The Sweat-Inducing Stages Of Dealing With A Public Car Park Attendant In Malta
You better hope you've got change
Ah, parkers: nationally-provided automobile security, or annoying pests?
The men (and women?) who administer the car parks around the country are a lightning rod for emotions. Some people say they need to be there, and deserve to be tipped a bit for overseeing our cars' safety all day. Others say they are unneeded, and that the harassment that some of them cause is just the kind of harassment they don't need in the day.
Either way, chances are, if you park at nearly any popular public car park around the island, you will run into them. And this is what will happen thereafter.
1. "Please don’t notice me"
You try to enter the car park like a fox enters a hen's den - silent, deadly, and looking for opportunity. Instead, you come off like a fart; immediately noticed and given a dirty look.
2. Smiling and waving as he points to the parking spot you were going to anyway
You probably also say a 'thank you' under your breath.
3. Continuing to smile as he walks over and tells you to move forward a tiny bit
"If I crash into the thing in front of me, I will literally sue him," you say, knowing that you won't.
4. Trying to figure out which direction he means when he says 'ikser l’hawn’
Is it left? Xellug? Lemin?
"'L'hawn is totally subjective to the person saying it!" you want to say to the strange man pointing to your left tire and shouting.
5. Wondering how long you have to stay inside your car until he leaves?
"I only have my job and children to tend to today, nothing important."
6. To tip or not to tip
This is when you realise that something's got to happen. You've tried to wait him out, and he has just been chilling, leaning on the back of your car for a good 5 minutes.
He hasn't even made eye contact with you yet. Total pro.
7. The “I only have a 20 euro note” sweats
You can't beat this guy. He's been here since time immemorial. It's time to pay up. You reach for your money - and pull out notes.
€10, €20 - you even pull out a €50 note, and you've never even had a €50 note in your life ever.
8. Digging in all the compartments for coins
You are pulling your car apart like your name really was Bob the Builder. Under the seats, under the carpets - shit, you even end up looking under the car, to no avail.
9. Exiting the car like an escaped prisoner on the run
You have to make a run for it. There's about 15 metres between your car and the next wall, and the wall might literally be a fortification from the 1500s that the Turks couldn't scale - but you're sure you can do it today.
10. Giving the guy like, 50c
After self-inducing heart palpitations, sweating all over, and wasting 10 minutes, you find a 50c that has been in your pocket this whole time.
You give it to him, he thanks you, and you continue on your day, albeit half a kilo lighter from all the sweat you poured out.