You've heard me complain about the roads, driving and parking in Croatia. You've endured the sob-stories about how many obstacles there are and how many accidents I've been a part of.
But friends, let me tell you about the silver lining. The light at the end of the tunnel if you will. Because, while I have lost my love for driving since I moved here, there's a well deserved prize waiting for me when I arrive at my destination in any Croatian city.
For this demonstration we will use Osijek - the city we frequent the most when we venture out of Orahovica. It's the first place I came across our latest edition of European Ingenuity.
Let me introduce to you the idea of paying by cell-phone. Maybe you'd call it Mobile Magic if you live in England. Whatever the case, when in Croatia you'd be terribly behind if you chose to pay for parking the old fashion way. Dropping coins in the slot? Phhh! That's so yesterday.
Let me show you how it works:
1. As you're looking for a parking spot keep your eye out for this blue parking device. Once you're there - don't even think about getting out...
2...unless you forgot your license plate number.
3. Type that number as a text message (make sure you've stopped the car so as not to violate the commitment you made to Oprah) and send the message to the 4-digit number listed on the cell phone in picture number 1.
Folks, that's it. That's all you have to do. But what happens after you text the number to City Parking?
1. You'll immediately receive a message confirming your request to park in the beautiful city of Osijek.
2. City Parking will send an approximately 75 cent bill (the price of parking) to your cell phone company which you will pay the next time you pay your monthly cell-phone bill.
3. You may do your shopping, enjoy the sights and sounds or conduct your business without having to worry about when to pay again. Why? Because your friendly neighborhood City Parking will notify you via cell phone 10 minutes before your time runs out. Then all you have to do is repeat steps 1 through 3.
Too bad driving isn't that easy huh?