I’m bringing my case to the public. A few weeks ago I casually mentioned that I had been robbed of 300 Kr. by the city of Alesund for a parking “misunderstanding”. I have decided to plead my case to you since we received a letter stating that “We cannot refund your fine since your story about how you didn’t understand our system was weak and dumb”. Ok, I threw the letter away, but I’m pretty sure that’s what they wrote. Since we were in town today I took the opportunity to take a couple of pictures that I think makes the case for my mistake or at least makes the case for classic American ignorance.
Here are three pictures that will exonerate me and hopefully prevent others from making the same mistake. I feel I was put here for a purpose and maybe this is it. I know, it’s no ‘cure for cancer’ or ‘save the whales’ operation, but if I can just make a difference.
Picture #1 – this shows the general area. Notice there are no big “PAY US HERE” signs, or signs with giant pictures of money, or something that shows a person being handcuffed next to their car for failure to pay….NOTHING!
Picture #2 – The lady that helped us get the form to plead our case to the traffic czars said that the area was clearly marked in INTERNATIONALLY understood signs and markers. Ummm….huh? The word “Takster” translates to the word tariff, which even if I knew that wouldn’t necessarily mean much to me. The key to the sign is the word “Avgiftsbelagt” – it means FEE. Ugh.
Picture #3 – Now lets pretend that you had a cousin who once lived in Norway for 3 years and one day told you that the word Avgiftsbelagt meant FEE and then 20 years later when you wandered into Alesund to park you remembered that. AH! FEE! I must pay! Then you encounter this:
Now here is where I shine. I create charts and drawings and reports for technical people and try to confuse the hell out of them with colors, arrows, buttons, and fonts. It is only because I create the same mess as shown above that I could manage to navigate it the next time we parked there.
So I ask you. Was this a fair exchange? Roughly $45 dollars to teach me that I have to pay more attention and that a great parking space downtown in no way could be free? To be fair I will consider any comments on the above and I am open to the possibility that I might be wrong.
(except I’m not)