I realize that I was struggling to find a blog post topic, but it was a bit cruel to drop one into my lap in the form of a parking ticket. Please do not be so literal in addressing my pleas for post topics in the future.
To some extent, the only thing that shocked me about getting a parking ticket is that it took so long (almost 6 months). I almost never park in the lots that use the parking coupons, instead almost exclusively ending up in the lots that scan the cash card mounted on the dashboard. It was pretty inevitable that I would one day park in a coupon lot, get out of my car and walk away. Which I did on Monday.
One of the other moms at Ellie’s Preschool was kind enough to take me to a tailor in Little India to get my sari blouses adjusted. But between parking, juggling Rhiannon and the bag of fabric, it just slipped my mind. While in the store, one of the women pointed out that I was getting a ticket.
I dashed out and begged my case, but it was too late. Which sucks, but I wouldn’t have been able to talk my way out of the ticket in the US either (once they’d entered my car info).
The price for a moment of forgetfulness? $30 SGD (about $23.50 USD), which is cheaper than the same offense in Boston or NYC (which is 30-50 USD, if I recall).
The experience did give me a chance to finally use the AXS machine, though. I first ran into one of these in Great World City when I was in the first month of expat life, and I tried to use it as an ATM (which is about the only thing it doesn’t do), and walked away beyond confused. Since then, they’ve remained this strange, mysterious presence whose purpose I just couldn’t figure out from a distance of 10 feet, and after making an idiot of myself at one, I guess I was a bit gun-shy at walking up and poking at it to figure out its purpose.
One of the things the AXS does is that it lets you pay parking fines, which is kind of cool. It’s also confusing, and I learned far more about parking tickets in Singapore then I ever probably wanted to know.
- There are 4 different agencies that issue parking tickets (yet somehow NONE of them have the least interest in fining the illegally parked motorcycles that swarm the sidewalk outside my condo, making it impassable by stroller most evenings while the riders take a leisurely dinner at one of restaurants across the street on River Valley Road)
- Depending on who gave you the ticket, there can be a waiting time of X days before you can pay it at an AXS machine (but don’t wait too long or you’ll get into more trouble!)
- Your ticket will say which agency issued the ticket (after you stare at it, totally baffled, for about 5 minutes–yes folks, I have a Master’s Degree but can’t pay a parking ticket!)
- Follow the onscreen instructions (try not to look like you’re illiterate as you hesitantly re-read them 10 times before pushing a button out of fear of fucking it up)
- You’ll get a receipt showing that you’ve paid
It was definitely easier than trying to remember to write a check, find a stamp and mail it in. I believe there was also a web option to pay.
May my bad ticket karma not rub off on you, and may this be my last ticket (although it probably won’t be).