, that’s not always the case.
When I was looking for apartments around Santo Domingo of Mexico City, I found the one that I live in now obviously.
And, during the night that I was checking everything out, the landlord asked me “if I drive. Do I have a car?”
Of course, being the man who wants to impress an attractive lady like herself, you can’t say no, can you?
I actually did say no.
And she said “well, we have some parking space in front of the building. If you ever get a car and want a parking space, it’s yours for something like a thousand pesos or so per month roughly.
Either way, I didn’t have a car (and don’t have one now) as I said so it wasn’t a matter of discussion.
Though she did point to me the space that is apparently out there for us to park in if any of us (the other neighbors in the building) choose to buy a car and park there.
And, over the last few months, though I have no plans on purchasing a car to park at the space that she claims to own, I have seen moments that have called into question if she really owns it.
And, more importantly, if these moments don’t realize something else about life in Mexico that I touched on briefly before.
A Parking Space for US Only
You would think that, given she was advertising a certain space in front of the building, that it would always be free until of the occupants of the building buys a car and parks there, no?
Well, for all I know, maybe she’s renting out the space by the hour to other casual drivers in the neighborhood.
Though, given she doesn’t live in my neighborhood and nobody is around to manage and see who is parking in the space and for how long, I highly doubt that.
Because, over the last few months since I moved here, I’ve seen various folks from time to time park at the exact space that is supposed to be for us.
In fact, only a few odd weeks ago, someone held one of those “15th birthday events” that Mexicans love to celebrate for their children.
And, right outside the apartment building, you had this HUGE tent taking up the entire section of the road with the entire parking space occupied in front of our building.
As a side point, it was stereotypical of Latin parties in that, by the end of the night, the adults were still partying and having fun while the children (some of them anyhow) were sleeping on the seats.
Quite the opposite from how we ar used to in the US, no?
Adults want to go home already and kids keep playing.
Here, it’s not unusual to see the adults keep having fun and the kids want to sleep!
And, as I said, they took up our entire parking space.
Not that I minded because I wasn’t using it anyhow.
Though, over the last two months, it has been amusing to see people use the space because we do technically have this sign here.
And, on top of that, I did wonder to myself as a casual thought “how would we enforce this parking space to be mind if nobody – not even the birthday parties – respect it?”
You know, I’ve never rented out a parking space for an apartment in Latin America before but I have had this question to myself casually from time to time.
It really does seem – as I wrote here – that parking spaces are quite informal in Latin America.
Be it homeless people threatening to key your car if you don’t tip them for helping you park to people placing objects on the side of the road “to reserve their space.”
In fact, just this morning, I saw this here outside the exact spot where our building asks people to “respect the park space and we’ll space the car.”
Is that supposed to be a threat?
Am I supposed to go out there now and key the car parked in front of our building in the space that is supposed to be for us if we use it?
Of course, given that nobody in our building is looking to rent the space out, I guess it doesn’t matter, does it?
Though, for those thinking of a life in Latin America, it kinda does.
It teaches us a lesson of how things are sometimes done informally.
Even when it comes to something as basic as parking spaces!
Mexican Logic Validated
I often make fun of Mexicans on this website from time to time because many times over I see dumb shit happen in this country that makes no fucking sense no matter how you spin it.
However, when it comes to parking, I’ve seen the light anyhow.
Check these photos out here.
Don’t seem that important, do they?
But they show something that our landlord hasn’t taken the time to do (perhaps because nobody rents our space out).
And that is the random objects they placed in the side of the street to “reserve” the space for parking.
It’s something I wrote about here in which you got folks doing this to make sure nobody steals the parking space.
If I had a car and rented out the specific space, I wonder if the landlord would’ve given me some objects to guard the space with?
Or would she expect me to find my own buckets to guard it with?
And, given she doesn’t live here and only shows up once a month to collect rent, would she even notice if I did get a car and park it there?
There’s no cameras, she doesn’t live here and I highly doubt my neighbors would rat me out as they don’t know what agreement I have with her nor do they own cars themselves.
On that end, you can smell the retard logic of the local as it doesn’t make sense why she’d offer a parking service if she doesn’t actually manage the parking space to make sure nobody is using it without her permission.
But, more importantly as I was going on about, it simply shows another element to which life in Latin America is relatively informal in some moments.
And, thinking things through, I get why Mexicans like to put these objects in the street.
Even though, from what I’ve heard from others, they technically don’t have the right as these are “public streets” where anyone can park.
Still, if you live somewhere, I get why you should have first rights to use the space in front of the building for parking.
Let’s try to understand something basic like that, shall we?
So I don’t judge those who steal the parking space in front of the building if they have a car.
Especially when you need to where birthday parties and other shenanigans are stealing the god damn space!
Anyway, that’s all I got to say.
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