Saturday, December 09, 2006

Watch your butt! This is Korea.

I had a fender bender the other day. Isn't it funny that I use a term like "fender bender" when the time has long since passed that anybody has a fender that could even remotely be bent any longer? More like 'fender shattering experience' -- but that just ain't pithy and it doesn't have a ring to it either.

Nothing to get excited about really. Some retard was a bit too eager to get to the ticket booth of the parkade after me. When I failed to get out of his way in traditional bali, bali (hurry, hurry) Korean fashion he moved forward far too quickly for such close quarters and busted a hole in my back bumper.

He came out of his car claiming loudly that I was at fault only to be dumbfounded by my flat denial of fault. His attempts to brow-beat me into accepting full fault and therefore paying him a tidy settlement fee to avoid insurance company involvement resulted in his need to follow through on his veiled-threat to call the police.

"Sure go ahead and call the police, buddy".

Sadly, my car did slide back (some 12-15 cm) because of the incline that I was on, as standards tend to do unless you move pretty fast from the break to the gas and so the insurance companies agreed to lay the fault upon me 80% because the dorky parkade attendant did not witness him pushing the gas-pedal with the gusto that I know he used.

I do take a little pride in knocking the Korean prince's chip off his shoulder for a moment, even if he is just going to think I was a dumb foreigner for doing it. No, in Canada we do not tend to accelerate very quickly in closed spaces and yes, we do tend to wait for the people in front of us to get out of the way before we barrel ahead.

I must admit I am a bit dumbfounded by the police as well. There is no way that the damage from this accident exceeded USD$500 and yet they came promptly at the prince's behest. Canadian police do not want to have anything to do with an accident that is less than $1000 damage -- so what gives with Korea I ask once again in yet another form.
So, I think that guy is pretty unhappy that his premiums will be going up all because he was a stupid rabbit. Anyway, I just take it in stride as I think it is a miracle that this was my first accident considering how many close calls have happened over the last few months.

One such close call involved a dump truck barrelling down upon me as I waited patiently at a red light. I was staring into my rear view mirror watching it speed closer moment by moment.

Until I made a split second decision to drive into the empty intersection risking a ticket for running the red light in order to avoid getting pushed into the intersection and probably getting a nasty neck injury to boot. Yes, my driving has definitely become more wily since that incident. But not wily enough.

The lesson I learned:

Watch your butt around Koreans.

You definitely have to watch it in the kindergarten classroom because those little fingers poke up your butt before the little rascals can say dongchim (a Korean term for poking people in the butt, a major past time for youngsters hereabouts) and now I know you have to watch your butt at red lights and yes even in the parkades too.

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