The husks of empty cars lie silent and unmoving. The painted lines meet in jagged corners marking acceptable parking spots. How did I get here again? Why does this keep happening? Whose muddy footprints are these? Have others been lost within the dark asphalt plains?
Over the past few months, I, an adult with a fully developed frontal lobe, have gotten stuck in nine separate parking lots. And when I say stuck, I mean absolutely lost, not being able to find the exit and having to clamber over a fence while amused locals gawk. This problem with parking places has led to ridicule from friends and family who seem baffled by how this is even possible, especially since I don’t own a car. I believe it has something to do with the parking lots, it can’t just be me. Right? Let’s look at the numbers.
Any proper scientific research regarding the accurate mapping of infrastructure always starts at the same place: Google Maps. Looking up parking lots in the Reykjavik area gives us forty-seven different potential locations to get stuck in. Taking the population of the city into account, that’s 0.00038 parking lots per capita – an avoidable amount. The solution is simple, mark out every single one and avoid them like locals avoid clothes in summer.
My plan was working for a while. I’ve dexterously avoided the great mounds of Iceland University of the Arts. I’ve resisted the temptation of the free parking near the harbour. I’ve even defeated the Kringlan twins of terror, whose bridge has confused many a wandering traveller. Things were going well.
It had not been a week before I was stuck in the lot of the State Police Office overlooking Sæbraut. The view is nice, but the fence gave me splinters, I give it 7/10. Evidently, Google Maps doesn’t mark out privately owned parking spaces. This complicates my initial numbers. Taking into account the many buildings across Reykjavívk and adjusting for parking spaces according to the number of businesses in the region gives us a fuck ton of places per capita that my dumbass can get stuck in. This makes the problem unavoidable.
If they are in fact unavoidable, perhaps I must instead train myself to escape them. And who better to learn from than other successful runaways? In many of the parking lots I’ve been stuck in, there are footprints. They’re especially easy to track in mud and snow. Like Ariadne of the legends of old, they have left me trails of twine to escape these labyrinthian spaces. Following their footprints, I can deduce their methods of escape and learn their secrets. Soon I shall be able to leave parking lots without embarrassment. Wait… All the footprints lead to the fences. They all just hopped the fences. No one knows how to get out. It’s hopeless. I’m going to spend the rest of my life on stretches of asphalt watching the paint fade under the wear and tear of unnecessarily large jeeps. Iceland’s car-centricity has doomed me to a paved existence.
If you are reading this, I need help. I am trapped in a lot near Hlemmur. I’m too short to climb over the bars. Please, somebody, come get me out of here. It’s been days now and I have to get home. I already missed Eurovision.
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