Megan's Head

A place where Megan gets off her head.

Tag: parking

The thin yellow line

14690869_10153747384076008_2333581888352048738_nThere are very few people in Cape Town who did not see my picture on the front page of The Daily Voice.  I was famous, at the local Spar and in the park where we walk the dogs, for days. Much more famous than I have ever been for any of the theatre work I have ever done. People stopped me in the street to find out what had happened and how the situation had worked out for me, and gave me the thumbs up when I told them what had happened as a result.

For those of you who have no idea, let me go back to the beginning for a quick summary. The old man and his wife who live across the road, in the only house in the street with a driveway, have problems getting in and out into the narrow street. They painted their own yellow lines on either side of their driveway to prevent people parking too close to it, but they don’t always work. Last year I came home to find that they had organised their friends in the city council to come and paint yellow lines directly outside my house. I went berserk and confronted them. Then I started sending emails to the ward councillor, traffic department and city council, who all gave me the complete runaround before the whole thing slipped off the agenda. Until I came home one Saturday morning (almost a year later) to find that the neighbour had called the traffic cops to give a car parked outside his house a ticket and they gave my car, parked outside my house, on the illegal yellow lines, a R500 fine.

The story was resurrected. The new ward councillor took action, a cute and ambitious young journalist, Bertram Malgas, picked up the story and it hit The Daily Voice, the traffic department and city council looked embarrassed, and within two weeks the meeting outside my house had taken place and the next day the lines were neatly painted over. Now I am waiting to hear that my fine has been rescinded. I cannot imagine that it won’t be.

But there is something much bigger than this little domestic success story, and it is about access. I can get my city council to come (eventually) and paint over yellow lines in the road, so I can park my car outside my house. Three ‘my’s’ in that last sentence. This City Works for Me. Because of who I am and where I live. My sense of outrage over this domestic irritation needs perspective. Because, if I imagine, only for a brief moment, what it must be like to live on the Cape flats, or in any of the far-flung townships, informal settlements or even poor, non-white suburbs, I am sure that I would not have the same access. Not the same access to water, or roads, or electricity, or law enforcement, or medical services, or sanitation or even a ward councillor. Believe me, I am utterly grateful. And just a little more aware today of my white privilege than usual. Just saying.

Hello in 2016 and random parking and dental thoughts

Does anyone else write directions on their parking ticket to help them find their car when they park in confusing parking garages like The Christiaan Barnard Hospital, or the V & A Waterfront, or even the Gardens Centre (how many times have you gone down the little ramp instead of up?)?

I go and have my teeth cleaned by a special periodontal hygienist every five months because I am prone to gum disease. It is the only health thing I am absolutely diligent about. And I always used to get lost in the parking lot. It really is one of the worst. Half way up a particular level it changes from 5 to 6. Today I was parked exactly on the cusp. I wrote down 5/6 and 22 for the number of my parking. This was no help in locating the spot since just opposite me was 94. I don’t know why. Then I have to remember whether to turn left or right at my car, and whether I go slightly down the ramp, or slightly up the ramp to get to the lifts. I write notes like “5/6 22 left out car, left (remember opposite coming back) down ramp (up coming back). While I was writing the hygienist called to find out if I had forgotten my appointment. No, I said. See you in 10, just trying to get out of the parking lot.

Getting out of the parking lot is only one in a list of directional confusions, even if I have done this twenty times. So, I today parked on 5/6 and then I need to take the lift up, to 8, which is reception, and then I need to cross reception and go down two floors to 6 (yes, one would think that was the floor I parked on, but no, using logic here is futile), which is where the hygienist is. (To add confusions to the mix my gynaecologist is in the same complex, on the 14th floor, in the main building.)

The hygienist is amazing, even though it is a horrible, painful 40 minutes. Today, when she was done she handed me a little mirror to show me a ‘concern’ she had. She pointed out a back tooth to me. This was the only tooth that had a filling in it. I said, “This filling. It has been giving me problems.” She said, “what filling?” It had come out.  The one tooth that had a filling, the only filling in my mouth, was no longer filled. I told her I didn’t want to go back to the dentist who had done the job, (and had referred me to them). She said, no problem and referred me to another dentist, conveniently situated in the same complex. His rooms are only accessible from the mezzanine floor. So, that will be park on 5 or 6 or 5/6, go down to mezzanine, out the building and into the next one. Kafka couldn’t even make this shit up.

I am home now. Too scared to phone the new dentist. Because parking.

I just called. So, the receptionist told me to park, go down to the ground floor, look for the staircase behind the ATM to go up to the mezzanine floor. If you don’t hear from me after Thursday morning next week, come look for me. I’ll be stuck in a mezzanine time loop forever.

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