Contrary to what many people say about learning how to park in Driving Schools with poles, I believe it is quite useful in grasping the principles and concepts of how to park a car. Having learnt the basics of using poles which act as imaginary lines from the ground where you can see through the passenger windows, you can then apply and imagine lines from various objects that demarcate the outline of the car parking lot.

For vertical parking, no explanation is required. The headlights / pillars can represent outer poles of the training lot. The techniques used in parking is still the same. It works for any type of car, big or small, and any type of lot, as long as it can fit the car reasonably.

Parallel parking, on the other hand, is even easier. Just take the headlights and taillights of the vehicles between the lot as poles and apply the same technique. It will definitely work, as long as you remember the principles to the techniques.

I was glad that my private instructor gave me time to learn parking via the first principles. He gave me the broad concept of where to look at what and left the finer details of correcting mistakes to myself to pick up. He didn’t tell me how to fix bad parking due to turning mistakes — he let me figure out myself.

It all turned out very useful when I was looking for a parking space around SingTel ComCentre to get my mother’s iPhone repaired. The building’s carpark was full and there fortunately was an empty parallel parking lot in front. The last time I parked in a parallel parking lot was in my instructor’s car, taking my practical test. The car was different then, the lot was more spacious, and the situation was less stressful. Naturally in a single-lane, bi-directional road, cars from both directions will pile up when anyone attempts to parallel park along one of the lots. When car piles, the stress naturally increases.

No way I’m going to let them agree with what the probationary plate meant — n00b driver.

I followed the first principles from what I’d learnt 5 months ago and it worked flawlessly.

My mother was impressed. So was I. It was my first try outside the driving circuit after all and I didn’t cause an embarrassing road-block.