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"The people in these photos park like they're fleeing the zombie apocalypse"
August 15, 2012 2:07 PM   Subscribe

Kazakhstan: Bad Parking Capital of the World?

The Atlantic reports on "the sheer insanity of Kazakhstan's parking habits" showcased in the popular Almaty-based web site, I Parked Like an Ass.
posted by prize bull octorok (44 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite

 
Pfft. They've obviously never visited Beijing.
posted by kmz at 2:12 PM on August 15, 2012


Kazakhs are hardly alone in that regard. Even Parisians park like that.
posted by Sys Rq at 2:13 PM on August 15, 2012


We lived in Kostanai, KZ for 2 months while adopting our daughter. I can definitely attest to this. We not only saw tons of crappy parking from our 5th floor post-Soviet era block housing, but we saw plenty of accidents.
posted by scblackman at 2:14 PM on August 15, 2012


This is a developing country with money THING.
posted by k8t at 2:17 PM on August 15, 2012 [2 favorites]


Does Kazakhstan not have parking tickets? Because if those sames stunts were pulled in Chicago, the driver would owe their house in fines.
posted by FirstMateKate at 2:19 PM on August 15, 2012


Verrr' [not] nice.
posted by obscurator at 2:23 PM on August 15, 2012


Looking at all those curb hops it looks more like "wheel bearing and suspension replacement capital of the world".
posted by crapmatic at 2:24 PM on August 15, 2012 [3 favorites]


I work with a few Kazak's, they emphatically confirmed the accuracy of the site, in very funny ways. Funny people those Kazak's.
posted by Cosine at 2:25 PM on August 15, 2012


Borat reference.
posted by kafziel at 2:28 PM on August 15, 2012 [3 favorites]


wow does that just look like a grimy, unappealing place to exist. eep.
posted by ninjew at 2:29 PM on August 15, 2012


This is nothing. Come to South Philadelphia. You'll see cars just hanging out in the middle of a narrow side street.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:30 PM on August 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


In my experience most people around the world park like this. North America is the outrider of strange behaviour. We were in Italy earlier this year and we coined the phrase Sicilian style parking which we use here at home, spots that would be perfectly acceptable in Sicily, but not here.

Half of those pictures look like economical use of precious urban space, rather than bad parking. Well except the Hummer, he's an asshat.
posted by Keith Talent at 2:32 PM on August 15, 2012


The motorcycle one makes sense. I've often started to pull into a space that looked empty, only to find a bike sitting there and sometimes traffic has inched too close to back up comfortable. Parking further out like that would make them easier to see.
posted by mochapickle at 2:33 PM on August 15, 2012


Come on, try Lisbon.
posted by chavenet at 2:34 PM on August 15, 2012


It's probably important to note that the author of this article, Max Fisher, did not even finish his studies at Rushmore.
posted by mcstayinskool at 2:35 PM on August 15, 2012 [4 favorites]


This looks like a job for youparklikeacunt.com!
posted by computech_apolloniajames at 2:39 PM on August 15, 2012 [4 favorites]


Does Kazakhstan not have parking tickets? Because if those sames stunts were pulled in Chicago, the driver would owe their house in fines.

In my experience, enforcing traffic laws of any kind is not a priority in most of the developing world. I have seen drivers pull stunts on a near daily basis in central America in full view of cops that would have put them in jail in the us.
posted by empath at 2:40 PM on August 15, 2012



You will never have a friend like Gazprom.

I don't know. It seemed appropriate.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 2:41 PM on August 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


Yeah, a few of those seem like intelligent solutions, not problems. The sideways motorcycle is taking up one space, the same as a car, and he/she is entitled to it as much as a car would be. And the black car with the license "A 999 DYM" may be in an actual driveway; it's hard to tell with all the snow, but that might be a spot where cars are supposed to park, and he's just a little off center. If so, big deal.

And the very lead picture? He's sideways. So what? It doesn't look like he sticks out any further than the other parkers, and he's not blocking a spot where people would normally walk. It looks like it wasn't necessary for him to park that way, but we don't know what's changed about the situation since he left the car there.

