Going Blind

The bad news is I’m going blind.

In the last few months I’ve noticed that it’s getting harder to focus on the words on my computer and the instructions on a medicine bottle are almost illegible and seeing the hole for the buckle of my shoe is near impossible.

The good news is, I have a friend whose husband is an optometrist.

Sydney’s Strand Arcade

We arranged to meet today in the city in Sydney’s Strand Arcade which is where I love to shop and where her husband has his business.  I caught the bus and that cost me $3.50.  My friend, Amy, took the car and as she was running late, parked not only in the QVB (Queen Victoria Building) Carpark, but as she was panicking about being late, she had the valet park her car.

The Christmas Decorations

I had all sorts of tests done on my eyes and I might add I passed them all with flying colours except for the one concerning old age and alas, it appears I now need reading glasses.  ‘It’s just a natural progression’ said the very sympathetic optometrist, ‘and you’ve done better than most.  You’re at the upper end of where we first start to see people’.

‘My father doesn’t wear glasses and he’s in his 70’s’, I said.

‘There are so many more demands on eyes these days; that’s what’s causing it.  It’s not only the computers, it’s the i-phones.  We take our eye muscles for granted and from the moment we wake up we place our demands on them.

Nothing tacky here

So Amy helped me choose my first pair of reading glasses.  To celebrate we went out for lunch at an Italian Cafe in the Strand Arcade that was absolutely outstanding but I was having such a good time listening to Amy tell me her stories that I forgot to take photos.  But, the Strand is more about the shopping than it is about the lunching so after our pasta and salads we browsed the shops.

Beautiful decorations

Three levels of shopping

Alex Perry shop

Sweet Arts Cake Shop

The Nut Shop

The Chocolate Shop with some poor woman in the photo

Chocolate Santas at the Chocolate Shop

We then realised our leave-pass was about to expire so Amy offered me a lift home and we sprinted to collect her car from the valet.  When we walked in I looked around and said, ‘Wow, this looks nice; how much does it cost to park here?’

And Amy said, ‘I don’t know.  Not much I think.’

The luxurious valet lounge

Then she handed her ticket to the man at the counter and he said, ‘That’s $62.00 thanks’.  With a straight face.  And Amy looked stunned and said, ‘How much did you say?  Did you say $62.00?  What’s the hourly rate?  How long have I been here?’

‘Our rates are on the board outside.  You’ve been here two and a quarter hours’.

‘So it’s $62.00 for what?  To have someone park my car and me go shopping for a few minutes?’

‘With that you can have a free water.’

The bar fridge stocked with water

And Amy and I looked at each other and just burst out laughing because at that moment we saw the bar fridge stocked with bottles of water.  Doubled over with laughter we stumbled over to the fridge, opened our handbags and filled them with as many bottles as we could fit in.

Still in hysterics, the valet then opened the car doors and we hopped inside and laughed all the way home.

Take note of this note!

$62.00 was so ridiculous it was hysterical.

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  1. Magnolia Verandah says:

    Ah yes age! It catches up with us all unfortunately. I have been to this arcade – it is lovely. I have also been stung with parking fees like that – its horrendous.

  2. Wonderful arcade, I loved it. And you captured so nice photographs… I hate to use glasses but at the end I have to too 🙂 Thank you, have a nice day dear Charlie, love, nia

  3. Oh my! JT had to get reading glasses a few years ago; I’m still at that stage where I can read small print, but not through my near-sighted glasses, like I used to. I call it the glasses aerobics, on and off and on again!
    The mall looks beautiful and it’s so nice to see a variety of shops we don’t get in North America; most malls in the US or Canada have the same boring shops so you can’t even tell what city you’re in!
    Parking! That’s a HUGE bugaboo in Toronto too, but I have to admit $9 for a half hour is higher than I’ve seen even in NYC!
    Gorgeous decorations! I’m not putting ours up until after the Santa Claus parade on Sunday.

  4. At least you were able to create the $62 laugh!

  5. I read that post title and panicked, until I read that you needed only reading glasses. I’ve had bifocals for years. I also purchased prescription computer glasses, one of my wisest business expenses ever.

    Second, what a beautiful shopping venue with that intricate floor (tile?) pattern and gorgeous Christmas decor. Even I, who detest shopping, could shop here.

    Those chocolate Santas are a work of art. I’d like a few of those, please.

    As for the parking cost of $62, that is outrageous. Good for you two to stuff all that water into your bags. At least you could laugh about this.

  6. I’m glad you got your glasses! I still don’t wear them, but I’m getting progressively more far-sighted. So I’m not too far behind you!

  7. That is exactly what Lisa and I would have done – fill our purses:) The poor woman in the Chocolate Shop might have also needed glasses. The day I found out I needed glasses was a turning point for me. Now I wear stylish glasses and can SEE!! Who doesn’t mind another accessory:)

  8. What a beautiful mall! It’s funny, but I always think of America as the mall capital of the world, and I never expect that similar malls exist in other countries. Silly, I know. But, I’m glad to know that NYC isn’t the only place with astronomical parking garage prices 😉

    • Unfortunately, I’ve never been to a mall in the USA that is even a quarter as nice as the this Arcade. We could only wish they would all be so elegant!

  9. Thank god you have glasses now my friend your title scared me!
    The city’s Christmas atmosphere is not to be missed beautiful 🙂

    Choc Chip Uru

  10. I don’t think I could have laughed — I would have been too shocked. Unbelievable.

    I had to get bifocals a couple of years ago. I don’t wear my glasses all the time, but found I needed them at the grocery store or I was ignoring people I knew until they were right under my nose. Then with the glasses on, I couldn’t read the small print on yogurts, cans, etc. Most people seem to get the no-line bifocals, but I couldn’t handle those for some reason. I decided a bifocal line wouldn’t be the only tip-off that I am middle-aged!

