Sunday, 13 February 2011

Just a tad scary!

I need to preface this story with a little information about myself. In my heart and soul I am a little bit of an adventurer. I like to do things that are not exactly mainstream and visit places that not everyone else does. Here's a place I'm hoping to stay in when I go to England- it is a B&B that is a replica of a bronze age house.

When I went to Bali about 12 years ago I hated Kuta, we went there for lunch and to shop but I couldn't get out of there quick enough, I went up to Ubud instead which is well known now but then although it was known most Australians went to Kuta to stay in their club med hotels and drink cocktails by the pool. There is nothing wrong with cocktails by the pool as long as you get to experience a little of the culture and explore the place, otherwise you may as well save the air fare and book a room at a ho On my more recent travels to Thailand although we started in tel near where you live and drink cocktails by the pool there.Phuket we stayed in a place that was just out of Phuket. We spent time in the forest and then traveled by train to Bangkok via Hua Hin again. Now I say a 'little bit of an adventurer' because I don't like TOO much adventure. I'm not about to set off solo in a canoe down the amazon or anything. In fact I have found that I do like to know I am safe and I really don't like going places on my own. I like to have adventures with friends.
When I first separated from my husband (17 years ago this year) I was full of hope and kind of on a wave of bravery inspired by the adrenaline rush of making the decision to fly the coop. And at that time I taught myself to be a bit brave going places on my own even though I didn't really like it and it really pushed the limits of my comfort. I learned to take a map book where ever I went and then as mobile phones got cheaper and I was given a secondhand "brick" from a friend who was upgrading, this meant that I could call for help whenever I needed (as long as I remembered to pay the bill!) As time passed I got better at it and became quite outwardly confident.
However when my thyroid shut down and I suffered quite dark depression a few years ago all my insecurities came back and I find that I am back at square one again... I don't like going out on my own much any more and going somewhere new that I don't know where it is is actually quite an ordeal. I hate driving in traffic and the freeway makes me quite nervous, I will avoid it's busiest times at all costs often driving the long way around just to avoid it - partly this is my nervousness at the idiots that one must share the roads with partly because I have an old car that is not very quick on the pick up and doesn't like to go much over 70km/h OK for around home to and from the shop but not for longer trips that involve freeways. (I am going to get a new one soon, it is my new year goal.) I also don't like to drive about Perth very much it is busy and the streets all go stupid ways and then if you miss a turn you never know where to go after that and other drivers are so impatient and rude and never let you in (well lots not all!) so basically in my heart I'm an adventurer but in my head I'm a wuss!!!!
So Now my story...
Yesterday I had to deliver my art works to the place where the exhibition will be on Monday night. I had to get them there between 10;30 and 12;00 in Perth to a building I'd never heard of before, not hard as I never go there. So I googled it, got directions, looked at the street view and worked out that it was just past the spring street lights. I went to the website of the building to find that it had parking available so I set off bravely not too early so that I would miss the worst traffic of the morning, not being sure if it would be busy on a Saturday.
I negotiated the freeway and managed to select the correct lanes to get to the correct street I kept my eyes peeled but realised that I had in fact driven right past the place because I didn't notice the sign until it was too late. That's OK I thought because I noted on the map that there was a couple of car parks along there that I could use as an alternative should the first one be full. The next car park was closed as was the next. I was starting to worry when I noticed a third and pulled into it as it was open. There was a sign saying deliveries this way public parking that way please park in non reserved car bays and pay at the ticket box to your left. So I found a park rummaged about for change and walked to the ticket box. It was at this point that I started to think things were a little strange and looked around to notice that the big roll down grill had closed over the opening that I had driven in not 5 minutes before. Then in the distance I heard the resounding bang of a door slamming shut in the distance. It echoed ominously and I could see no-one about anywhere. I was alone in a dingy dark car park.
I experienced some mild panic.
I took a deep breath and read the signs there was nothing to indicate that it was a private car park but there was a number to call if you were having trouble with the ticket machine so I called it.
"The number you have dialed has been disconnected"
Now what!!!! Do I pay for my ticket and leave my car in this car park to possibly be clamped or towed- that is if I can find a way out or do I call the cavalry and try and get this point I was running about in small circles of indecision certainly in my head if not actually. Then I saw a man walking towards me wearing a yellow vest. Perhaps he could help, maybe he was security...He was just an electrical contractor so he couldn't answer any of my questions - apart from alerting me to an exit door that I could at least escape through if I decided to abandon my car.
I went up to another sign and decided to try the number on that one- hoping that it was different or perhaps in my panic I had miss dialed the number. This time I got through to the security. They wanted to know which car park I was in. I had NO idea, apart from that it was on mounts bay rd. I turned to ask the fellow who had been there a few minutes ago and he had left. Fortunately another couple of men came along and I was able to ask them where I was. Apparently the car park was not open on a Saturday- It was when I drove into it!!!!
The new blokes knew how to open the gates so I eventually made my escape. All the time I was also worried that I wouldn't get to deliver my work on time either. Happily I managed to navigate the roadworks in town and found the front of the building on St Georges Tce and there was a half hour street parking bay right out front and the work has been delivered. And now I have two weeks to steel myself in order to pick them up again- hopefully they will sell and I'll get them to put the cheque in the mail!


2paw said...

You are so brave and coped so well with your crisis!! If I need to go somewhere new, I often have a trail run, especially if it will be at night. I wonder why they opened the car park??
Good luck with the exhibition!!

Anki said...

Oh Dette, you poor thing! That's sounds so frightening. They must have just had it open to let the electrical contractors in eh? and you just happened to drive up at the right (wrong) time.

Next time you need to navigate Perth city call me, OK?