Doesn't seem like a very good lead photo for the article.
posted by Malor at 2:48 PM on August 15, 2012


wow does that just look like a grimy, unappealing place to exist. eep.
That's an incredibly rude and unnecessary thing to say. I'm sure your own country is just so darn fucking wonderful, right?
posted by Jehan at 2:50 PM on August 15, 2012 [4 favorites]


Really, defending the dude who parked halfway across the curb on the grass?
posted by smackfu at 3:04 PM on August 15, 2012


wow does that just look like a grimy, unappealing place to exist.

I challenge you to present a collection of random parking lots in winter from any country (that has a winter) and make it look particularly appealing.

And yes, as a motorcyclist, I can attest that that parking job serves the particular purpose of not having somebody pull into the space and notice the bike in it too late. I wouldn't park quite that far out, as you risk being bumped if one of the guys next to leaves and someone new pulls in. Avoiding "fender benders" is a big part of motorcycle parking. When someone bumps your Volvo at 3 kph while parking, it leaves a scratch on your bumper and annoys you. When someone bumps your bike at 3 kph, it knocks it over and does potentially catastrophic damage.
posted by 256 at 3:20 PM on August 15, 2012


wow does that just look like a grimy, unappealing place to exist. eep.

Really? Looks to me like 90% of the neighborhoods here in Chicago. Welcome to urban life. Like, I'm sure you can find some really, really grimy, unappealing pictures of Khazakhstan, and perhaps more so than in a lot of places, but this really isn't the photoset on which to be making that call.
posted by phunniemee at 3:21 PM on August 15, 2012 [2 favorites]


Can we just turn over Khazakhstan to the Kardashians so we can more easily ignore both?
Come on, Kardashistan just SOUNDS better...
posted by oneswellfoop at 3:26 PM on August 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


Man, I have friends in Kazakhstan (in Atyrau) and they tell me that it is indeed an unappealing place to live.

The winter goes down to -40. The summer goes up to 100F. They're holed up in their house much of the year.

My friend says the drivers are so crazy they are afraid to drive so they always use a taxi - to go anywhere.

Fresh fruits and vegetables are hard to find and extremely expensive. When they last came to the UK all they wanted was green salads because, they said, they missed fresh greens so much.

Of course I'm just going by what my friends told me. I trust them but, on the other hand, they moved there directly after living in the 4th arrondissement in Paris, so they may also be undergoing severe culture shock.
posted by vacapinta at 3:30 PM on August 15, 2012


I don't know: Traffic laws in the Philippines are just friendly suggestions.
posted by Mojojojo at 4:13 PM on August 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


Sweet. This gives me a chance to re-tell one of my favorite travel stories, which I'll just copy and paste from the comment I made almost exactly a year ago!:

the funniest thing I saw on my first visit to Spain was during siesta in a tiny town down on the Mediterranean. A guy driving a medium sized truck was parked sideways across the road, blocking the entire narrow street, and passed out on the steering wheel. It was like his watch beeped to let him know it was siesta-time and he just pulled the e-brake and fell forwards.
posted by mannequito at 4:25 PM on August 15, 2012 [2 favorites]


The winter goes down to -40. The summer goes up to 100F. They're holed up in their house much of the year.

Those are the record temperatures. The averages are perfectly on par with huge swathes of North America.

Your friends are wusses.
posted by Sys Rq at 4:28 PM on August 15, 2012


That's an incredibly rude and unnecessary thing to say. I'm sure your own country is just so darn fucking wonderful, right?

oh i'm fairly sure I've said the very same thing about Chicago on numerous occasions..
posted by ninjew at 4:57 PM on August 15, 2012


shit I just realized everyone in this thread hates me now. EDIT WINDOW.

yes, I have seen cars and street scenes like this in Chicago which I why I know how unappealing it is.

and yes if you parked in Chicago like this, the city would do you the favor of correctly parking your vehicle, in an impound lot. which you'll find out about a week later, after you report it stolen because they don't even bother to tell you and you have to pay them $1,000 to get it back.
posted by ninjew at 5:04 PM on August 15, 2012


To be fair, it might just be one really bad parker who happens to own a lot of cars....
posted by GenjiandProust at 5:26 PM on August 15, 2012


Vengeance.
posted by homunculus at 6:00 PM on August 15, 2012


I thought the bad parking capital of the world was Southie.
posted by candyland at 6:42 PM on August 15, 2012


In a parallel life, I keyed the shit out of this car for a solid 10 minutes.
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 7:57 PM on August 15, 2012


Blazecock Pileon: "This is nothing. Come to South Philadelphia. You'll see cars just hanging out in the middle of a narrow side street."

