Rant: a lost cause
In some countries, driving conjures up images of meandering along bucolic lanes surrounded by fields of green, the open road stretching to the horizon.
Hong Kong's fields of concrete are a different proposition altogether. Being a motorist here is enough to drive anyone to despair: one wrong turn as you aim for Chai Wan could see you end up in Sheung Wan.
I took a wrong turn in North Point recently and found myself sitting at a set of traffic lights for 18½ minutes. As my engine idled and I thought about all the things I had to do (I got all the way to my Christmas list), a kindly citizen tapped on my window.
"These traffic lights are design-ed to stay only on red," I was apprised. There was no sign; no barrier. The lights even had an arrow for a right turn.
In the end, I did the only thing a self-respecting motorist would do and drove to a hotel, hailed a taxi and followed it. By now I'd not only lost my way, I'd almost lost my mind.
When I arrived at my destination, my shiny painted concrete car park space was clearly marked No 7. Straightforward enough, I thought; but after my appointment, finding it again proved anything but: it turns out No 7 is next to No 358. What right have we to expect numbers to be sequential?
I've now given up on car parks, but it's all good. Yesterday someone left a note on my windscreen. It said, "parking fine".