Monday, August 30, 2010

An accident waiting to happen

Quite recently i purchased a motorcycle. Like most people where i live i didn't have the cash but managed to find an outlet offering favourable monthly terms. So i'm now the proud owner of a Honda Click 125. No gears,just twist and go. Perfect!
                                The journey to work takes about 20 minutes or even less if it looks like its going to rain. All things considered i think of myself as a safe and observant road user.
                                There is a stretch of road on the way home that i call a "fast road". It's straight and free from potholes and it's quite easy to find yourself afflicted with "throttle creep". Before you know it you can be going along at quite a lick. Returning home from work one afternoon i found myself in just such a situation.
                                 I was fast approaching a point where a small dirt track joins the road. The track runs alongside the main road at something like a 30 degree angle before joining it at an almost blind junction. So it's just as well that anyone travelling along the track has a perfect view of the main road for about 200 yards before they join it.    I was scooting along the main road at a fair rate of knots when i looked over and saw a middle aged women bouncing along the dirt track at a similar speed. As we both approached the blind junction it was fairly obvious that we would arrive there at the same time. I saw her look directly at me on 3 or 4 occasions so she had definitely seen me and would slow down to a stop at the junction. Wouldn't she?
                            Not a bit of it! She looked right at me and pulled straight out. There was oncoming traffic so the only way to avoid her was to perform a deft out-in swerve. Everything happened so quickly at the last second that i was more angry than scared but i knew i had used up another life as i missed her by inches. As i looked in my mirror i saw her perform a u-turn and head back up the dirt track.
                           The very next day i was coming home along the same stretch at pretty much the same time. I looked to my left and saw the same woman on the dirt track..... You've guessed it. She did exactly the same thing as the day before. I couldn't believe it but this time i was ready and simply glided out to the centre of the road and passed her easily.
                         When i got home i told Laong about the two incidents. She was quite certain that the woman had tried to "stage" an accident in order to gain financially from the situation. If she had succeeded on the first day , i would almost certainly have been killed. Laong wanted to lay in wait at the junction the next day and "have a word with her". I knew that this wouldn't be a good idea. I remember Laong "having a word" with a girl who was purposely standing in front of a karaoke screen to prevent Laong from seeing the words. Laong smashed an unopened bottle of whiskey over her head!
                      I persuaded Laong to stay at home and the next day,sure enough, the women was there again. This time she was hiding behind the small tin shed that made the junction blind. But i saw her front wheel sticking out and slowed to a stop in front of her.  I challenged her in Thai and asked her what her problem was and what she wanted every day. She looked sheepishly at the floor and with a tight lipped expression she turned and headed back up the dirt track from whence she came.
                             I suppose it was just another case of trying to extract money from a farang. She hadn't worked out that i don't have any money. That's why i have to work. But i expect that my meagre salary probably represents 3 or 4 times the amount of her monthly income.   I haven't seen her since. I don't really blame her for trying to do what she did and i bear her no malice.   Laong, on the other hand, would still like to "have a word " with her.

11 comments:

  1. Hi Tom Yam, I'm a bit shocked to hear this. The fact that this woman would be willing to put your life and her life in danger for the chance to make a bit of money is scary. Hopefully she will now get the message and look for a more sensible way to make her fortune.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Tom, I (sort of) understand why the woman would go to such lengths to extract money from you...but find it incredible that she would so obviously continue to do so. I wonder how many attempts she would have made, had you not confronted her?

    If I ever meet Laong, I'll be sure to stay on her good side and keep the whiskey bottles out of sight ;)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hi Tom
    Im the lesser half of snap aka stray ...mm i better explain by lesser i mean in the looks department and all so stray the aka is not so by nature but coming from the way i hit a golf ball.Ive read and enjoyed your blog thanks for sharing
    I was just saying to snap this Tom must be a good bloke as he enjoys golf and tigers.
    Well take care and keep sharing .
    cheers>>>:)

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hi Paul,
    As you know, life is cheap in Asia. The woman probably put a small price on her own life and nothing at all on mine.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Hi Stray and Snap,
    Thanks for checking in guys. You two are really on countdown now. Sorry to hear things are not going smoothly in the planning department but i'm sure it will all be ok. As you guys say "she'll be right mate"

    ReplyDelete
  6. Tom that's a hairy story but one which doesn't surprise me at all. I haven't heard of a similar story but we all have read about the different kind of scams pulled in Thailand. If I was you I'd have my brakes and eyesight checked regularly.

    What happened to your betting tips site, I went to go on it the other day and its gone.

    I've finally set my own one up at http://www.bet-thread.com/

    ReplyDelete
  7. Hi Martyn,
    I'm always very careful out on the road but the art of road safety here is being able to second guess what other road users are going to do.
    As for the betting site, i just haven't got time to maintain it!

    ReplyDelete
  8. "I haven't seen her since. I don't really blame her for trying to do what she did and i bear her no malice. "

    'bear her no malice'? - mate you want your head read! Perhaps you have had a bit too much of the tropical sun!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Hi ANONYMOUS,
    Sounds like you have had NO tropical sun. It sounds like you are one of those been nowhere,done nothing types who have no understanding of what motivates the actions of someone from a foreign culture. Just imagine how desperate someone must be to risk their life for a small financial gain. I'm guessing someone like you will never be in that position.
    Thanks for your comment. I await your further thoughts with interest.

    ReplyDelete