Whale Clamped

Word has reached us here at Chez 6000 that there was much amusement after the Cape Town Tourism AGM and the launch of the new marketing campaign for the city last night, as delegates emerged from the meeting to find that the car of Whale Cottage supremo Chris von Ulmenstein had been wheel-clamped in the CTICC car park because it had been parked in a disabled parking bay.

I don’t think it would be unreasonable for me to suggest that Ms von Ulmenstein is one of the more unpopular online figures in this city. Some would say that she rarely has a good word to say about anyone, a view perhaps supported by reading her weekly Sweet and Sour service awards, the former of which is usually a single line, while the latter is generally several paragraphs of ranting and moaning. Indeed, many believe (and for “many believe”, many believe that perhaps you should read “everyone knows”) that she was singled out in Mandy de Waal’s scathing review of Cape Town food blogs earlier this year:

There is also a notorious blogger on the Cape scene who has been barred from some restaurants and thrown out of others and whose allegedly libellous crusade is said to have caused significant damage to the luxury leisure industry.

Nothing like biting the hand that feeds you, although quite how it still feeds her is a bit of a mystery to me. That’s because it would seem that Ms von Ulmenstein’s Whale Cottage business, renting out self-catering accommodation to tourists, is equally disliked.
After all, no-one has bothered to set up a website called Don’t Read 6000 Miles…, now have they? (have they?) Yet search for “Whale Cottage” on Google and you may come across this site, which alleges all sorts of nasty things about her properties. There’s even a video.
Of course, that could just be the work of a single mischievous guest who had a bad stay – these things do happen. But then when you look deeper, you find that her Franschhoek property is ranked 48th out of 49 in the area, based on 30 reviews. Hmm.

Anyway- all this immaterial and potentially subjective background is merely for my myriad of overseas readers.

The fact is that parking in a disabled space in a car park, when your only “disability” is being rather unpleasant is an entirely repulsive act. And it fully deserves this:

Probably the best thing to do in this situation would be to admit your guilt, laziness, stupidity and selfishness, pay the fine and drive away.
Not to have a pop at the car park attendants, as one eyewitness noted:

It took hours to get out because she verbally attacked the security staff who were doing their jobs:
“But you are not disabled lady. Why park in a disabled parking bay?”

Why indeed? It’s a very reasonable question.

Surprisingly, the Whale Cottage blog account of last night’s meeting – in which Ms von Ulmenstein is surprisingly critical of the new CTT strategy – fails to mention that any of this happened. It could so easily have gone unpublicised and that would have been a crying shame as I feel that we should name and shame those who illegally park in disabled parking bays; much like we should with those who throw litter or cigarette butts out of their car windows or those who fail to adequately restrain their children in the car when driving.

Not that Chris von Ulmenstein did any of these other things, of course.

No, Chris von Ulmenstein parked illegally in a disabled parking bay at the CTICC last night.

Thanks to all those who got in touch about this. 

Please note that comment moderation has been temporarily re-enabled on the blog. Usual rules apply.

  • Karen

    It is one of my greatest peeves when people park in disabled bays without warrant. Nice one CTICC! As per usual you did a sterling job last night in all regards!

  • What baffles me is how everyone has missed the miracle here:

    She was obviously disabled before the meeting and yet she WALKS outta there! On two legs!

  • Simon

    Failwhale.

  • Bring Me My Harpoon

    Could they not clamp her blow hole too? What a disgrace is Von Ulmenstein #FailWhale to everybody in Cape Town and to everybody that is really disabled.

  • Rob

    Not her first time. The whale mobile loves disabled bays

  • Yesja

    Most whales have been tagged but none clamped so far!
    We were all howling with laughter at the afterparty when word got out.
    She should have spent the night there, totally disabled….

  • Liam

    ha ha ha ha ha…. WELL DONE CTICC! Don’t park in disabled parking!

  • Sea Point

    Dear all,

    I think you got something not quite right in your story, yesterday she didn’t park in a bay reservered for disabled, those bays are closer to the entrance. Her car with the number plate whales – wp blocked the fire exit! At the AGM in the Rotunda she parked her Merc in front of the Bay Hotel’s delivery entrance, even after it was pointed out to her and after she was asked to move her car! How inconsiderate towards other members of the tourism industry! That is her!

  • Sherlock Holmes

    Loading bay. That explains alot! Whales are heavy.

    Elementary dear Watson.

  • Barry O’Donoghue

    Brilliant stuff! Never a more deserving recipient of a wheel clamp! Old Chris “Whale” von Ulmenstein thinks she is above all and that rules do not apply to her. Never a good word to say! Karma!

  • Gav

    Good on you CTICC for clamping the whale, and good on you guys at Chez6000 for naming and shaming [her].

  • Jeremy

    We love the interwebs and how this photo was passed around from hand to hand at the event last night and during the night. I see a Sour Award coming up for the CTICC on Friday.

