On Saturday night I had my first incident of someone bothering me in my van. It wasn’t so big of a deal, it’s just that I’m used to no one noticing me at all. I parked to sleep at about 9:30, and I was watching a video on my cell phone when I noticed a bright white flash. I ignored the first one, but then noticed it again… I looked out the window and saw no one, but then there it was again. I guess it was about 4 or 5 times. I looked out the window and saw that someone, not the police, was taking photos of my van, and of the license plate.
If I hadn’t noticed, I probably would have just gone to sleep and woken up without incidence. But it kind of freaked me out, so I stepped outside – it was about 10:30 by this time – and I saw the guy across the street. I said, “excuse me, can I help you with something?”
He then walked back across the street and said that he’d been taking the pictures for a friend, and pointed to a house, because the friend didn’t recognize the car, and she usually recognizes the cars in the area. I don’t know what he or his friend thought they would do with the pictures, or what they will do but, here’s the thing. It is not illegal to sleep in your car in the city of Berkeley! It’s really none of their business where I park The Hilton. I work and buy stuff and pay taxes…. ergo, my street!
I actually don’t think he knew I was in the van – I think he wouldn’t have been so bold about taking the photos. He was clearly kind of embarrassed about having taken the photos when I confronted him. I said, “This is a public street, and I am allowed to park here.” He agreed, that it was a public street. I was actually quite annoyed about the whole matter. So I went back into my van and continued to watch my video.
Eventually I knew I wouldn’t sleep well there, so I left. However, part of the reason I left was because I have Nevada Plates in California, and it may be that my driver’s license is suspended. I don’t know if it is, but I really need to find out about that. All I have to do is pay some ridiculous fine. Also, when the registration expires, I will register the van in California. If those two issues had been cleared up, I would have been defiant and slept there.
I’m really just annoyed that someone would take it upon her or himself to police the public street! That they would take pictures of my van! Get a damn life already!
This is The Hilton by the way: