Are there things you’ve only seen in movies and on TV, but are apparently supposed to be things you as a citizen of [insert country] are familiar with? You expect there to be things from other cultures you don’t get, but sometimes screen writers assume too much…
I don’t understand what parking validation is, though it seems to be a common throwaway mention on TV shows. Even the Simpsons mentions it when Ned created the left-handed product store.
My best guess is that some places like stores or potential employers will pay for your parking. Close? It doesn’t seem likely that they’re going to go and tell you did a good job parking, so that’s why I guess that. If the former is right, though, why does it seem to be a common thing for stores on shows to do? They’re charging customers to park in the lot? I’ve paid for parking, but always in municipal lots or parking garages totally unconnected to any other businesses.
So, what supposedly widely understood themes from your country remain alien concepts to you?
Perhaps the shopping centre levies a charge for its parking, which can be waived if you spend a certain amount at shops within the centre? Hence the need for the shop to stamp the customer’s ticket. Something like this operates at my local shopping centre I believe. I don’t know for certain because I don’t have a car and have never actually parked there.
In the middle of some big cities where any parking is quite expensive, a restaurant, movie theater, etc. will stamp your parking ticket (which was given to you by a machine at the entrance of the nearby parking garage which automatically popped out a ticket) when you come into the restaurant, movie theater, etc. This stamp will often merely reduce the cost of parking, not eliminate it. Thus, for an evening of parking, you might, for instance, only have to pay $4 instead of $8 if you have your ticket validated.