  • Maybe the whale cottage website is the work of one irate guest but just how bad does your experience have to be go to the trouble of creating your own web site to make a complaint. There are 28 further bad experiences described on the site. If the original writer fabricated them to make a point they must have had one seriously bad holiday.

    I see the guests on the second Tripadvisor reviews actually had to involve the police to resolve a payment issue. Surely this is some sort of comedy – is this place real????

  • von Ulmenstein your inflated opinion of yourself deserves harpooning, do yourself a favour and respect disabled parking bays, sounds like you could use the few extra metre’s walk to blow of some of that self-important steam.

  • Grayham

    She says in her blog:

    “None of the persons I spoke to after the presentation raved about the campaign”

    She must mean the car park attendants, right?

  • Kerry

    Von Ulmenstein’s disability is bumptiousness. A very serious frailty if you ask me. Have mercy on her and harpoon her out of her mystery!

  • Sea Point

    Dear Grayham,

    you are dead right as nobody else spoke to her! So it must have been the security guys who obviously didn’t attend the presentation!

  • Dawie

    No, you all have it wrong. It is not FailWhale, it is VuilWhale!

  • Fordie

    @rambowine had a full go at her for parking in a disabled bay in Franschhoek during a festival earlier this year. Seems this whale keeps beaching itself!

  • Rory

    Having a browse through her site I clicked the recommended restaurants…
    For a supposed “foodie” how does one get close to recommending these restaurants in Cape Town?

    Restaurants in Camps Bay
    Codfather | Tuscany Beach | Blues | Paranga | The Grand Cafe Camps Bay | The Kove

    Restaurants in Cape Town centre
    Balthazar | Balducci | Haiku | Brio

    What a fraud who is obviously on various venues wage bill! As an eatery I would be ashamed to be associated with her.
    ps. Ok Balthazar is pretty good but thats it.

  • Robbie

    The whalemobile is notorious for parking where it wants to. Maybe it drives itself. Because why would a *loverely* lady like Ms Von Ulmenstein want to offend anybody – especially security guards and disabled people?

  • Justice

    This is a great story, until you hear that they eventually let her go without paying a fine. Which is how I believe the story ends.

  • Nonnie Hertzog.

    What you are all missing is that she IS actually disabled. She suffers from various mental illnesses, chief amongst which is her sense of delusion and false grandeur.
    If you only knew the facts of her life you would actually feel sorry for her – isolated and boycotted by her family, no friends, no relationships in her life, ignored and scorned by the tourism industry (kicked out of FEDHASA and Cape Town Tourism) and currently in the throes of being sued for defamation by Cape Town Tourism.
    This will cost her a shedload of money and bankrupt her.
    Her only friend is her laptop, over which she huddles for hours on end, into the small hours of the morning, scratching amongst the detritus of the cyberworld, looking for shitty things to say about all her imagined enemies. They are not actual enemies (although she does have some).
    The vast majority see her as a kind of circus act, and quietly hope she’ll clear off to another planet, fall under a bus, or just disappear.
    All her destructive, mostly self destructive, activity in Cape Town is one big cry for attention. “Look at me!, Look at me!”, it screeches.
    But the thing is that no one takes her, or her rantings, seriously. Maybe she’ll come to her senses when she goes out of business, or is handed down a massive fine from the defamation lawsuit.
    Either way, ordinary decent people will shrug and think “Stupid bitch, she had it coming”, and continue to get on with their lives.
    In the meantime she will make as many peoples lives as uncomfortable as she can, precisely because she has none of her own.

  • Still thinking on this one – if a car blocks a fire exit why on earth would you clamp it? Surely this makes a potentially hazardous situation even worse. Is towing it away not a better option?

    I really would have enjoyed the sour award if that had been the case.

  • carl

    No her car was in a disabled parking. I saw it with my own two eyes. And I won’t worry too much about her not paying a fine. The exposure of our friend 6000 and his contacts is more worth than all the fines for all Cape Town’s disabled bay. Rock on Chris von Ulmenstein. The walls are watching!

  • Gerhard

    Is this the same Chris von Ulmenstein who called the Cape Town Tourism CEO a fat fraud? When karma bitch-slaps you she sometimes does so in the most unexpected ways. It seems like CTT has friends in higher places.

  • Love what you’ve done with your tag line 6K.
    I wish people would say such complimentary and deeply rewarding things about us. What a “the kettle is black” thing for this CvU to say about you.

    I’m in Joburg, and have no reference for – or interest in – the whale woman. But having just spent a bit of time reading a couple of her posts (including this sour award thing of hers) and some of the many comments about her in various places, it seems to me that if anyone is damaging reputations, it is her.

    She comes across as rather vindictive, self-important and pompous in my opinion.

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  • Derek

    This woman is crazy and should be sent too jail or a mental institute…she is rude and confused and does not know what she wants.She is any Business worst nightmare and should be avoided at all costs.If you see her pull up in her Merc with the reg number Whales WP lock your doors.

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