My human GPS

Patrick Simmon navigating from the
back seat of my car
PEGGY LOH hates getting lost in huge and complicated car parks and states her case.

IT happened again! I was once more getting confounded by hotel car parks linked to mega shopping malls. Unfamiliar with the many entrances into the massive mall adjoining the hotel, I drove into the common car park and looked for signages to the hotel’s car park.

After a futile search, I gave up and just parked where I was, making a note of the lot number so I could easily find my way back to my car.

As I dragged my luggage and walked through the busy mall in search of the hotel lobby, it felt like dejà vu. I had had a similar experience several years ago in another of Kuala Lumpur’s mega malls. Shoppers stared. Were they wondering why I was using a travel bag instead of a shopping bag?

For once, I did not look at the shops but was focused on getting to the hotel.

Front Office staff at Sunway Lagoon Hotel & Resort, KL
The mall was so massive that I had to trek down a long corridor to find a directory and get my bearings. The directory was helpful but as a new wing had been added recently, I had to ask for directions.

The guy behind the ice-cream kiosk who answered my query must have helped many perplexed people; he gave accurate directions which led me directly to the hotel lobby!

Once I had checked in, my itinerary was so full that I could not sort out my car problem until after dinner on the final evening of my stay.

When I approached the hotel reception about the free parking for my car, the front office employees explained that parking in the mall was not free unless my car exited with the hotel’s car park coupon from its car park! To enjoy this privilege, I must move my car into the hotel car park and exit from there.

Friendly staff at Sunway Lagoon Hotel & Resort, KL
The young woman started to draw a map so I could find my way to a particular level, drive down a spiral driveway and come onto a narrow path between the linked buildings to exit the mall car park and enter the hotel car park.

As she scribbled, she realised that the map was not very useful to someone unfamiliar with the complicated car park. She went to look for a colleague who could be helpful and returned with Patrick Simmon, who listened patiently as I explained my predicament.

I told him that this was not my first experience with complicated car parks, and I feared he must have thought me a dud. But I’m a stranger to these huge city malls.  In my previous experience, that hotel’s concierge was so sympathetic that he not only walked me to my car but also hopped in and guided me out of the mall and into the hotel car park. Simmon took another look at the map and reached a decision. He asked, “Are you ready to go?” and I promptly replied, “Yes!”

With parking lot info in hand, we easily found my car. Then I had another dejà vu experience when Simmon navigated me through that complicated maze from the mall car park into the hotel car park. Along the way, we observed that there were no signages that pointed to the hotel car park. But I had managed it, only because of helpful hotel employees such as Simmon, my human GPS!

A version of this article was published in The New Straits Times, Life & Times on 21 April 2011

No comments:

Post a Comment