  11. Well I’m glad you can still see all the gorgeous Christmas decorations Charlie! That is my favourite window shopping mall in Sydney 🙂
    Wow,$62 ?? But at least the water was free 🙂 Our Westfield gives two hours free parking, then you start paying through the nose. I paid $8 this week just for the privilege of shopping there. Unlike many other cities, we don’t have traffic or parking congestion, so I think the malls should be encouraging us to go there instead of shopping on-line.

  12. I’ve needed reading glasses for the last 15 years so no sympathy from me. 🙂 For driving and regular seeing … well, I was about 16 and denying needing glasses in high school. My mom claims that it’s cause I read in poor light as a kid. Maybe so.

    As to the valet charges. Highway robbery, I say. Unless it was Perrier, you didn’t get much of a reimbursement regardless of how many bottle of water you snagged. 🙂

  13. Doesn’t 2 and a quarter hours fall under the $47 charge? Why was it $62? I’m glad you took all those bottles of water but clearly, that didn’t make up for it. Sydney CBD is atrocious, it honestly is.
    I always thought I had 20-20 vision, but sadly, the frames have had to be welcomed on my face. It’s not a bad thing, at least I can see clearly now and not be a hazard on the roads 😉

  14. Don’t worry Charlie I’m sure you look super stylish. Could we please have a pic?

    I hope you bathed in your $5 a bottle water?

  15. $62.00 also provided lots of entertainment, if that makes your friend feel any better. It is ridiculous though. Thumbs up to public transport – $3.50 and you’re on time:) And you didn’t have to strain your eyes driving…

  16. I’m a lot older than you and I do need glasses. I only wear them when I’m out. In addition to astigmatism I have that old age problem too. The state says I need them when I’m driving.

    I LOVE strolling through that building. It reminds me of a much more “refined” era of shopping. 🙂

    $62 is what it cost John at the airport the other day. I thought we should put a tent up in “our spot.”

  17. I’m glad you could have a laugh. You’ll laugh again when they go out of business.. I don’t know anyone who’d pay that amount a second time! xx

  18. Gasp! $62 for 2 and a quarter hours???? And I was thinking what a lovely place to while away an afternoon–so charming. But ouch! That’s worse than NYC!

  19. Wow that’s outrageously expensive!
    Regarding glasses, I buy my glasses online. It’s way cheaper. Only like $40?

  20. Sydney carparking – ridiculous. Makes me so angry!!

  21. Your title scared the hell out of me!

  22. $62???? Wow! I’m shocked at that. But I will say that your shopping center is really beautiful. I love the photo from the third level. It sounds like an awfully fun day to me…outside of getting those first reading glasses. I also managed to avoid reading glasses for along time…much longer than many of my friends. Of course, I have worn them now for a long time, but almost constant computer work has just about ruined my eyes! I’m sure we are all on borrowed time! 🙂

  23. OK, Charlie: true story! I was only 41 and working pretty fulltime on books [computers: what were such?] and I had to get ‘reading glasses’! Thank God I did seem to have a sense of humour!! Years passed: every 2-5 years the optometrist would shake his head and increase their strength. There was even talk of having specs all the time! Shock, horror! I kept on reading natural therapy books, increased all the ‘goodies’ in my diet, had the appropriate supplements, did eye excercises, wore ‘sun’glasses: well, somehow, just having as yet been to an optometrist, I have DECREASED the strength of my glasses for the fifth time in progression [hardly need ’em’]. Often your choice, lady!! I won’t tell you my age, otherwise you won’t read my posts again 😀 !

  24. I’ve been wearing glasses since 4th grade!

  25. Only YOU would celebrate getting reading glasses….62.00 is insane.

  26. I’m glad you could see the $62 parking fee! Ridiculous indeed!

  27. Ha yes, never trust a parking station in the city they are all the same price especially with valet parking!!. I am sure you will look great in your glasses plus …. you’ll be able to see really well!

  28. Oh, sympathies about the eyes, but at least it can be corrected with glasses. You did well to take the bus!

  29. I got my first reading glasses when I was 45, just like my parents had. In our cases, though, it has nothing to do with eye strain but it is genetic. At some point in our 40’s, our arms begin to shorten and we can no longer hold reading materials far enough away to be able to read them.

  30. That really is hysterical, but also something I can believe, in Sydney! I am glad you got a great day in before the parking shock – I remember that arcade from my recent visits and it is lovely (nut and chocolate shops included). I’m sorry about the glasses, but having had glasses from the age of 3 and then contacts from the age of 13, I figure you have done pretty well 😉

  31. Ochie, $62.00 is somewhat insulting! Guess your friend won’t be doing that in a rush again! Can’t wait to see a pic of you with your new readers.
    Don’t think we have a shopping mall as exquisite here in South Africa.
    Have a beautiful weekend.
    🙂 Mandy

  32. Ouchie, $62.00 is somewhat insulting! Guess your friend won’t be doing that in a rush again! Can’t wait to see a pic of you with your new readers.
    Don’t think we have a shopping mall as exquisite here in South Africa.
    Have a beautiful weekend.
    🙂 Mandy

  33. OMG … $62 for free water 🙂

  34. The Strand is so pretty at Christmastime. Man $62 just for parking there.. the parking fees in the city are just unbelievable these days…

  35. Oh no I feel Amy’s pain! it’s happened to me before, I parked at the GPO in Melbourne once and it was a $27 an HOUR! it was CRAZY!!

    But at least it was a fun night 🙂 and those chocolate santas are SUPER DUPER cute!!!

  36. YIKES! But you got free water…LOL!

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