May 03, 2006

London Lunacy

I was staying with a dear friend, HM, just outside of London and we decided, rather late, to go out and grab a bite to eat on Edgeware Road, the Arabistan and hub of all Arab food activity in London. Home of restaurants with "creative and catchy" names like The Halal Restaurant or The Lebanese Restaurant.

Being nearly 10 pm, and slightly "far" away, we took the car in order for us to be able to come and go without worrying about train timings. The car we decide to park barely a block away from the restaurant, and I read a sign saying "Pay and display", however on weekends I am told it's free.

Dinner was good, we even bought some sweets to take along with us home and after barely an hour and a half decided to return to our car. It was now around midnight and we walked along the cars in the car park, yet couldn't find ours.

Me: Are you sure this is the right car park?
HM: Yeah I'm positive, and this is the Mercedes we parked next to, I remember it cause it was taking up so much space.
Me: But there is no car next to it?
HM: I know...

So HM calls the police, reports a missing car, either stolen or towed away, license plate, adress bla bla bla.

It was really cold and for some reason HM had left her jacket in the car, which was no longer there. We decide that the only thing to do now is take the train home, and go sleep hoping for the best. A thought however, strikes my mind:

Me: Umm, HM, where are the home keys?
HM: ...........

They were, lo and behold, in the car that of course was no longer there. So we decide we have to call her landlord, who lives in another city. He doesn't pick up, so all we can do is send a text and find the train and go back home to a home without keys.

As we sit on the train waiting for it to leave the platform, freezing and homeless, HM's phone rings. It's the police.

Police: I have some good and bad news.
HM: Ok...
Police: The good news is; your car has been towed away. The bad news is, you will have to pay 200 pounds.

So now it is hitting 1 am and we rush off the train just before it leaves the station and grab a taxi to the car pound in Park Lane, where our dearly beloved car and home keys are.

At the front desk, a man greets us with a look of "oh, here we go, another case". Apparently he was not our man, and he directed us towards a door that led to a long underground narrow corridor á la "perfect crime scene".

We walk, on the "straight path" for a long long time, just enough time to ponder over every thing you have done in the last decade or so, like why you pierced your nose twice. Anyway, we finally get to the payment office where HM filled out forms and paperwork and naturally had to pay the 200 pounds.

To make things lovelier, we have to walk back again the same way we came from, in order to pick up our car that was waiting for us on the outside where another man who worked as an "unlocker" of the towed cars sat.

What was the reason for towing away our car, and fining us 200 pounds after only being away 1 and a half hour?

Parking in a residential parking space.

Wouldn't it have been easier to just place a ticket of 200 pounds on the car?

Our conclusion after the long and highly eventful evening was that in the minds of the British Blair, towing our car enables four men to sit all night in an underground parking lot, and get paid for it.

Now there's an unemployment plan...

10 comments:

khanana said...

So you had parking party in the middle of the night.... happens .... experience!

True, it would have been very convenient for you and for them if they had simply placed a ticket on your car. But can you imagine if you were living in downtown paying evening/weekend or in anyway for parking and when you come back home late you find it full and somebody else using it?

Anyways nexttime while parking your car don't forget to place BRB sign on it :P

BuJ said...

BASTARDS!

YES! they are bastards in bold caps and underlined as well!

I can just imagine what HM and you went through, but I have had my brushings with both the police (speeding only) and stupid traffic wardens. I particularly hate the wardens coz they think they can swing it but they cannot. Their job is purely to provide enough tickets to pay for their pesky existence. Why not get a proper job you twit? All they do is leech money off people that actually work for a living.

I hate them all. I got a parking ticket last month actually just for parking in the wrong place for 5 min and the leech took a foto of my car in case i were to contest it in court. what an invasion of privacy! as if the ticket is not rude enough. anyway i took a pic of him, and that scared him.

maybe i should blog about it.

the pic is not clear, but in my mind's eye it was crystal, i bet u he never been photographed b4.. poor leech.

nousvousils said...

I can imagine exactly what you passed with HM in this terrible channel of frustration!
I totaly agree with Buj regarding the traffic wardens...
Last year almost day for day, I had a bad experience with my car in North London. its strange (or funny) because its similar story of buj...
Except they ask me to pay 320queed in carpound... and you know the process, no money now, no car... What suprised me was how this private car park does look like Central bank of Britain with this huge security system and all these guards.
My brother-in-law helped me to resolve this problem and he told me many stories about the Mafia wardens in Greater london...

Shaykhspeara Sha'ira said...

Easy there Buj, settle down soldier...

Perhaps you should blog about it ey? let off some more steam ya3ni. Besides, they are just doing their job...I know, annoying as it may be but ah well, life is not a clean cut diamond. I guess they prefer it to unemployment.

Nousvousils, it is definately a high security operation... 320 quid ey? That's alot!

Destitute Rebel said...

its an amazing unemployment plan the best examples can be found in the UAE.

Shaykhspeara Sha'ira said...

Yeah? Do elaborate?

BuJ said...

i dunno if i mentioned it, but the bastardetto (deminutive bastard) even took a pic of my car saying "we are instructed to take a pic of the offending vehicle" so i took a pic of him with my crappy fone camera and told him i felt like taking a pic of him coz he offended me.

perhaps a short post...

Shaykhspeara Sha'ira said...

Tayyeb did he ask for your autograph as well?

Maybe a short post, with a pic to go along with it?

BuJ said...

i wanted to autograph my shoe profile on his face.

Shaykhspeara Sha'ira said...

lol