Police Run-In

Posted by Garth on Monday, September 15, 2008

Saturday night I stayed at gf's place cuz she had the day off on Sunday.  Parked my rented beater outside where I always do when I go there and thought nothing of it.  Sunday morning we come downstairs around 11 and I start the car, and all of a sudden there's some Thai lady yelling something at us in Thai.  Gf tells me to shut the car off for a minute and goes over and talks to her.  Apparently the big semi that's parked in front of me backed into my car and hit the front right corner.  And it just so happened that there was a cop there when he did it.  Since they didn't know who my car belonged to (and likely assumed it was a Thai, not a farang) the cop took this guy's keys and had him wait at the police station until I went down there to swap insurance info or whatever.  Now, given what I've both read and heard from talking to local farangs, apparently if I get in an accident, whether it's my fault or not, I'm supposed to just keep on driving.  Seems that there's a little onesidedness when it comes to Thai justice, and no matter who's at fault, the farang is.  So I was a little wary about going to the police station, even though the accident occurred while my car was parked.  But I had gf with me to act as my lawyer and translator, so figured I'd be ok.

Went down to the cop shop and the driver of the semi was sitting there waiting patiently.  Seems the infraction occurred 2 hours earlier, so he'd been twiddling his thumbs since then.  I'm sure that when they realized that I was a farang and not a Thai they were kicking themselves for even bothering to report it.  But everybody seemed cool.  The cop had already taken this guy's statement and didn't ask me for one (obviously, since I wasn't around).  Before I signed it I had gf read it over and make sure it was on the up and up.  That's another thing that I've read... don't sign anything that a cop hands you to sign unless you get it translated / read by a lawyer first.  But since it appeared to be ok I signed it.  After that we went downstairs to some other cop who apparently spoke (better?) English and proceeded to literally copy the printed statement into some book by hand.  Definitely not the most efficient system.  The driver had to pay some sort of fine at this point, then we agreed to meet back up at 7 for his insurance guy to assess the damage to my car.

On my way back to the frat house the owner of the car called me (apparently he'd received a call when his vehicle had been reported as being in an accident) and thought, given that the incident occurred in Patong, that I'd been drunk driving and totalled the car, or something to that effect.  When I told him it happened while the car was parked and I was sleeping he relaxed a bit.  Took it back to him and swapped for an upgrade.  At 7pm I went back over to his bar and we waited for the driver and his insurance dude.  They came by, took some pictures, filled out some forms and went on their merry way.  Well, actually it wasn't so merry.  But I guess that's the way of insurance folks.  So, while the car is being repaired I have an upgraded version.  Though the upgrade includes automatic transmission, which kinda sucks cuz I was really enjoying driving stick again.  Hopefully it won't take too long to get fixed.  Ironically the owner got a call as the insurance guy was there, asking if he had an automatic he could rent for a month... and he'd given me his last one as a replacement.  C'est la vie I suppose.


Vinhsanity said...

Did you just write a short story about Reporting a fender-bender?

Garth said...

Ya dude... but it was a THAILAND fender bender. Capisce? I'm lucky to be alive!

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