Thursday, August 28, 2008

To Valet or not to Valet?

My Article for Malaysia Today

One Sunday morning, my husband who is not too keen with my new eco-plan for the house (habits are hard to change) says in jest, “if you really want to save money, you should also try parking your car yourself”.

After explaining to him for a good one hour on the REAL reason for my ECO-plan, he relents, only to challenge me; if he has to give up his “24-7 aircon usage” (eco-plan: aircon is only used to cool the house down, and for extremely hot days only), I will have to be dependant on myself when parking my car at the shopping malls. I agreed to try it out with a heavy heart.

You know how they say a woman has good instincts? I now know why this statement rings true.

A few days ago, I decided to park my own car. I had some errands to run around Bangsar Baru and normally, I would valet park at Bangsar Village 2 and do everything inside the mall. But on my way to park my car at that mall’s carpark, I found a (legal) parking lot at Jalan Telawi.

I gleefully drive my car in and take out my gym bag (last stop, Celebrity Fitness at Bangsar Village). It was a bright and sunny day, so I thought, “yea … perhaps he is right. Parking myself IS cheaper… a bit of a walk, but hey! I could do with the exercise right?”

Gleaming, I trod on with my bags.

“Maybe next time, I’ll wear my flats” as I carefully walk down the many little steps on the walkway.

The bags seems to get heavier the more careful my steps were.

“I should sort out my gym bag if I’m going to continue lugging it around”.

And as if my disposition was influencing the weather, the blue skies suddenly turned grey and cloudy. And THEN, it rained! Just like that!

I run to the next block, slip and fall. My water from the Tupperwear spills all over my new purple handbag and my bum is not only in pain, but wet too! Drats.

Not one who is easily embarrassed, I pick myself up and peer over my posterior. A large wet patch elopes my jeans. I slip my shoes back on, only to find a missing heel. I take off my other shoe and dump both shoes in the gym bag. Perfect!

Still feeling optimistic, I head in to the bank to bank in my cheques. My normal ‘girl’ greets me and looks at me with a smile. “Raining ah?”

I force a smile and dig into my gymbag for my sports shoes.
Oh Crap. I had left the shoebag, as of my umbrella, in my car.

I take my receipt and walk out from the bank with no shoes, wet and cold.

My false eyelashes were also falling off (I had burnt my eyelashes over the weekend, so have resorted to falsies to make me look less alien like on shoots). I peel them off. I looked and felt pathetic.

To make matters worst, this man appears out of nowhere and says he can read my fortune. I decline politely, but this only makes him more persistent. I pretend to ignore him, playing with my blackberry as I walk on,but he walks with me and starts telling me about my ‘future’ anyway. The rain bleeps out most of what he is trying to say, but I do hear words like “face, blessing, torn, money” when the topic of “love” comes in, I turn around to him and say, “excuse me, but can you please respect my privacy and space? He suddently starts spitting on the ground and I get scared.

I look around for friendly faces and decide to walk in to the nearest restaurant. Before I could go, he looks at me and points to the sky, “ God will bless you if you give me money to eat”. I look at him in bewilderment. “ I can’t believe you are asking me for money and using His name!?”

He continues looking up at the sky, and muttering God’s name while spitting on the ground. At that point of time, I was feeling angry, but scared. So, I offered him RM5. He says its not enough!

I fume, but give him another RM5 anyway. He buggers off.

Now that I am in the restaurant, I had to order at least a drink right? So I did. RM9.90 for a cup of tea. The rain continues to pour down hard. Taking a sip of the peppermint tea, I should have just valet parked my car. Judging from the rain, getting my shoebag from my car would only make me more wet and late for my class. And from a distant, I see another ‘fortune teller’ harass another bystander stuck in the rain.

Calculating my mishap expenditure, I had just spent RM19.90 plus RM1.50 for 3 hours of parking at Jalan Telawi. Valet parking would have cost me about RM11. You do the maths.

Yes.I have good reasons why I valet park as oppose to parking my own car. For security reasons, especially when I am alone and so mishaps like this are minimalized.

Guess he gets to keep his aircon on.


  1. Dear Daphne..

    I would have volunteer to park your car for you.. plus carry your bags, etc.. pay for your drinks & yea.. minus the fortune telling... anytime!!! :) :)

  2. Aiyoyo, hope you did not bruise badly.
    I too fell down last friday while going to the bank. It started to rain badly and I slip & fell (knees first). Worst thing is I broke the umbrella and had to walk into the bank and back to my car without an umbrella. I was in pain and also soaking wet. (There was not even a single macho guy came to help. Where are they when you need them)

    I told me mum about it and she said those born in the year of the Goat have to be more careful this year.

    You being an Eco Warrior really inspire lots, but there is always its pros and cons (darn). But we are with you. Way to go girl.

    Hope you are ok and have a blessed day.

  3. Hi Daphne! You're really funny in a really 'inspiring' way. If I fell, I'd probably laugh my head off to myself like a mad woman then scramble off to the carpark instead of going to the bank. You really my hero la..

  4. keep extra shoes,baju, pillows, umbrella, diapers, wipes, balms (for iso) of all kinds in your car..manatau..emrgency cases like this one...LOL

  5. Don't know whether to laugh or feel sorry for you...felt sorry for you, but laughed as well, but only to show what a good writer you are ;)

    Wow, quite frequent updates now!

    Supporting your eco-plan, by the way!

  6. ya..hehehe...dua2 sy rasa...feel sorry n feel ok ba.. anggap ja pengalaman :)

  7. i guess some people just have to learn to be Eco-friendly the hard way?
    try planning from scratch and little plans at a time. im sure that'll work. :)

  8. Hahaha!!
    I think we are from the same school...and we have the same maths teacher. cause my maths and your answer is same.

    VALET PARKING!! hahaha...

    I do something go for valet parking, especially when i am late or i am not confident to get a parking space. for instance, Midvalley and KLCC, i hardly goto those places and i m very bad in their basement parking. so in that cases, i will go for valet.

    my friends always say to me, "Wow! rich man want to show-off."
    but they just don't understand the theory and the maths.

    anyway, what to show off with a Naza Citra?? :)

    i really enjoying reading your blogs.

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