Friday, June 17, 2016

abandonment issues

hello there

Quite a few of you, I know and appreciate, enjoy reading tales of items which have been abandoned on road and, look you see, roadesque surfaces. For the most part these items tend to be ones of quality footwear. On that note, the brown shoe which entertained so many of you is still left in solitude and abandoned within the vicinity of where I first spotted it. No doubt at some stage Interpol or other such agency will take it away for investigation.

With no further shoes abandoned of late – at least not that I have seen – it is time to mix things up some, with stories of other things which have been discarded. To start with, then, something which has been abandoned on a surface on which cars are intended to travel, but is not a road.

Indeed the above picture is of an air freshening device, ostensibly to be placed within a car and decidedly of a distinguished, luxury nature. It was left abandoned, as opposed to being accompanied abandoned, in the car park which I use on an informally frequent basis.

It’s not really just a simple car park, of course. It is one of the most celebrated structures in our area, and indeed is the envy of much of the world. This is a car park which has won several regional, provincial and geographical awards. Sure, you might say it’s not that difficult for a car park in our area to win an award as, and please don’t think I am picking on or singling out Newcastle here, we don’t have to deal with quite as many donkey drawn means of transport as some areas in the region, but still. Our car park stands up very well indeed in comparison to many around the world.

Speaking of our car park, it has some rudimentary and quite standard road markings by which driving is governed. Take, for example, these white lines.

The purpose of those white lines at a junction or intersection is to show that the car approaching them must yield and give way to the traffic from the other side or point of the junction or intersection, for they have right of way. It is the obligation of all licensed drivers to know this and obey it, and it is the responsibility of the DVLA or similar in your territory) to ensure that all drivers have shown they are aware of it before they are awarded a licence. Some drivers, alas, seem to forget this, which we shall get to.

In the mean time, though, I know that you want to see something else which has been abandoned in a more conventional road setting. Whilst I know you would no doubt want to see another example of quality footwear abandoned, all I can bring you is something quite different.

What is it? Well, thanks to my peculiar taste in memory, I think I know. Back in the 80s I recall seeing, and yes I am that old, a documentary series about the UK’s education system. The Young Ones, I believe it was called, and over the course of two series it followed four different students who were pursuing distinctly different career paths. One was going to be a doctor, I believe, but I don’t recall what the others were doing.

Anyway, one episode of this most splendid documentary series focused on the social side of student life. There was a birthday party, or some other such occasion, and one of the students as a gift got a most peculiar combination of a toy telescope with a toy mouse in it. I don’t recall the 80’s telescope being as colourful or as transparent as this one, but still I am certain it is the same thing.

So, with people who like things abandoned in the street entertained somewhat, let us return to the car park. Which area, road signs or abandoned items? Let’s finish up road signs, then, although of course you could just skip ahead.

I mentioned that, from time to time, some drivers neglect to obey road markings and forget their obligations. Well, in Jozi this happened all the time, but here in England there tends to be a proclivity to just stick with the stipulated rules. This sticking to stipulated rules most decidedly did not happen when a fellow motorist, somewhat gently, ignored the rule of right of way marked by the white lines and rolled in to my car.

The fellow driver’s reaction to this was to get out of his car and express – in a strong tone but with no vulgarity – his displeasure with the incident and with me. I calmly explained to him that it was the case that I had right of way. He angrily denied that I did. I drew his attention to the white lines on the road, and pointed out who was on which side of them and, thus, who had right of way. It was quite interesting to watch his anger transform at first to a realisation that he was all in the wrong and foolish, and then to understand that, should I have chosen to make it so, he could be in quite a spot of bother with both the authorities and the insurance type of people. With no physical harm caused to either of us I decided that the suitable resolution to the issue was an agreement to shake hands and say no more on the matter.

As you can see above, you’d have to squint really quite hard to see any new sort of marking on my vehicle. Indeed, if I had remained silent then no one would know anything had connected to my car. His, however, is evidently made of less sturdy stuff, and I would wager he has quite a bill to fix his.

My colleagues and contemporaries have remonstrated with me some, saying I was hasty in letting the matter go. Despite their being no actual damage, the law here is very much in my favour, and I could have made all sorts of claims for repairs and physical damage. In regards of the latter, I suppose that would involve me claiming I had whiplash, or a ruptured liver or something. Whilst I would be far from angelic, I don’t believe in bearing false witness or making false claims. One car rolling into another at around 5mph is hardly, for example, the same thing as an occasionally disabled person firing four shots through a bathroom door on the off chance that an uninvited big black man has locked himself in there.

Back to where we started, then, which is the tale of the air freshener which was ostensibly designed for use in a car but was abandoned in the car park.

Quite frankly, it is remarkable that the air freshener remained on the ground for long enough that I could see it and take pictures. Other than the apparent exquisite value of it making it a likely target for some entrepreneurial type to pick up, they “don’t do litter” in the car park. To this end, there is a crack squadron of cleaners – a proverbial platoon – stationed on each floor, day and night. They sweep and sweep and make sure that the prestigious nature of the car park is upheld in cleanliness, if nothing else.

Actually yes, in something else. They also have teams that clear the money from the pay points where one pays to park in the car park. For reasons of efficiency they tend to send out trucks to clear these at peak times on mornings, blocking the roads for motorists arriving to park ahead of going to verk.

Also, from time to time, they for the sake of efficiency shut down one or two of the pay points at peak times. This allows motorists to experience all the more of the magnificence of the car park, as they must walk up and down ramps intended for cars alone in order to find a working pay point. Which, you know, kind of makes it important that motorists in the car park generally obey all speed limits and give way / right of way signs and road markings.

Should I spot any other items of interest (or lack thereof) abandoned on surfaces what are mostly concrete and designed for transportation flow I shall certainly at least consider taking pictures of them and sharing my findings with you. With some very good fortune it shall of course be the case that I do not need to tell you tales of people ignoring rules of the road again any time soon.

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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