Thursday, December 20, 2012

Park it baby!

The perfect example of a ‘first world problem’ has to be a Canberran talking about parking in the Parliamentary Triangle.
The righteousness on the subject takes on a religious fervour. “Pay for parking?! What we’re being taxed on going to work now?” As far as human-rights campaigns go, I have to admit it lacks a certain urgency.

I don’t want to spill all our parking secrets, for fear of increasing competition even more, but let’s just say certain cultural institutions have wised up to the fact that their over flowing carparks exceed their daily visitor numbers. They’ve taken steps. A boom-gate that only opens from 9.45 am. An underground car park that closes at 5.00 pm on the dot.
I have to confess that I was once almost caught out at that one, finding my car and I unable to get out at 6.00 pm one night. I pressed the security buzzer and a voice came on, “Why are you still here? Are you a public servant? Do you work around here?”
“Oh no,” I replied breezily, hastily shoving my building pass to the very bottom of my bag, “I was just walking in the rose gardens and lost track of time. I am so so sorry to bother you.” I got away with it, but I’ve started to think maybe this sign really means ‘No public servants.’

The situation is tenfold worse on rainy days. During a particularly heavy deluge I beat one of Australia’s most respected journalists to the very last parking spot at the National Gallery of Australia. I don’t care how many Walkley Awards you’ve won, ya snooze, ya lose! Never get between a Canberra public servant and a public holiday or a parking spot!
It was particularly bad during the mega blockbuster the NGA had a couple of years ago, The French Masters. Ticket and entry queues stretched for almost a kilometre on some days and there was no parking in a 10 kilometre radius from 8.30-6.00pm weekdays. Thinking back to those days, a friend remarked that she hoped the NGA would have a lot of success with their new Toulouse Lautrec exhibition, but not enough that it would affect our parking.

We get a reprieve from the middle of December as things go quiet up on the hill and people start taking leave to avoid the Christmas rush.
So in honour of scoring a legal all-day park this morning, I was moved to write this heartfelt carol about what Christmas really means to me...
Tis the season to get parking
Fa la la la la la la la la
On all the tyres, no more marking
Fa la la la la la la la la

Drive to work and I shan’t worry
Fa la la la la la la la la
Lots of parks so there’s no hurry
Fa la la la la la la la la

Find me now a shady park
Fa la la la la la la la la
And I’ll be home before it’s dark
Fa la la la la la la la la

No comments:

Post a Comment