x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 16 January 2018

Thank you, Hollywood, for making parking a terrifying exercise

As I drove lower into the car park, I regretted watching all those thrillers, as images of creepy vans and shadows in cars flashed through my mind.

Do you remember the scene in that movie when the girl tries to escape from the creepy-looking guy in the car park?

The eerie location was a perfect setting for the mysterious man bearing a scar watching her every step, right before launching his calculated attack.

Of course you do - because it's only in every other movie and television show.

When I first moved into my apartment building, one of the perks was a parking spot.

"If you lose your parking key card, it will cost you Dh250 for a replacement," said a security guard.

Ah, welcome to the building.

So, driving back from work after moving in, I approached the main entrance to the car park and security stopped me at the gate and eyed me curiously.

"Which apartment number, Madam?"

I told him the number and floor, to which he responded: "Oh, not this entrance, you have to go around the back. Just follow the road around, you'll see a construction site, take another right after it so you are going around the building. At that slip road, you will see the second parking entrance to the building. That's where you can park."

Apparently, those in the higher floors have the superior above-ground parking, while we lower-floor tenants (anything below the 30th floor now falls into that category, it seems) are ushered off to the side.

I continued around the block and found the other entrance, swiped my million-dollar parking card and checked with the other security guard that I was in the right place.

"Yes, go to basement level two," he said.

Did this guy just say "basement level two"?

While I was driving lower into the car park looking out for the Level 2 sign, I was suddenly regretful of watching all those horror/thriller movies as the images of dark car parks, creepy vans and shadows in cars flashed through my mind.

I finally found my place, which was around the corner from the entrance to the lifts on that floor.

"Can you believe this, they've put me in the dungeons," I told a friend. "It's so creepy, you know how I hate parking lots, all crimes happen in them."

"Not quite, and stop exaggerating, it can't be that bad. This is a safe city," my friend said.

There was only one way to convince her. I'd have to take her so she could see for herself - which I did.

Here is the result.

"Are you kidding me? This has got to be the brightest car park I have ever seen!" she said with a burst of laughter. "Seriously, it could not be more bright in here and there are about 10 security guards in the building. What do you think is going to happen?!"

Needless to say, I decided not to tell her so as not to embarrass myself further.