Got a Overtime Parking Ticket

How embarrassing!

I got a ticket for overtime parking in Palo Alto downtown today.

I parked the car into the purple zone. Then I visited Tina and have lunch together. It is the first Monday after the Independent Day. We walked to many restaurants from her list one by one, only to find out all them are closed, and one even closed for two weeks!

15 minutes later, we stopped the Palo Alto downtown guided tour and went to the Japanese restaurant to have Sushi. We had wonderful conversation, but jet lag hit me at about 1:30 PM. I could not stay awake, and proposed to have a cup of coffee.

The 2 hours at Coupa Cafe was great. The small road reminded me to Shanghai – some streets in the French concession is exactly the same. If you watch the phoenix trees, and some Chinese girls walking along the street – I just feel that I am in Shanghai.

Then we chatted a lot of things, and enjoyed the “Shanghai” misconception, and the beautiful weather, the sweet to death Cafe Mocha…

But Tina’s question broke all the nice things, and seems to be a stop sign of a nice music: Jian Shuo, where did you park?


1 minute later, we were at the side of my car, and found the ticket was already comfortably lying on the window of the car. Tina regretted that she should have asked and give me permit to display on the window.

Well. My first overtime ticket! I know Randy will be very happy to know that, and say “Welcome to America” to me again.

It is $30. I remember I saw the person enforcing the purple zone 2 hour parking when I left my car. He is using a hand-held scanner to do it.

Sorry for that, and I will pay it the day after tomorrow when I have other meetings in Palo Alto again.

In China, there is no such a thing of zoned parking, and 2 hour enforcement. Need to pay attention the next time. Hmm… How embarrassing it is to have a ticket.

Meanwhile, I know my friends in China are busy moving their cars on to avoid vitual ticket. I got the real one. How embarrasing it is (Have I said I was embarrased before?) Hope my painful experience brings some joy to you.

7 thoughts on “Got a Overtime Parking Ticket

  1. HI, Mr Wang, Have you ever joined the Advanced Translation Examnation? I will join the exam in September this year. Can you give me some advice? Thanks.

  2. nah, 2 hours parking is just stupid. most places just make u pay for more time. ok that being california its something to expect. anyway as long as the ticket is paid no one will care about it. yeah as long as CHIPS dont ticket you, your fine :) get it.. ok bad joke. enjoy your USA TRIP.

    Your Neighbour.

  3. You are so lucky!!! only $30, if they towed your car, the price will rock. Last time I got a parking ticket under this kind of sign in downtown Baltimore, and unfortunately got towed. It is $330 :(

  4. Hi JianShuo — many US cities will let you pay your parking tickets online using a credit card, so you need not be back in Palo Alto to pay the ticket (or to mail in a payment). I always pay my parking tickets online (I’m in Cambridge, MA). It is secure and very convenient. It seems the Palo Alto also has online payment:

    See: (parking citation payment at the very bottom)

  5. Some parking spaces in Switzerland are ridiculously short — 15 minutes. That’s only enough for a bathroom break or to snatch a bread + paper. And they charge you — I think the equivalent of CNY 6 or 7 for 15 minutes!

    (That purple zone color theme reminds me to Shanghai Metro Line 10 — only a bit paler.) ;-)

    Worry not about the overtime parking. We all make mistakes.

    I know how it works in China. Park as long as you want and either prepay and add later or pay when you’re going. At times they don’t even collect your payment (especially in Beijing — officers on a tea break?), so you basically “get away with it”…

  6. Don’t worry too much about it, Jianshuo. You can decide to pay it or throw the ticket off.

    On positive side, I recall President Obama had received 17 parking tickets while at Harvard. And I also had received at least 3 parking tickets over the years.

    Remember parking tickets is much better than running red lights or speeding tickets.

  7. Did you pay your parking ticket yet, JS? You should try the online payment with credit card. It’s so much more convenient than going down to City Hall.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *