Russell's Ken-Bun-Ki April 19, 1996 (Considerate Driving & Parking)
As everyone knows, in America automobiles drive on the right side of the street, not the left (as in Japan). Many (Japanese) people tell me, "It must have been difficult to get used to that." However, it was not all that difficult because the gear/shift and steering wheel are set to drive on the left side. What I notice most when I'm driving is everyone's manners. I often see people parking directly in front of vending machines or public telephones; basically wherever they want to park.
In the US, where we have wide roads and wide open parking lots, we have the same problem. Without thinking of the other person, everyone seems to want to park as close as they possible can to their destination. I got my driver's license when I was sixteen. When I was still a rookie, my mother told me, "Drive considerately and always think when you're parking. you were blessed with healthy legs, so you should park a little farther from the entrance and walk." I still believe this to this day.
Because Japan's land mass is so small, if we drivers don't practice careful driving and parking we are very likely to cause some problem to pedestrians. In order to make our town Aya an accident-free town, please practice considerate driving AND considerate parking.
See you next time!
It's been 15 years since I wrote this, and since then we've lost public telephones and gained cell phones. I can only imagine what kind of problems exist in Japan because of texting and talking on the phone!
I do still park at the first parking spot I find, no matter how close or far it is from my destination. The daughter drives now, and we laugh about this all the time.