Parking Ticket Technology

A week ago, I received a fine for parking my car in a spot without putting a ticket on my dashboard. Why didn’t I pay for the ticket? Well, the parking ticket machine wasn’t working, so I couldn’t get a ticket from it. Since I was going for a quick lunch I decided to chance it. After all, I was only going to be 20 minutes. Turns out, that was enough time for a cop to issue me a fine. I paid off the fine yesterday, so I’m in the clear.

Today, I parked my car again in a public parking spot. Guess what? Another broken ticket machine. Didn’t feel like picking up another fine so I purchased a set of parking coupons. Paying for parking is not an issue to me. I believe in paying for convenience – like using tolls and not having to park 10 streets away just to hike to your destination. But when the process of paying for parking is such a hassle, that’s when I get annoyed.

We’ve got Touch and Go. We’ve got credit cards. We’ve got smartphones. Why do we still have to scratch pieces of paper (a few if you plan to park for longer than an hour) just to park our cars? If you want to charge for parking, the least you could do is keep those machines maintained. Or let us leave money under our windshield wipers for the cops to collect. How about billing us directly? After all everybody has an e-wallet tied to their MyKad and all car license plates can be traced to an owner.

In the UK, they use cameras to capture your car plate number when you drive into the city. When you’ve arrived at your destination, you can just login and pay the charge within two days. No fuss, everybody wins. Also, you don’t have to carry bags of change around with you. Why haven’t we come up with a proper parking system yet?

And I know, this issue isn’t just in Malaysia alone – a few years ago when I was in Singapore, I had to do the same thing when I left my car parked for a day. And man, it cost a fortune. Also, a lot of time was spent poking holes in the parking tickets and making sure they fit properly on my dashboard.

parking in Singapore

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We’ve already made advancements in malls, most of them allow you to pay with Touch and Go now. It’s 2017, I think we should have the same for outdoor parking spaces. At the same time, maybe revamp our toll systems. Or make Smart TAG batteries last longer (I’ve seen way too many people getting stuck in Smart TAG lanes on the morning drive to work, I use the Touch and Go lane – no battery problems). The technology is available, we just need to embrace it.

Biggie and Pac

I’ve been on a rap documentary watching spree recently, it started off with me watching All Eyez On Me – a biopic about 2Pac’s life. It led me down a Googling spree, looking for more information about the unsolved murders of 2Pac and Notorious B.I.G. I then watched Biggie and Tupac (2002) and Who Shot Biggie and Tupac? (2017). It’s amazing how these murders have remained officially unsolved since they were both huge celebrities and were involved in high-profile killings.

Both rappers also had huge entourages, so there were bound to be witnesses or people who know what really went on. However, according to the documentaries, nobody wants to come forward because nobody wants to be a snitch. Fair enough, since snitches get stitches but it also seems so childish at the same time. If you can rap about shooting up cats and doing drugs, why not come forward with information?

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A pot of tea

Chamomile tea is not something I drink very often. But I saw it on a menu today and decided to order it. I’m familiar with the name because it was in one of the Professor Layton games on NDS. There were also a bunch of fictional teas you could brew for bonuses but I never bothered with that. I got my NDS many years ago from a friend who decided to give it to me as a birthday present. That was nice of him. It had an R4 card which allowed me to load it up with ROMs I downloaded from the internet. Because of that, I played many games on the device. However, I never finished a lot of them. My favorite games on the NDS were the Castlevania series and Mario Kart. I think the last game I played on it was Pokemon Black. I didn’t finish it either, getting only a couple of badges in the game before I put it down for good. I used to be a big fan of Pokemon games. I remembered finishing the Japanese version of Pokemon Green because I didn’t have the English version on my Gameboy. It was pretty tough not knowing which techniques I needed to cut some trees to proceed. I didn’t even have the light technique so I finished the cave section of the game by bumping up the brightness and fumbling my way through the cave. I think I spent a few days on that section alone. These days I’ve only been playing a handful of games – mainly Dota 2, Hoplite and My Little Town (the latter 2 on Android). I’ve got a few games on my PC that need finishing (Fallout 3, Cuphead etc) but I find myself loading Dota 2 and playing it instead of other games. I don’t know why, I guess it’s addictive and I’m addicted to it. Like cigarettes. I smoke daily. Not a pack, but I make sure I have at least 2 cigarettes a day – one in the morning and before I go to sleep. Which is weird because cigarettes are supposed to keep you awake. But as far as I can remember, I have found myself passing out before my last stick whenever I’ve been drinking a lot. Maybe it’s because of all the alcohol in my body already, the cigarette didn’t really matter – it is probably the act of me sitting down and relaxing, which lets sleep take over my body. I’ve been sleeping a lot recently, starting my days in the afternoon because I can. Sure, it’s not the best use of my time, but it does feel good. I think it’s good to give in to sloth every now and then. Maybe not. Sleeping too much does make you feel lethargic when you finally give up. Which is what I’m feeling right now. I guess this Chamomile tea isn’t helping either, since it’s supposed to help you sleep. Probably that’s why I don’t drink it very often.

Latent Rage

A couple of months ago, I was in my car on the way to work when I encountered some obnoxious pedestrians. They were trying to cross the road while they were wrong. Here in KL it’s a pretty regular occurrence, and I don’t have any issues with it because those people usually know that they are wrong. But if there’s one kind of person that’s more annoying than the wrong pedestrian, it’s the wrong pedestrian who thinks they’re right.

It’s kind of difficult to put into words what happened, so I’ve illustrated a diagram to make things clearer:

Full image

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The SMOrc Supper

“We’re not sorry.”

Those were the last words I heard from my parents before they walked away from me, moments before my death. I was lying in a pile of filth of my own doing – blood, shit, and sand – waiting for my last breath.

A large group of people had already crowded around me. Some were filming me, broadcasting my final moments before I left the world. Some were on the phone calling for help. Others spoke in hushed tones among themselves.

For once in my life, I felt regret. If I could rewind the past 5 minutes of my life, I would. Alas, I’m no time traveler. Just another teenage boy who refused to act rationally during a row with his parents.

Have you ever been told by your parents that you were worthless and would amount to nothing? And if you died they would cry tears of joy? Well, that happened to me earlier today. It started when I told them about something I had done earlier that morning while we were on a roller coaster ride at the local amusement park. They weren’t pleased at all.

So, like any other childish teenage boy, I wriggled my way out of the safety harness and jumped off the cart at the apex of the ride, just before the first plunge. The fall was quick and hurt like hell.

As my vision blurred and started to fade, on the side of the water storage tank tower in the middle of the theme park, I caught a glimpse of my magnum opus. A parody of the last supper, with Shrek taking the spot of Jesus. From the ground I could hardly see the artwork, but from the top of the roller coaster we would have had the best view.

Writing Prompt from Reddit: Flash Fiction Challenge! Location: Amusement Park | Object: Graffiti

My first time doing one of these! It was hard sticking to the max 300 word limit.