I think, therefore I write. (我思,所以我写。)

Cogito ergo scribo

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Parking woe

You would probably have guessed it - i am going to move soon. And here's why...

A few weeks back, on a Friday, i was fined NZD40 for parking without a receipt ticket.

What happened was that i didn't realise i switched off my alarm clock on my mobile phone and hence i overslept. When i woke up at almost 10am, i was in a daze, thinking that it was a Saturday. I sat on the bed for a few seconds and then almost jumped off the bed when i suddenly remembered that it was actually Friday. I immediately called my boss and apologised for being late, and then went down to my car, which i already expected a fine.

You see, parking is one of the main factors for my decision in not continuing the lease for the apartment i'm staying at now. It has been such a pain since i bought the car, as getting a parking space is a constant problem for me.

As mentioned in my previous post, i am staying right at the city centre and my rental for this apartment does not come with a parking space (even though this apartment does have an underground car park). There are on-street parking available but it is always difficult to get a parking space due to the central location. Normally there will only be empty parking space after 9pm or so, when people have finished their partying and gone home.

The on-street parking is free from 6pm to 8am, Monday to Thursday. For Friday it is free only from 8pm onwards, and Saturday and Sunday are free all day. The timing would be perfect for me since i'd leave for work at around 8am or so and be back from work after 6pm (my official working hour is 8:30am to 5:30pm), and I attend church cell group on Friday evening and will get back quite late.

There are also private car parks (such as Wilson parking) near the apartment, but the night rate is NZD6 for parking from 5pm to 7am. We cannot pay in advance for the parking fee beyond 7am on the night before, which means that if i were to park there, i will either have to leave at 7am or go down to the car park at 7am to pay for one more hour of parking fee.

Of course, the on-street parking isn't free during day time. It costs NZD4 per hour, and the maximum parking time is 2 hours, even for weekends. This means that even though we don't have to pay for the parking on Saturday and Sunday, we cannot park at the same lot for more than 2 hours. The same applies on weekdays even we pay for it. I didn't know about this rule when i first came here and was fined for parking exceeding the 2 hours when i was using my boss' wife's car.

(In case you have not figured out how the parking is paid here, the on-street parking and most private car parks adopt the pay-and-display method.)

There had been days when i was not feeling well and didn't go to work, but i still had to go and move my car. On Saturday, i must move my car by 10am (due to the 2 hours limitation) and hence i can't sleep all i want but gotta wake up earlier. Then every evening after work, one of the routines for me is to circle around the area hunting for a parking space. On average, i'd spend at least 20 minutes driving around the area and there had been days that i actually drove around for 45 minutes to finally get a space. Sometimes after circling the area for more than 5 times, i got so fed-up that i'd just park at the private car park for NZD6, and then went down in the night to move my car to the on-street parking lot when i saw empty parking space (as i do not want to go down at 7am the next day to pay for the additional one hour). Of course, with the area that I am staying, it isn't exactly safe to walk through the back ally in the night alone to the private car park, and i have had encounter with some Maori guys, who were apparently high from the drinking, teasing and shouting at me from the back when i walked in front of them towards the car park.

Actually I am fine staying in this apartment due to its compact size and being fully furnished. I do have some complaints about the noise on the streets and the neighbours (the one staying upstairs walks like an elephant, and the one next door always slams the door loudly), but overall it is still quite good and well-suited for a single person like me. I have been contemplating whether or not i continue my lease, and if so, perhaps i should pay for monthly parking at the private car park (monthly fee is not available for on-street parking in CBD zone). To be frank, moving is such a hassle, as i've bought quite a lot of stuff since i came here. I'd rather not to go through the trouble if possible.

But then, i weighed the pros and cons between moving and not moving, and it seems like it doesn't make much sense to still stay in city centre when i have a car. There is no solution to my parking problem unless i pay for a monthly parking, but I rejected the idea after having checked out the fees, which are at around NZD150 to NZD200+. My current rental is already quite expensive at NZD300 per week. Adding in the electricity and phone+broadband, the monthly expenses just for accommodation and facility would cost me at least NZD1,400. The fuel price is also very expensive here, as well as the food stuff too. Overall, it is a country with very high cost of living. Since i have a car, i should really move away from the city centre and pay for cheaper rental that comes with a parking space.

Just as i was hesitating and couldn't make up my mind, an incident prompted me to finally make the decision. It was about two or three weeks back when i was sooooooooo close of being fined again.

As mentioned above, the free parking ends at 8am on weekdays. I have the bad habit of only leaving the apartment at 5 or 10 minutes past 8 o'clock. As the parking wardens do not come around to this area so early, i have never been fined for being late for these few minutes. Then one day, i went down late as usual and by the time i got to my car, it was already about 8:15am. As i walked toward my car, i noticed a parking warden issuing parking fine to the car parked beside mine. I would have been fined if i had delayed for just one more minute, or the car beside mine had not been fined (as it kinda delayed the parking warden's time to get to my car next). When i got to office, i told my boss about this incident and he said to me, "well, this is a sign that Someone up there wants you to move!"

And there and then, i know what i should do - i confirmed with the property management of this apartment that I am not going to renew the lease.

So, over these few weeks, i have been busy with hunting for a new place, as my lease if ending on 12/6. I have seen close to 10 places but so far have not come across a place i like yet. Time is running out and i am under a bit of pressure. There aren't a lot of places for rental now as compared to the time when i just arrived. I was told that now is not the university graduation time; not a lot of students are moving out and hence not a lot of rental choices too.

Currently i still restrict my choices to the suburbs within the city area. I will have to widen the area if i still couldn't get a place i like by next week. Hopefully there will be good news soon.


ouch, why are you so reckless!! you should have placed the alarm clock far away so you need to be awake to turn it off. And set it to snooze every 5 minutes. can't you hold the weekend urge?? and you must be sleeping late again (caught you - 12.30am and you're still surfing, blogging) , cut that out, if only there's an alarm clock that screams the day for reminder. and gee, please don't say that you have stopped preparing your lunch box already, oh no ... Pin, eat more fruits, and take almonds and walnuts ...

i guess that's what first world facility, though not exactly first class, and comes at a premium ... at the same time demands attentions for the price being paid than malaysians dont care style. SAFETY ALWAYS AT #1 PRIORITY! whatever teasings, please ignore, walk away and avoid eye contact. And if it's already dark, never hesitate on paying higher fee for the safer parking place, and serve it as lesson and be discipline to stay punctual. gosh, please always be careful and stay alert on the surrounding, and NEVER let work to tire you completely - save some energy to be vigilant when travelling home, until you reach inside of the apartment!

please take care and don't overstress yourself when hunting for new place. "a bit" pressure only hor, don't apply yourself too much for it. stay strong and be positive - frustration will only serve further ruining your logic. wish you find a better and nicer place :). cheers, and all the best, Pin. again, please stay careful and vigilant.

Share your cogitation

Monday, May 13, 2013 @ 11:43 pm: View from the living room
Wednesday, May 08, 2013 @ 11:28 pm: Restore my iPad
Sunday, May 05, 2013 @ 11:53 pm: May there be miracle
Friday, May 03, 2013 @ 12:31 am: Counting down to a miracle
Thursday, April 25, 2013 @ 11:47 pm: Embarrassing politicians
Wednesday, April 17, 2013 @ 9:46 pm: Avocado smoothie
Sunday, April 14, 2013 @ 2:15 am: Not going back
Sunday, April 14, 2013 @ 12:26 am: Air miles redeemed
Saturday, April 06, 2013 @ 10:51 pm: Autumn
Tuesday, April 02, 2013 @ 12:59 am: The past long weekend