Some people in Kuwait believe deflating a car’s tires sends a strong message that you are occupying their parking spot. In the past two years, the tires of my car have been deflated on several occasions. I don’t know the exact reasons, but obviously they did it to let me know that I was occupying their parking space. There could be other reasons too – perhaps the perpetrator was mentally ill and could not control his desire to deflate tires. Perhaps they deliberately did so over a dare from a friend. Or maybe aliens invaded Farwaniya and Khaitan and happened to see my car to deflate it.

Imagine waking up one day and finding your car in a horrible state as all four tires are deflated. The hassle is real, especially if you have an appointment scheduled that day. When I was evicted recently from a family apartment in Farwaniya, I had no choice but to immediately transfer to another location, so I rented an apartment in Khaitan. During the first month, I parked my car near a mosque, since few parking spaces were available. When there’s no space available, many park on the side streets, including me.

To my disappointment however, three of my car’s tires were deflated one morning. That day, I had an important appointment to attend. So I left my car there and took a taxi. I came back to my car a few hours later to fix it. I don’t know the suspect, and even if I knew, what could I do to face a coward bully? The incident in Khaitan was my fourth – the first three were in Farwaniya. This nightmare is all about a lack of parking places! Since I do not have my own personal parking spot, I park my car on the side street by the mosque. These spaces are owned by the state and not by anyone else.

The question is why deflate the tires when you can easily leave a message to vacate that place. The next day you will never find my car in that specific spot since you are claiming it. To deflate my car’s tires is a very challenging way to make friends. That space is obviously not mine, but it isn’t yours too. So why deflate three tires at once?

Until Kuwait solves the problem of the lack of parking spaces, such cases will continue in the coming years. The lack of parking spots in many areas is also related to the heavy traffic in Kuwait near schools, government complexes, private commercial establishments, and most importantly, in residential areas. Traffic is chaotic during rush hours between 6 am and 10 am and 5 pm and 9 pm. Visit the areas of Farwaniya governorate at night, and you will see how people park their cars – literally piled up. In case of emergency, you will have to disturb everyone in your neighborhood!

By Ben Garcia