A few weeks ago I met up for a nice dinner in Parramatta. Everything with the event went fine and it was a great night out to enjoy with some of the restrictions being lifted in Sydney. The real fun began when I got back to my car, that is, I meant to say if I could get back to my car as the parking garage had closed!
I know what you’re thinking, Chris, why didn’t you just go to the big shopping complex car park and leave your car there? Well if I was smart and thinking clearly I probably would have done so, however all I did when I drove in was pressed the button on the computer for ‘parking options’ and it instructed to park where I did. Took my ticket and backed into a spot, job done, or so I thought.
Walking back to parking garage it was a nice evening and it wasn’t until I walked down the race into the garage that I noticed the roller door down and the door padlocked. You know how you see a situation or an event unfold and it takes a minute to sink in. This was one of those times where my thought pattern had an inner monologue that went as such:
Oh, the doors down – your car is inside, you are outside
Perhaps there is a second entrance- no there isn’t
Maybe climb a tree and get in at the second level – don’t be silly that’s breaking and entering
What does this sign say ‘$125 callout after hours fee’- well this night got a lot more expensive didn’t it mate?
Well I’m well and truly stuck now – smartest thing you’ve said all night
There wasn’t much left to do, it was a quiet side street, it was nearing 9pm, and I had to sit and hope someone either drove into the garage to get the door open or have someone leave or eventually shelve some pride, call the number and get home.
I decided to do the former – sit, wait and hope. For every car that went by my spirits rose and then sunk just as quickly and eventually I heard the sound of a car starting.
Could it be?
Is that a car coming this way?
Will it exit here, I can’t miss this window
It is! Oh thank you blue Kia Carnival!
At the eleventh hour, with all the prognostications of doom surrounding me, my everyday hero came through and exited the garage. The roller door opened and I was in. Like ships passing in the night I said thank you, the confused look on his face meant he didn’t quite understand what this moment meant as, like a madman, I sprinted to the machine to pay for my ticket and it thankfully only asked for the normal pay rate of $16. I then bolted to the car and started up the engine.
Feeling like the Millennium Falcon trying to get out of the Death Star before it explodes, I peeled out of the spot and worked my way through the labyrinth to get out and get home. Arriving at the ticket gate there was a boom gate and behind it a rolling security door that opened sideways.
I put my ticket in, accepted – good start
The boom gate goes up – this is looking good
Roller stays shut – not good!
But it slowly trickles open ever so painfully, I’m afraid the boom gate will be drop and I’ll be stuck again and it opens – just enough – for me to squeak through and out into freedom.
Windows down, I enjoy the breeze blowing in as I drive off into the night and head home with a lesson learned: park in a proper parking centre and know what time it closes! God provided the means to get out and blessed me with the normal fee.
Christopher Archibald lives in Sydney and is a Youth Leader at New Life Christian Church in Blacktown. A voracious reader, he ploughs through many books in a calendar year, with a bookcase that is constantly being rearranged to accommodate new additions.Christopher Archibald's previous articles may be viewed at www.pressserviceinternational.org/christopher-archibald.html