I know, it’s not very nice to laugh at others’ misfortune, but today’s little incident was the most entertainment we’ve had since the season premiere of Breaking Bad … and so much funnier!

We had just walked out of a supermarket in Irkutsk, sat down on a seat in one of the main streets to share a block of Ritter chocolate, and noticed a tow truck on the road right in front of us, about to hook up a car and tow it away. And then we noticed a couple more tow trucks, and a policeman. The cars were parked in a 30 minute zone, but we think they got pinged because they were angle-parked and jutting into the traffic. The cars that were parallel-parked didn’t get towed away. In total, 5 cars were towed while we sat and watched, several more were driven away by their owners and as we walked down the street, we noticed that one tow-truck was back to pick up his second car. Apparently simple parking fines don’t work in this town, so the cops have resorted to towing and impounding cars instead.

The owner of the first car arrived on the scene just after it had been loaded onto the truck, so he did the only thing he could – hopped into the truck with the driver and his offsider to go and pay the hefty fine to get his car back. We didn’t see any other owners, but it would have been most disconcerting to get back to one’s car and discover it wasn’t there. And then to go to the police station to report it missing and find out why … well, we did laugh. I know, it’s mean, and in caseĀ  you don’t already know, or haven’t yet worked it out, here’s the definition of Schadenfreude

The first car to be towed away. By the time we left, the rest had also been towed.

The first car to be towed away. By the time we left, the rest had also been towed.

Tow trucks removing illegally parked cars

Tow trucks removing illegally parked cars


8 thoughts on “Schadenfreude

  1. The two of you (particularly Greg endangering his lower regions) ‘swimming’ in Lake Baikal brought more of a giggle from me than the illegally parked cars being removed….. You are quite bonkers.

    • Hazel, I’m beginning to wish we had asked the Russian onlooker to video our ‘swim’ – would have been a very short video though!

  2. You know there is an old saying it takes all sorts to make a World sum are madder that others I can feel the cold biting at you know what you look a bit silly walking out holding them what was nice to see Ladies wearing Dresses which you do not see here I guess they make the best of the short time they have before the snow falls again as for Tow trucks we just tilt the tray hook the car on and away we go they will get round to it good pics of lake the houses look mostly built of wood are there many LOG homes that is what we found on the parts of Russia we drove through are we both put tin on an extra kilo ???

    • As for the tilt tray tow trucks, I think they need the cooperation of the owner. I don’t know if you can tow a car if its locked up and handbrake one. These cranes can pick a car out of a group of cars and not take up all the road doing it.

  3. Love the tow truck story Judy. I could spent lots of time people watching particularly in other countries. Wow!!, the swim. very brave of you both x

    • Glen I used Windows Live Movie Maker which came with the windows 7 laptop. I can say its pretty good – easy to edit even in a rocking and rolling trains!

  4. The parked cars story is such fun . I remember enjoying something similar in a town in Greece . Isn’t it great to be able to laugh at the misfortunes of others !!! x

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