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Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Where's My Thank You Card, Makati?

On a particularly stressful day, I got out of the office to find that my car has been towed.

I was able to park right in front of our building entrance - luckily, or unfortunately, given the towing incident. I remember lining up the car quite gingerly into the designated parking slot, but because the car behind me was a 4WD, and took up some of my parking space, I had no choice but to to have the front part of the car gut out (nakausli in the vernacular) beyond the slot.

I was waiting for the Makati parking attendant to issue me my parking ticket (and s/he would have been able to tell me that a little portion of my car was over the drop-off/loading zone). When the attendant didn't show up (I parked just before 230pm), I decided I would pay my fee after two hours. (Every 2 hours of street parking in Makati is 40 pesos, a third hour and you have to add 50, or the lovely total of 90 pesos for 3 hours.)

I was appalled to find my car missing as soon as I got out of the office. There was a chalk inscription on the sidewalk (I was too annoyed to take a picture) saying "the owner of this vehicle, claim car at impounding, Amorsolo-De la Rosa".

I got to the impounding area and explained why I shouldn't have been towed - it wasn't my fault that the car behind me was taking up my "proper" space. "I want to contest this."

"Ok," said the traffic enforcer at the impounding hut. (Literally, they were holding office in a makeshift hut.) "But you still have to pay the fee even if you plan to contest it."

"Then what would be the point of contesting it, if I have to pay, anyway?" I asked - rhetorically, of course.

He let my dig slide right over....way over there. He scribbled furiously on some papers and said, "that's one thousand pesos. Take it or leave it, contest it or not."

"Don't I get a thank you card from Binay?" I responded.


"I am one of, if not the most anti-Binay people in Makati, yet here I am, being forced to give him again, where's my thank you card?"

The traffic enforcer pretends not to hear anything, and looks down, gazing his pants.

"Not even a calendar? Or keychain...nothing?"

He mumbles a thank you upon getting my cash, and I imagine him feeling victorious because he still has my money, whatever I say, against my will.

I've always liked living here. This is not one of those days.

*My ticket (from the picture) was issued by P/A Baylon (parking attendant), at 2:39 PM. It can't be a coincidence that I waited a good 3 minutes when I just parked - with no parking attendant around, at 2:30pm -  and 9 minutes later, when I had already gotten in the building, my car was towed ASAP...can it?

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