When you write a column like this, you never run out of things to comment on for two main reasons. The first is that this city is a veritable treasure trove of both positive and negative things to comment on.
The other reason is the readers. From time to time, someone mentions something that either piques my interest or is too deliciously quirky to ignore. Recently someone told me I should write about the parking charges for the meters in front of the Royal Alexandra hospital.
I had certainly seen the meters any number of times, but had never had the occasion to use them. The issue became clear as soon as I looked at the message on the meters. For some reason, parking charges are in effect until 9 p.m. This certainly struck me as odd. As far as I can tell, all other meters in the city are only in effect until 6 p.m. What this extended time is meant to achieve is anybody’s guess.
Maybe it’s meant to keep staff from parking there. Maybe there are hordes of people who desperately want to park there after six and who would take up all the spaces. Maybe, but I would think that the major result is inconveniencing people who are already stressed out by needing to visit someone in the hospital. A little sensitivity might be in order here.
On the quirky side, someone pointed out that a shopping area in the downtown is using heads of the Buddha as decorations in their store displays. They asked me if I thought the stores would use crucifixes, the Qur’an or the Star of David in the same way. Good question.
Though the display designer might have seen the image of Buddha as a decorative piece, I suspect there are probably a least a billion people on the planet who would be offended by seeing a religious symbol used in that way. What on Earth was the designer thinking?
As I said, in this city the ideas for potential comments are endless.