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.
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.
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.
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.
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.’
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.’
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.
$62.00 was so ridiculous it was hysterical.