We live in a quiet residential road, with no reserved parking. Outside our little low-rise block of 4 flats is enough space to park three cars, and one entrance for each pair of flats at either end of the block (and parking space). Because of my fiancé’s back injuries, our flat is adapted and we like to park as close to the entrance to our end of the block as possible, as she can’t walk far without pain.
On Monday, when I returned from a doctors’ appointment, I had to park the car in the ‘middle’ spot, as the ones at either ‘end’ were occupied. Yesterday (Tuesday), when we went out to do the shopping, there had been a handwritten note left on the windscreen.
Fine, I thought, I’ll be parking in the ‘middle’ space when I get back (if I can), bring it on. Bearing in mind that no one had ever asked us to move the car in the four months we’ve been here, and we’ve mostly parked in the space for our ‘end’ when possible, I thought that someone considered the ‘middle’ space ‘theirs’ and it’d be useful to know who it was so we could sort things in an amicable fashion. Tuesday night brought no knock on the door, so I wrote it off as someone had had an exceptionally bad Monday at the office and the note was their way of venting. Oh, how I wish I’d been right…
Today, after we’d been out, my fiancé’s back was particularly bad and the ‘end’ space at our end was free, so I parked the car there to minimise the distance she had to walk. At 5:45pm, someone tried to hammer our front door down. When I answered the door, I was met by our (white female) neighbour, from the other end of the block. She then proceeded to scream in my face (and I’ll apologise for her ‘anglo-saxon’, although I’m at a loss to know why) “YOU SHOULD LEARN SOME RESPECT! I’VE LIVED HERE FOR 13 YEARS! NOW MOVE YOUR F*****G CAR OUT OF MY F*****G SPACE!” In shock, I moved the car. When I tried to explain my partner’s back problem, I was cut short by “WHAT’S THAT GOT TO F*****G DO WITH IT! I’VE BEEN HERE FOR 13 YEARS!” Again, in shock, I returned to our flat to find my fiancé in floods of tears, having heard the whole exchange and with her back pain, which she’d been coping with, now playing merry hell. It took me over an hour to calm her down from sobbing uncontrollably. Then, as we’re planning to emigrate back to her home in Australia, she said something that turned my blood cold at the damage that our ‘considerate’ neighbour’s idea of a ‘chat’ had caused. My fiancé said: “That’s it, I’m not leaving this flat until we’re going home. That way no one can get at me and damage me again.”
So, tomorrow, I’m calling the housing department about her anti-social behaviour. If she comes round for another ‘chat’, I’ll be calling the police, and I’ll be parking where I’m allowed to, by law, not by the law ‘according to her’. Some of us know the meaning of respect. Unfortunately, it’s not those that demand it using the ‘F’ word.