It’s time to register my car this month. Or, as I like to call it: pay my parking bill. I live in Makiki, and even though I adore my situation (a one-bedroom top-level unit with hardwood floors and nice closets that actually has a bedroom, not a sliding door in a studio), it doesn’t have a parking stall.
Anyone who lives in Makiki can understand how this is a huge issue, especially if you are someone who works more than one job. If you aren’t in your neighborhood circling by 3:30 in the afternoon, you are left to “invent” a stall and chance the ticket so you can go home and go to sleep already.
I recall coming home late one night from a gig and finally finding a stall a few roads over, stretching into the scarier, darker outskirts of my neighborhood where tweakers reside in the trees. I usually walk very fast, looking straight ahead and not showing any fear, and they often do not bother me. On this night, though, someone was walking behind me. I was aware of it and walked faster, horrified when he also began to pick up his pace. It was only another block to my house, so I tempted fate and turned up my street, hoping he would keep walking straight. But I saw from my peripheral vision he was still behind me, trotting now.
I was delirious with fear, so I couldn’t understand what he was saying when he started calling out to me. I ran halfway up my stairs, turned around and screamed as loud and crazy as I could, “Get away from me!” drawing out the “e” in “me” until I had no voice left, shaking my head and waving my hands in front of me like an insane person. I surprised myself at how loud and shrieky I could sound. You never know until it’s time to do that.
The man stopped in his tracks with his hands up, still calling out to me, but in a much softer and now concerned voice. It turned out he was the person who lived under my apartment, and he just wanted to let me know that my shower was leaking into his bathroom.
This isn’t New York, where there are dozens of parking apps where you can find and even pre-pay for your stall. This is a little island, yet we have the traffic problem of a large metropolis. How can the Internet help us? There aren’t many options, but I did find one: There are a few apps that allow you to hail a ride from your phone.
I did the math and found that the $200-$300 I am spending each year in parking tickets to re-register my car can instead be spent on hailing a ride. I can rush home between meetings and then tap the app on my phone to hitch a ride to my next gig.
It’s worth it to me to not have to worry about parking tickets. Or my life.
Christa Wittmier is “SUPERCW” on all social media. Find her on Snapchat, SoundCloud, Twitter, Vine and Instagram. By night, she is known as DJ SuperCW. By day, she is known as senior marketing director for Young’s Market Company of Hawaii. Her nightlife blog SuperCity runs every Wednesday on HonoluluPulse.com.