Aussie comedian discovers $160 parking meter mistake after 21 transactions

Diana Nguyen told Yahoo she had briefly stopped outside her Bondi Airbnb on Friday, but was rushing in the rain and left her bank card in the parking meter.

left, Diana Nguyen standing next to the parking meter in Bondi where she left her bank card. Right, the parking transactions from strangers.
Diana Nguyen is $160 out-of-pocket after accidentally leaving her bank card in a parking meter in Bondi. Source: Supplied

An Aussie comedian is poking fun at her accidental “pay it forward” moment, allowing 21 drivers to rack up $160 in parking fees on her card.

Diana Nguyen, who wrapped up her 42 show tour around Australia in Sydney on Mother’s Day, said she made the unintentional — and expensive — kind gesture after leaving her bank card in a parking meter in Bondi, Sydney, for 24 hours. The 39-year-old told Yahoo News she forgot to grab her card while “rushing” in the heavy rain outside her Airbnb, which she only planned on stopping at for half an hour, on Friday.

“[On Sunday] morning I woke up, and I was going to pay a friend for some dinner last night, and I just went ‘why is there 21 Waverley Council charges?’ It didn’t make any sense at all. Until I realised that it was all parking meters,” Diana laughed.

Left, Aussie comedian Diana Nguyen on stage. Right, the parking transactions from strangers.
Aussie comedian Diana Nguyen said she returned to the parking meter on Friday to find her bank card just sitting on top.

Screenshots of her bank account show 21 different transactions, ranging from $1 to $17.50. When she returned to the parking meter on Sunday, Diana said “the card was still there but someone had generously — I think that’s why it stopped tapping — they put it on top of the machine”.

“But the other 21 people didn’t, they just left the card in the machine. They must have thought it was some kind of angel in Bondi paying for people’s parking,” she joked, making light of the situation, which she couldn’t help but note was bizarre.

“There’s a cafe right next door, someone could have handed the card in. There’s all these scenarios that could have happened that didn’t happen…no one went shopping with my card…just 21 transitions of parking.”

She has since reported the fraud to her bank, but is unsure if she’ll see the money returned to her account.

Laughing off the blunder, Diana posted a photo of her posing with the parking meter and the transactions to the Facebook group Bondi Local Loop on Sunday, urging those who “used [her] good deed” to come see her perform at the Enmore Theatre that night.

“If you would like to pay forward the $160 invested outside of my card. See you tonight. Or even a lift would be great!” she wrote.

Bondi locals also couldn’t help but see the funny side, thanking Diana for her “community service”. “Sounds like great material for a new ‘bit’,” one person commented, to which the comedian responded it would be an “expensive” joke.

“That’s crazy! 21 thefts?? Who’d do that to a stranger’s card!? I’m so surprised none of the 21 people thought of taking it out and contacting the bank,” another said.

Although she agreed, Diana argued it had been raining in Bondi for 13 days so “people needed some loving” — and she hopes her good karma is on the way. “They do say when you do good, it comes back tenfold. So I’m hoping that maybe someone else will pay for someone else’s parking,” she told Yahoo.

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