Saturday, 12 May 2012

Prayers to the goddess of parking

I had allowed myself just enough time to get where I was going, find a park and be ready to start my job for the day.  I was working in one of the big hospitals and I'd never been there before.  I had a map, so thought I'd be fine.

It turned out that I had to navigate tram tracks and lanes of roads that would not allow me to turn in the direction that I wished to go.  I had to drive further down the road and then find a way to travel towards my destination, rather than away from it.  I started to go in circles.  The minutes were ticking by and soon I was going to be late.

Abandoning all thought of trying to reach the car park, which seemed unreachable regardless of the direction of my approach, I decided to find a park on the street.  I did.  There was a three hour limit on ticketed parking.  I hoped the machine had credit card payment.  It didn't.  I plugged in the $1.45 I had in change which was just short of the $1.50 hourly rate.  I placed the ticket on the dashboard and hoped that I'd be able to get some change, go back and top up the ticket and be in place to start work all in the space of less than two minutes.  It wasn't going to be possible.

All I could manage was to be in place ready to start work.  I resorted to quasi religious thought and quietly begged the goddess of parking (I call her Ashphalta) to show me mercy.  I reminded her that I am a good person who hasn't had any driving infringements and only one parking ticket in my life and that I was working on a Saturday to help overseas trained doctors practise for their exams.  Surely I deserved a break.

I put the prospect of a ticket out of my mind after I rationalised that parking in the hospital car park could be more expensive than paying a parking fine.  The real shame was that it wouldn't be tax deductible if I paid it as a fine rather than a fee.

At the end of my day, I dashed off to my car, straining to see whether there was anything flapping about on my windscreen.  Ashphalta had heard my pleas.  I had been spared.

I drove home feeling smug.


  1. I too know and love Ashphalta. A good friend of mine introduced us a few years ago. Apparently she learnt about Ashphalta maybe 20 years ago from one of her dad's ex-girlfriends... I think it's how the story goes. I'll link her to this anyway. I'm thinking about calling upon her for aid during traffic jams... Nice piece. x

    1. Interesting to hear that Ashphalta is out there! Thanks for reading.