The excitement of running Mac 1, 2 and 3 with my team woke me up at 0530. I was out the door by 6 and ran straight to my motorcycle. I removed the motorcycle cover and a white slip flew out of the back seat. I picked it up from the ground to inspect it. It read in bold “HONG KONG POLICE FORCE”. My jaw dropped and as I read further. “TRAFFIC OFFENCE” – it said. My “offence” was clear. “PARKED OTHER THAN IN AN AUTHORIZED PARKING ZONE”. The morning excitement turned to ANGER as I read the amount I was fined. 320 bucks! Just like that. My motorbike was parked less than 10cms away from the last rectangular motorbike parking spot. LESS THAN 10CMs AWAY!! And they fined me. Fined a harmless, defenseless guy like me. What about catching all the BAD guys in Hong Kong?? How about busting some drug cartel or solving some hard-to-solve murder case?? NO! Instead, “Asia’s finest” (that’s what the cops here are called) pick on some poor guy like me!! Why me?! WHYYYYYYYYYY?!
So, as furious as I was, I had to meet Romain and Jinwa on Kimberly Road. Romain was on his bike and the plan was to drive to Sai Kung together to begin the Mac 1, 2, 3 run. I met him at 0615 but I was largely preoccupied on the ride to Sai Kung with my parking ticket dilemma. I wasn’t sure what to do. Do I contest the ticket? Do I write a letter to the cops? Do I simply not pay it? In fact, I was thinking about several versions of my letter to the cop during the journey to Sai Kung.
Version 1: The “sympathy” invoker:
I refer to the parking ticket you generously wrote me on the 9th of July, 2011. My motorbike was parked just slightly away from the rectangular parking area for bikes. The only reason I parked it there was because all other spaces were full and I had to rush to help a friend with suicidal tendencies realize how precious life really is.
[Either this, or I was thinking about writing some BS about how my presence at that time was so crucial to save the world]
Without my help, there’s no telling what could have happened. In light of the circumstances, I seriously hope you’ll reconsider the parking ticket you wrote me.
Version 2: The political blackmail:
Perhaps you wrote me a parking ticket without realizing who I am. No probs but let me explain. I am a friend of Long Hairs! Yes, I do mean the banana-throwing, protest-triggering legislative council member with long hair. Scared? No probs. My suggestion is that you take that ticket back and we’ll call it even. And, yes, next time you leave me a ticket, there might just be another huge protest against cops in HK. So, watch out and play safe.
PS. Time to go and bust real criminals instead of picking on average Joes like me who are struggling to make a living
Anyway… so, once we reached Sai Kung, I asked Romain about the consequences of not paying the fine. He said – “they will send a ‘reminder’ and that’s not free either”. Great. Talk about ripping off the small guy.
Now, back to the run. We started at 0733 but I was still quite pissed off because of the ticket. So, with Eminem’s “The Way I Am” blasting into my ears, I was on fire:
“But I’m glad cause they feed me the fuel that I need for the fire
To burn and it’s burning and I have returned”
Mac 1 completed in: 52 mins 32 secs
Chilling and waiting for teammates: 8 mins 32 secs
Mac 2 to Sai Wan shop: 58 mins 3 secs
Chilling and waiting for teammates: 24 mins 25 secs
Sai Wan to Pak Tam Au: 1 hour 9 mins
Chilling and waiting for teammates: 25 mins 07 secs
Mac 3 completed in: 1 hour 45 mins
Distance: 34.13 km
Elevation Gain: 1,489 m
Calories: 2,271 C
It was so, so, so hot on Mac 3 that I almost forgot about the ticket until I got home and …. paid it [I set up a 'Bill Payment' entry to pay exactly 1 day before the deadline! The cops ain't gonna keep my money any longer than absolutely necessary]. The motorbike is again parked 10cms away from yet another rectangular parking spot and as I was leaving I did see two cops patrolling on that street. If I see another ticket tomorrow, a version 3 of that letter will be out. So, could someone please introduce me to Long Hair?
Tags: Hiking walk reports
, Maclehose 1
, Maclehose 2
, Maclehose 3
, Maclehose Trail
, Parking Ticket
, THE BOILERPLATE TRAILS