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September 25, 2003
$18/hour parking...

Parking in Amsterdam, at least in the street, in Jordan, where I stayed, was 2 an hour. And the parking meter was actually quite clever. With a little yellow button, I could select the parking modus first... regular parking 2/h, parking from 19:00-23:00 6,- parking for the whole day... 26 (or something like that.) It was a bit of an annoying feature that the parking meter did not accept credit cards or bills, only Euro coins, but this was very easily fixable even for me... I simply bought some stamps at the next supermarket (in a machine...) and the change was enough for the first night. The next day, all of the accumulated change pretty much made up the amount necessary for the parking spot.
The owner of the bed and breakfast felt sorry that the pricing was so high... 2/hour... seriously... I told him that parking in New York can be in the $18 range in some places... hmm... as soon as the words left my mouth, this sounded like a really wrong price tag... $18/hour?... now that is pretty outrageous, isn't it?... how did I come up with that?... maybe it was the 18% tax on top of the parking charges?... Maybe what I thought of were some numbers I saw on the side of some 5th Avenue building?... I mean, I do not have a car here... how should I know?...
Oh, Paris,... a completely different system btw... there are these pre-paid cards... parking is also 2/hour... except one is only allowed to stay for 2 hours in some places and the cards one can buy start at 5... the system is basically built so there are cards left with stuff (cash) left on them... An old trick to collect crumbs or change from between the sofa pillows... works well for paris parking meters...
I had calculated that I would need about 12 hours of parking... this made me buy cards for 30 (they can be purchased from Tabac stores) I ended up parking in a spot that actually accepted the cards for a mere 2 hours... (longer, except the night is free...) and so I basically paid my 15 ($18?) per hour... here we go... Paris got me...
Oh, and why am I even writing this down here?... On my way to lunch today, there was a parking meter... I checked the price... $2/hour... cheaper than Amsterdam!... : )

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