Chinese drivers, our heart goes out to you (when you’re not trying to kill us on a daily basis). We know of the Book of Job-like struggles you face just to get your hands on a car, now one of the main face-maintaining/wife-snagging accoutrements in contemporary China. Import taxes and price markups are absurd: the starting cost of a 2011 BMW 650i Convertible in the United States begins at 550,880RMB ($85,550 USD), while the same car in China starts at 2,039,000RMB ($316,650 USD).
Then there’s the necessity of winning the right to buy a license plate through a lottery in certain cities (be wary of heavy fines and penalties if you don’t actually claim your right to buy), the rising cost of oil, the challenge of trying to avoid those pesky pedestrians, the horrendous traffic and long depression-inducing commutes, and other drivers being drunk or turning into sociopaths. Not to mention dealing with those who’re just plain bad at driving.
And now? The issue of residential parking spaces is making its case for inclusion in the pantheon of heavy burdens that Chinese drivers have to deal with. The inforgraphic provided by China Daily shows that residential parking spaces in cities like Beijing and Xi’an are getting out of hand, an unsurprising situation given the sheer number of new drivers: Beijing’s 23,000 new parking spaces in 2010 were a little short in accommodating 700,000 new vehicles taking to the roads, and Xi’an currently has approximately 900,000 parking spaces for 1.2 million vehicles within the city.
Faced with so much mafan, we almost want to give Chinese drivers a pass if they just want to fill their new Audi Q7’s and BMW X5’s with cheap crap, including those lacey/chiffony tissue-box covers and stuffed cutesy animals, or the dog-bone pillows that are strapped around car seat headrests. Almost.