Before the days of EPS parking and automatic barriers, we used to tear off those little tabs on our parking coupons. Or at least the more rule-abiding drivers did. The rest of us developed a sixth sense for those iconic white uniforms of the parking attendants and the running skills needed to avoid a fine.
We’re taking you on a trip down memory lane: here are some encounters with parking attendants all of us can relate to.
1. When You Put the Parking Coupon Just Before the Parking Attendant Comes By…
See the truth is that when you put the parking coupon, the parking attendant never comes. But when you don’t put it, you always kena fine. So on the rare days when you put the parking coupon and see the parking attendant fine all the cars who didn’t, it feels like you’ve triumphed because being good paid off for once!
2. When You Mistake a Flyer For a Fine…
You’re approaching the car from far away and you see a white slip of paper tucked under your windshield. Panicking, you think it’s a fine, but you come closer and realise cheh, it’s just a flyer. This used to get me. Every. Time.
3. When You Almost Get Caught…
You’re turning out of your lot when you see the parking attendant enter to catch all the errant cars and you can’t help but think to yourself, heng ah, luckily I left before I could get caught.
4. When You Manage to Run to Your Car Just in Time…
Sometimes coincidence strikes and you are walking to the car park when you see the parking attendant making his/her way towards your car. But you forgot to put your parking coupon. This situation called for the biggest race of your life – remember sprinting faster than Usain Bolt to get to the car faster than the parking attendant? You may have been sweaty and tired and aching, but at least you made it.
5. When You Run to Your Car… But It’s Too Late and You Try to Plead with the Parking Attendant
Sometimes you ran, but weren’t fast enough. Sweating and panting, you’d plead with the parking attendant to “tolong don’t fine me please”. If they’re nice they’ll let you off, but rules are rules, so chances are you’ll see the fine getting processed right in front of your eyes. If only you left 5 minutes earlier!
6. When You’re “Just Waiting”
Remember how parking coupons only came in 1h or 30min? If you needed to run a quick errand, you left someone in the car to tell the parking attendant that you’re “just waiting”. 15 minutes only. Say real one.
7. When You Add 10 Mins on Your Parking Coupon
When tearing the tabs on the parking coupons, some of us got very creative with rounding up. You’re technically only allowed to round up to the next 5 minute interval, but some rounded up to 10 minutes or even 15 minutes, just to squeeze out the most value from a single parking coupon. Even more extreme: setting your car clock 5 minutes ahead just to prove to the parking attendant that it’s not your fault that your clock is fast.
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8. When You Sit By the Window to Look Out for the Parking Attendant
Experience proves that your heart beats faster when you don’t put your parking coupon. If you decided to risk a fine, you’d end up sitting next to the window with a view of the car park. You were an expert in finding the perfect spot to watch out for even the briefest flash of the parking attendant’s white uniform.
9. When Someone Yells “Parking Aunty Coming!” or When You’re the Smart One Who Uses an App
I remember sitting in a coffee shop having breakfast when someone shouted “parking aunty coming!” Immediately, all the drivers abandoned their morning cup of kopi and ran to their cars to put a parking coupon. A couple of years later, some savvy smartphone users came up with an app that sent the parking attendant alert directly to your phone. And now, we hardly see parking attendants anymore. Oh, how times have changed.
10. When You Start to Miss Parking Attendants
If you’re reading this article and reminiscing about the old days, you know what I mean: we’re nostalgic for the old days! Most car parks have been converted to the EPS system, so there’s less need for parking attendants to patrol car parks, often doing their job under Singapore’s sweltering heat. Technology may be great, but we can’t help but think of the past with fondness. Kids nowadays will never experience these encounters with parking attendants, will they?
Thank you parking attendants, we’ve had many good times together!
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