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I don't think I was but was I?

(53 Posts)
sobeyondthehills Thu 30-Mar-17 01:34:38

I live in a cul de sac which has parking but it is permit only, this was introduced due to living right next door to a major hospital

There is 10 spaces for the 10 houses. If you have an extra car you can park up by the garages but space is tight.

We have all muddled by, sometimes moving a car for someone else to fit sort of thing.

I came home to find a car parked in the bay I usually use, not a problem maybe a visitor (we have visitor parking permits) parked behind them and unloaded the shopping, being nosy I looked at their windshield to check their permit to find they didn't have any.

My immediate reaction was to block them in, but I moved the car. As I was going to get my son from school nearly 3 hours later the car owner was getting into his car this was the conversation

Me: This is permit only you should not be parking here
Guy: No english
Me: You shouldn't be driving around in a country where you don't understand the basic signs of telling you not to park
Guy: You are racist
Me: So you understand me enough to understand what I just said

At that point the traffic warden came over and gave him a warning, I was wishing he came half an hour earlier to give him a bloody ticket.

In the whole not wanting to drip feed, I am manic at the moment but feel really pissed someone gets to park in a parking space myself and the other neighbours are paying for.

sobeyondthehills Thu 30-Mar-17 01:36:06

Should say if I had seen the traffic warden I would of let be, and let them deal with it

KathArtic Thu 30-Mar-17 01:38:50


antimatter Thu 30-Mar-17 02:05:53

yanbu, he was trying you on

TheClaws Thu 30-Mar-17 02:48:12

YANBU for being a bit annoyed at someone else parking in your space, but YABU for your first statement. That was uncalled for. Attacking someone's ethnicity is never okay - sorry.

HerRoyalNotness Thu 30-Mar-17 02:52:31

oP wasn't attacking ethnicity of anyone? She was stating if you don't speak English perhaps you shouldn't drive, a basic understanding of signs etc. is required. Same as when I lived in a French speaking place and got a parking ticket as I didn't fully understand. I wouldn't say no French to get out of it, I'd say sorry I won't do it again.

After he understood you, he was obviously trying it on and should not have parked there

sobeyondthehills Thu 30-Mar-17 03:04:16

Theclaws which part did I attack their ethnicity? I ask as a serious question as I can't figure out were the hell I was racist, so I assume you agree with them?

sobeyondthehills Thu 30-Mar-17 03:07:36

KathArtic antimatter thank you both for your replies

HerRoyalNotness That is exactly my point.

user1471451259 Thu 30-Mar-17 03:19:08

Of course you weren't unreasonable. 'No English'...the lying, cheeky fucker.

e1y1 Thu 30-Mar-17 03:25:57

No YANBU, and you're right, a basic of driving is understanding signs/warnings. So he shouldn't have been driving if he didn't understand.

Racism is derogatory remarks/exclusion on the belief that one race is superior above another, NOT telling someone that if they can't understand the rules they shouldn't be driving.

fuffapster Thu 30-Mar-17 03:52:44


People keep forgetting that driving is a privilege, not a basic human right.

And he fecking well knew enough English to try it on.

Keep the parking wardens sweet and as nearby as possible, because I believe this ain't the end.

Oh, and a diagram, please! grin

BitOutOfPractice Thu 30-Mar-17 05:01:55

I don't think you need to speak the language to drive in a country. My Spanish, for instance, is Non-existent apart from ordering drinks, but I regularly drive there. I would happily drive in Finland, or Latvia with no knowledge at all of their language. Roadsigns are designed to be understood by anyone. So that was a bit of a moot point.

However, if I fell foul of a parking sign that I hadn't been able to read / understand I would have to hold my hands up and accept it. He was definitely trying it on if he understood your point about English. Even if it was wrong about driving.

TheClaws Thu 30-Mar-17 05:13:36

OP, if you were driving around another country, disobeyed a traffic or parking rule by accident as you didn't understand the language, and were confronted by someone saying, "You shouldn't drive here if you don't understand the basic signs," I think your attitude would be very different.

Casual attitudes like this - and everyone else saying YANBU! You were totally fine to say that! - is why the world has the problems it does. All you had to say was "This parking area is for residents only, not visitors."

Pemba Thu 30-Mar-17 05:17:33

But OP did not 'attack his ethnicity' as you state.

Bluntness100 Thu 30-Mar-17 05:25:40

Agree, you don't need the language to drive in a country, I drive through Europe often and I don't speak the language of many of the countries, but I understand the road signs. I don't believe you attacked his ethnicity though you were making a point because he was lying.

Mummyoflittledragon Thu 30-Mar-17 05:42:48

What you said wasn't unreasonable at all. Unfortunately he didn't get a ticket. You weren't being racist. If anyone wants to call what you said racist, it is equally "racist" to pretend to not understand. Clearly both statements are ridiculous iyswim.

fassbendersmistress Thu 30-Mar-17 06:53:57

YANBU. If he chose to use 'no english' as his defence (instead of a humble apology perhaps?) then you had every right to question his ability to understand road signs.

supermoon100 Thu 30-Mar-17 07:02:55

Oh come on it was a bit racist wasn't it? He has every right to drive in this country. He was also a giant twat but you lost your moral high ground as soon as you said the thing about language.

fassbendersmistress Thu 30-Mar-17 07:05:43

TheClaws...sorry but get a grip and stop taking offence so easily. From OPs description it's obviously a residential Street. And if he's managed to get himself to England (I presume) and buy/hire a car and get himself around, it shouldn't have been beyond him to say sorry upon being told he'd parked in the wrong place, rather than the 'no english' fob off.

I don't tolerate actual racism or xenophobia at all but your reaction is over the top.

FritzDonovan Thu 30-Mar-17 07:09:18

Of course it wasn't racist! At no point did OP mention race! He said 'no English ' either as an excuse not to engage (fair enough, but is his next default comment 'you are racist' if he doesn't understand anything further? confused) or to excuse his not understanding the signs. Which isn't ok.

ReginaGeorgeinSheepsClothing Thu 30-Mar-17 07:10:30

racism is derogatory remarks/exclusion on the belief that one race is superior above another, NOT telling someone that if they can't understand the rules they shouldn't be driving. and driving is a privilege not a right says it all!

Lostwithinthehills Thu 30-Mar-17 07:17:06

The op hasn't offered any description of the car driver he could easily have been a white European, assuming the op is also white European, I don't really see how she could have been treating him differently because of his race or skin colour. As the op hasn't offered us her own ethnicity some of you could be accusing a black woman of being racist to a white man.

The car driver obviously understood spoken English, it's, therefore, likely that he can speak it. He has decided that "No English" is some sort of get out of jail free card and when the op didn't let him use that card he made an unfounded allegation against her. He has enough of an understanding of our culture to know that nobody wants to be accused of being racist, which would lead me to think he lives here.If he lives here it's his responsibility to understand road and parking signs.

I think that if you are driving in a country you should be able to understand the road signs. As some of you have pointed out most road signs are easy to comprehend without being able to read the language of the country anyway.

JustSpeakSense Thu 30-Mar-17 07:19:58

I don't believe it was racist and OP wasn't attacking his ethnicity.

He claimed to not speak English as a way of avoiding talking to her because he was in the wrong. She called bullshit.

TheClaws Thu 30-Mar-17 07:20:32

So, for example, if a man approached you and said "You shouldn't be driving in this country if you don't understand the signs!" you'd humbly apologise and toodle off, not offended or embarrassed at all?

Can you not see how the statement is a tad overbearing and excluding?
I'm not suggesting the parking bit was reasonable. But the 'conversation', such as it was, could have been better.

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