Paying a pretty penny for a parking ticket

Parking at the airport last Saturday cost me a pretty penny. To be precise 68 800 cents. Or in our money R688! I nearly freaked. In fact I did freak. My debit card would not work and I did not have R700 in cash. I borrowed R300 from the passenger I’d met on flight SA 333 from Joburg and raided my purse for the balance.

And to think I thought I was smart to park in the Long Stay area!

I knew the plane was two hours late from Joburg so timed my arrival accordingly. However anticipating some other hiccup, and remembering how shocked I had been last year to pay R160 for over-staying my limit at my usual parking place, I was not taking any chances. On that occasion I’d waited two hours in vain for a Heathrow passenger who had misinformed me of her ETA.

On Saturday both my sister and her partner arrived at the new time but without all their bags. We heard there were two problems. Airlines are fined if they delay their departure more than two hours so flight SA 333 had left Joburg without all the bags. And what suitcases had arrived in Cape Town were circulating on the carousel with the baggage of two other flights. It was chaos.

Time-consuming, money consuming, parking-time consuming chaos.

We were later advised that the missing luggage would probably arrive on later flights and be delivered to their owners either that night or first thing in the morn
ing.

My sister needed my home address and so, after getting a special security permit to enter the baggage area with her, I gave my contact details to a friendly official named Jennifer who still managed to smile while being badgered by anxious passengers. As I left the hall, wondering if the missing black case would ever be seen again, lo and behold there it was. Right in the middle of four lanes of unclaimed, unattended luggage.

Hurrah! But our euphoria melted when we went to pay for the parking. Too late I discovered that the minimum charge at the Long Stay area was R688, the equivalent of up to give day’s parking.

Eina.

Don’t risk chasing robbers

Should security guards risk endangering innocent motorists by giving chase to suspected robbers on major roads?
This is the question people are asking after last Wednesday’s dramatic high-speed race on the M3. It ended in a three-car collision in which four “crowbar gang” suspects died, three people were rushed to hospital and thousands of commuters were affected by the closure of the freeway and bumper to bumper traffic jams on Spaanschemat River Road.
One can understand the impulse to give chase. It’s a basic reaction when the good guys spot the bad guys misbehaving. Such chases are part of all Bond and gangster vs goodie movies with increasingly sensational footage of both sets of drivers executing extraordinary feats to keep their vehicles on 
their wheels, while dodging other motorists and fleeing pedes-
trians.

Reality is another story but chases should never happen on major roads. Innocent people 
don’t deserve to be killed or maimed in the quest to catch a thief.

Local is lekker

I’m often intrigued by what shoppers put into their baskets. So when I noted a young man putting umpteen boxes of eggs on the counter for the teller, I cheekily asked if 
he was hosting a big breakfast buffet.
“No” he smiled. “It’s for my wine.”

Wine makers use eggs as finings – substances usually added at or near the completion of the processing of brewing wine, beer, and various non-alcoholic juice beverages. The purpose is to im-
prove clarity or adjust flavour and aroma.
It was quite special to see 200 eggs being bought in a Steenberg supermarket for Steenberg wines. Local is lekker all right and already the wine tastes better.

Enjoy arts

Find a moment between today, Thursday October 20 and Saturday October 22 to pop in to admire the articles on show at the Constantia Handcraft Club’s biennial exhibition in the Dutch Reformed Church Hall corner of Ladies Mile and Firgrove Way. There will be an impressive display of items made by the 117 members who put their energies and art into making imaginative items usually to help charities.

The club was started in 1985 by three friends – the late Louise Wilding, Nettie Boynton and Hazel Sabatta, with guidance and encouragement from Claire Clark and her committee of the South Peninsula Handcraft Centre in Fish Hoek.

Chairlady Carole Bonorchis tells me club members knit blankets, jackets, beanies and booties for Mowbray Maternity Hospital; bags and teddy bears for the Red Cross Children’s Hospital; make-up boxes for the Zoe Project and, they collect coffee bottles and candles for the Child Safety Programme which educates families about home safety especially around shack fires.
Visiting the exhibition could inspire people to join and know the satisfaction of making things to improve the lives of others.
Exhibition times are Thursday 2pm to 5pm; Friday 9am to 5pm and Saturday 9am to 1pm.

Let’s face it: You cannot hang out with negative people and expect to live a positive life.

fionachisholm@iafrica.com