Parking fees and loose change....
Always keep loose change in your car.
Several months back I discovered firsthand how important it is to have loose change in your car. In fact, it saved me from taking public transportation twice as well as the concomitant loss of time within a span of less than an hour.
It all started innocuously enough.
I was fixing something at home one weekend morning when I realized that I needed to buy a certain something to finish what I was doing.
I hopped in my car, still wearing house clothes, and dashed off to SM City North Edsa, expecting to do a quick run - go to the mall, buy the thing, and head on out home.
The thing is, sometimes things don't turn out as simple as we expect them to be.
After parking at the SM City Carpark, I trudged over to Ace Hardware, intent on doing the deed as quick as possible.
I looked around, found the thing that I needed to buy and proceeded to the cashier.
That's when I realized I had done the unthinkable.
I didn't have my wallet with me.
I was wearing house clothes remember?
After getting over my initial annoyance at my stupidity, I went back to the car. I was pissed because not only was I unable to buy the item that I needed, as it turned out I also made the jaunt without a driver's license.
But it was about to get worse.
To get out of the carpark I had to pay a P30 parking fee, and I had absolutely no money on me.
It dawned on me that I may actually have to commute home, then back, just to get my wallet so I can get out of this mess. Not having any money on me, I would probably have to take a cab, and with morning slowly turning to noon, I was faced with the prospect of facing noon traffic with the sun shining overhead, in my house clothes, without a single peso.
I scrounged the car's console, glove compartment, under the seats, and all the nooks and crannies, and guess what? I had found enough loose change to pay the parking fee. It wasn't pretty though. Some of the coins where in virtually useless denominations (5 and 10 centavo pieces) while the majority were in P1 pieces. All in all I found about P36. I had a margin of P6, which made me thankful that I wasn't somewhere in Makati where parking fees can buy you a nice lunch.
The moral of the story? I guess you've figured that out by now.
Always keep loose change in your car. You'll never know when you may need them.
I took it a notch higher though. I now always keep a P100 peso bill tucked inside the car owner's manual in the glove compartment.
Better safe than sorry. :-)