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".