China's rise to economic power and wealth means hundreds of millions of people can suddenly afford cars, and if you thought hundreds of millions of new drivers on the roads would lead to chaos, just wait until they park!
9) The Italian Job, Chinese Edition
A couple from Changsha almost took a more direct route out of a 15 meter (45 ft) high rooftop parking garage when the driver mistakenly stepped on the accelerator instead of the brake pedal.
Reports are the pair escaped the precariously perched vehicle safely but there's no word on the fate of those bars of gold bullion in the trunk. (Chinese parking spot image via Passers @ Walker)
8) Demolition Man
A contractor and his crew hired to demolish a parking lot in Shanxi province found one small problem when they arrived: one small white car was still parked in the lot. After waiting a full 10 days for the car's owner to return, the frustrated work crew broke up the lot anyway, taking care not to disturb either the car or the parking spot it occupied.
It should be interesting to see how the driver manages to extricate his/her vehicle once they return, as it doesn't appear to have off-road rock climbing abilities. (Chinese parking spot image via Anorak)
7) Ladyparks Are Pink
The owners of a shopping mall in Tianjin thought they'd show a little tenderness to their female customers by designating a swathe of parking places as “Ladies Parking”.
The overhead LED signs are a little redundant considering the buckets of pink paint liberally splashed over the section's walls. Perhaps the intent wasn't so much to appeal to women drivers but to shame any males who dared think of parking in the women-only spots. (Chinese parking spot image via WebEcoist)
6) Park Place Patio
Talk about a Dragon Lady: a Chinese woman lent a large sum of money to her son-in-law so he could invest in his business but became infuriated when he refused to pay it back.
The woman, named Wang Qin, seized the man's Audi automobile as collateral for the half-million yuan loan but after she caught him trying to do an auto-repo one night it was obvious drastic measures had to be taken. The next day, Wang Qin hired a crane to winch the Audi onto her apartment balcony. She'll probably charge him for long-term parking. (Chinese parking spot image via Yahoo News UK)
5) Central Park East
If you think our one-percenters are bad, you oughta see China's. A 22-year-old female intern decided to drive her grandmother's (yeah, right) white Maserati Gran Turismo to work one day. Perhaps she didn't want to risk getting her doors dinged – the base model GT sells for a cool 2 million RMB (about $326,000) – so she did what anyone would do: park in the middle of the street, directly over the center line!
Several hours later, the driver emerged from her workplace to find a very irritated police officer standing by the Maser, demanding an explanation. Her excuse was that other cars were parked on the double yellow street divider line so she simply followed their lead... and no, she didn't know where or when they had all left. Sounds legit. (Chinese parking spot image via Sinopathic)
4) Ribbons Of Shame!
In many parts of China, so-called “zombie cars” are parked by their drivers and simply abandoned. Due to administrative gaps, these cars, trucks and vans sometimes occupy their final resting places for months or even years before they're towed away.
The local parking control officer has his job to do, though, and he'll continue to ticket the above van until he's told to stop or runs out of un-ticketed bodywork. When asked why he didn't arrange to have the deadbeat vehicle removed, the gung-ho officer was heard to reply “Ees not my job, man.” (Chinese parking spot image via Xinhua)
3) Sinking In Xinjiang
A family from Hetian in western China's Xinjiang Autonomous Region was feeling a wee bit grouchy after hours on the road, and the driver Dad was about to go postal from his kids whining “are we there yet?” Suddenly, a massive sinkhole opened directly in front of their car, swallowing it grill-first and bringing the vehicle to a sudden stop. “We're here,” said the Dad, “now shut up!”
Authorities explained the bizarre occurrence by stating the road collapsed after heavy rains weakened a short section above a former air raid shelter. We repeat, an air raid shelter. In western China's Xinjiang Autonomous Region. Yeah, that's the ticket! (Chinese parking spot image via Strange Sounds)
2) Best Block On The Spot
The weather changes fast in Changchun, you don't stop to look around once in a while and you might miss it. Car-owner Chen Lin should have stopped to look around after he parked his car under a bridge one day. He didn't, and while he was gone a cold front swept through the area, melting snow on the bridge by day and freezing it solid by night.
Chen returned to find his car sporting a cold front (and sides, and roof) as well. “I felt a bit of a fool,” explained the bemused Chen. “It looked more like an ice sculpture than a car.” (Chinese parking spot image via China News Center)
1) China's Ultimate Zombie Car
Leave most cars parked for over a year and they tend to collect a little dust. Leave a car parked in China's Shandong province, on the other hand, and after a year you'll find a veritable forest of ivy and thorny vines has colonized the dust and obscured your car to the point passersby can't even tell what color it is... er, was.
This particular “zombie car” became a social media sensation in 2013, and perhaps the shame of leaving a vehicle parked long enough for it to grow its own ecosystem finally moved authorities to move the van. Defeated by thick ivy stems and sharp thorns, police gave up trying to trim the immobile jungle and simply towed it away as is. (Chinese parking spot image via bbs.tiexue.net)
Chinese drivers must heave huge sighs of relief when they're off the streets and safely parked. The thing is, being “safely parked” in China is a hit or miss proposition – drivers miss their parking spots and their cars get hit by sledgehammers. Makes getting slapped with a parking ticket seem rather pedestrian. (Chinese parking spot image at top via Aboluowang and above via SINA News)