In praise of…parkers

Not the pens, not the fur-lined jackets, but the young men who wait throughout Abidjan for the moment you need to park, then guide you into the right spot and look after your car. Not a bad service for 100 cfa francs ($0.20). Above and beyond the computer parking facility on your German executive car, the human parker looks out for you from a far, and always has a place for you to park wherever you want. There are no official charges for parking in Abidjan (except at the airport), and though there are often a crowd of cars parked in the area you’re aiming for, some parker will always have a place with your name written on it. As you drive along they signal for you to park (even if you’re not looking for a space). Then they guide you on – signalling how to turn the wheel and when to stop, with either a stop sign or a tap on the car. When space is really tight, you double park other cars but with your hand-brake off, and then the parkers roll the cars forward and back whenever people need to leave. Then when you need leave, they’ll halt the traffic for you. All in all, a great service at a great price – the only downside is you’ll miss them if you travel to the West where you’ll spend hours driving around in a circle looking for a space with no-one concerned to help you.

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1 Response to In praise of…parkers

  1. Hudin says:

    One of the most annoying aspects of parking in Abidjan as they’re like vultures and it most certainly is not 100 CFA if your vehicle has a logo on the side of it or if a woman is driving.

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