May 23, 2010

Here we are, Sunday.

Again, to go back in recent history.

I’ve recently become ‘friends’ with a person from England who’s birthday is the same as mine. If my memory is still intact, the difference is that we were born the same day, month, and year, and 10 minutes difference for our respective countries. Anyhow, he had mentioned to me that there are four dates during the month that are considered good days. 4, 13, 22, and 31. Now, considering that not all months have 31 days, that still means about 3 or 4 days each month are considered good days.

I honestly don’t put a lot of thought into numerology, but for the hell of it, I thought I’d see what these days bring this month. Now, taking into consideration that I am on the other side of the planet, and that my actual days would be governed by where I was born, then there’s always the off chance that these days may be out by one day. Therefore, by my dates, 5, 14, 23, and 32?? Okay, doesn’t really work, but who cares.

Back to today.

The meeting with the person who rammed into me and I was scheduled for 9:30 this morning. I got there about 9:20, and who should be pulling in right behind me, but him! Calm down. No need to get angry, right? I cordially said hello. No response. Alright.

Before going in, I had made a list of some of the crap that has ‘cost’ me during these past few days. You may or may not agree with my calculations, but that’s my concern.

1. Old computer destroyed 27,000nt
2. New computer 14,700nt
3. Missed classes 7,200nt (12 classes at BASIC rate of 600nt/hr)
4. Repairs to scooter ??
5. Medical attention ??
6. Time to replace everyting ??

Total so far, 48,900nt.

We sit down with the police officer. This other person is a student. Okay. His father was with him, as were a friend and I suppose a wife of the friend. Other side, Janice (my translator) and I. Discussions each way about what happened. The other person, apparently, has no English name, so for ease of writing, I’ll just call him, hmm, JOHN.

JOHN says he is not sure what colour the light was when he entered the intersection. Well, I remember CLEARLY pointing out to him that HIS light was red, so don’t tell me you don’t remember. I know that there is NO WAY IN HELL that I would go through a red light, jump a red light, nor, when possible, go through an amber light. My driver training and testing taught me not to that. In fact, on very stormy evening in Ottawa many years ago, I was unable to stop safely at an amber light, and was immediately pulled over and given a ticket. If there had been less wet snow, perhaps I could have stopped in time without having cars piled on top of me. Nonetheless…

I guess then the topic of what I was seeking in return of not having this go to court. Janice relayed the above information. Then mentioned that all I was basically asking for was the cost of the two computers. My personal reason is that the computer was already 2 years old, so why claim the full replacement value.

Anyway, JOHN’s father’s friend starts scoffing and yelling at me. I look at Janice. She says that he thought it was too much. I look at JOHN and ask who this person is: father – no; grandpa – no; uncle – no. Who? A friend of the family.

Okay, so this person has NO BEARING on anything that is going on. Hell, he’s not even able to speak in English, so he has no say whatsoever in any of these negotiations. That’s when I flipped out – literally!

I asked, no, TOLD JOHN that this person shouldn’t even be here, and who is he to say what is or is not acceptable payment? If this is the way it’s going to be, I don’t have a problem going to court, and be guaranteed, the amount will be a HELL of a lot higher, JOHN would definitely be paying higher insurance rates, and probably lose his license. So get this ‘friend’ out of here.

I stressed to JOHN that “I” was the person in the middle of the road; “I” was the one who lost a computer; “I” was the one with the green light (as with many others); “I” am the one who has the sprained arm (which they could ALL clearly see). I thought this poor kid was going to start to cry.

I explained (and hopefully, was translated), that I’m not wanting to see this go any further than where we were today. He’s a student. He knows how important a computer is to not only himself, but what it must be for me having classes. He also knows the Junior High School that I teach at, and coincidentally, his alma mater.

Okay, so I took a little pity on him, and realized that he really isn’t a bad kid. Just someone who made an error in judgement, and this is where he is. His father, like the ‘friend’ thought the amount was a little high. Okay, so let me have your phone for a moment. I’ll erase EVERYTHING on it, and give it back. How’s that? He sort of swallowed a bit and I guess it suddenly dawned on him what I’m dealing with!

He turns to his father, and says something. Janice tells me that he’s telling his dad that he understands fully what I’m dealing with – not just the pain in my wrist, the damage to my scooter, the loss of computer – and wants to make good. He is sorry, and honestly, I am as well. He agreed to pay the 40,000nt.

While we were in the office signing the papers, I guess, basically saying that we were going to settle out of court, I gave him a hug and told him that I’m not upset. However, I am glad that he understood my situation, and is willing to rectify all this as people, and not have to go to court.

I really could tell that he was sorry. And, as I said before and felt even more so, that he is not a bad person. I just think that he was in the wrong place at the wrong time, doing the wrong thing, and realizes it.

Now, how to get the other 749,999 other people in Tainan to understand this!


1 Comment

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One response to “May 23, 2010

  1. Scott J.

    Nice that he will make good on what he did.
    Unfortunate that it takes that kind of a tongue-lashing to understand.
    Good show!!

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