Hey, you know why? Cause, what, you got somewhere to go? Like you and... and... your Toyota... fuckin' Corolla got fuckin' things to do? Meanwhile I'm busting my hump on the wharf to pay for my ma's meds and you gotta gimme grief the one time -- the one time -- I double park only because she called earlier and she said her heart was hurting her. Jeeeezus, your fuckin' lordship.
posted by boo_radley at 8:19 PM on August 15, 2012 [3 favorites]


God, I miss Philly.
posted by boo_radley at 8:20 PM on August 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


I prefer English Russia for this sort of stuff.
posted by vidur at 9:24 PM on August 15, 2012


This is nothing, at least these people are trying to park. At home, in the west of Ireland people just stop their cars in the road and leave them there. If they're in town they'll put their blinkers on, so they won't get a ticket (this doesn't work Ma, I'm looking at you). And not just for a moment, for ages. If you ask them to move it, they will cheerfully. Just far enough to let your car by usually then they abandon it again. I have seen people stop in the road, get out and go to dinner in a nice sit down restaurant before.

They'll block your driveway as soon as blink too. Day after day after day. It drives tourists and newcomers to complete aneurysms.
posted by fshgrl at 10:19 PM on August 15, 2012


The best is when you find you're double parked in so you go into all the shops to find the driver of the other car and finally you do and it's a nicely dressed older lady who looks at you in utter astonishment. "Sure I left you room to get out!" she says. "Well, I can't" you say. So she wraps up her conversation in an unhurried fashion and accompanies you out and then says "but I did!" and you say, "Missus, I'd have to drive down the pavement in from of the guards shop, go around the post box there and cut through the corner of that garden" and she says "ah right so you don't need me to move my car so?".
posted by fshgrl at 10:24 PM on August 15, 2012 [2 favorites]


Unfortunately, there is no World Bank or International Monetary Fund study on comparative parking practices across nations, no ranking of the world's countries by the politeness and orderliness of their drivers' habit

Funny you should say this:
We study cultural norms and legal enforcement in controlling corruption by analyzing the parking behavior of United Nations officials in Manhattan. Until 2002, diplomatic immunity protected UN diplomats from parking enforcement actions, so diplomats’ actions were constrained by cultural norms alone. We find a strong effect of corruption norms: diplomats from high-corruption countries (on the basis of existing survey-based indices) accumulated significantly more unpaid parking violations. In 2002, enforcement authorities acquired the right to confiscate diplomatic license plates of violators. Unpaid violations dropped sharply in response. Cultural norms and (particularly in this context) legal enforcement are both important determinants of corruption.
Park Violations Rank
#34 of 149 nations: Kazakhstan
posted by dgaicun at 10:46 PM on August 15, 2012


I don't get what's wrong with some of those parking jobs. This one, for example. Does someone need access to that pole? Do people need to jump out of that window? Some of the parking seems like it's actually downright considerate -- trying to get out of the traffic, both vehicle and pedestrian, by going onto some dirt that otherwise wouldn't care.

If you want bad parking, see the vast scooter farms engulfing any given sidewalk in urban Taiwan.
posted by jiawen at 1:32 AM on August 16, 2012


What's surprising is that this these pictures are basically displays of antisocial behavior, not desperate attempts to create a parking space where none exists. Does not augur well for the future of the country.
posted by moammargaret at 6:39 AM on August 16, 2012


Does not augur well for the future of the country.

How does SEVEN GOLD MEDALS augur?
posted by Sys Rq at 8:04 AM on August 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


Also this one is adorable.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 1:16 PM on August 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


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