Last week it was tires, this week it was a fender bender.
It happened like this: I’m at the house, the Twins (Mayang and Clara) are in Olongapo with the car paying bills and shopping. They were at Globe paying the monthly cell phone bill. Upon finishing that Mayang was pulling into traffic to turn left. The Jeepney was stopped to let her turn, when an older L-300 Van went to the right of the Jeepney and hit the right hand front fender on the Honda. (No one was hurt!)
If you’ve ever been in a traffic accident or just saw one from the side of the road here in the Philippines, you’ll understand that here, it’s an occasion. And not to be taken lightly, it the street was empty when it happened it will be full within a New York minute. People will parachute in.
All the witnesses were on my wife’s side (Can you imagine that) and were caught up in frenzy (Not the Frenzy they advertise on TV, albeit that would have been a sight to see). That’s just a little back ground, now I’ll try to tell you the story as it was relayed to me by the twins, once more in stereo.
The phone rings, and I answer; “Honey-honey, me and Clara are fine!” Let me explain why I now knew it was a traffic accident! Early in our marriage I told her that if it happens, all I want to know is, “Is everyone alright?” Knowing that, then it’s just a car that can be fixed or replaced. The saga continues, an elderly Kano climbed out of the L-300 and was awash in a sea of agitated Filipinos, and he was shaking and telling Mayang that he was at fault and would pay for any damage. But under no circumstances wanted the police involved. (That really should have been a clue)
Back to me on the phone; “Mahal he offered P 2,000.00 for the damage, and said if it cost more he’d pay the extra. She took the deal, plus his information and the street was cleared and the 200 witnesses disbursed. All were quite happy to see my wife receive the pesos from a Kano. When the car arrived at home, with the Twins later that day, they showed me the damage, P 2,000.00, the smuck overpaid me. I could have caused more damage with my sponge while washing the car.
But there is still a lot more to this cautionary tale, not all Kano’s are as honest as we’d like to believe. The phone number he gave was bogus; the name he gave was phony and he gave the wrong apartment number at the address he said he lived. So I called the Hotel he named. And the nice lady gave me all his correct info. The idiot should have given a phony hotel also, not just the apartment number. She knew who he was from my wife’s description, and was not very fond of him either.
The L-300 Van he was driving was borrowed; I wonder what story the owner was given, if they were told at all? Since I now had his real name, and knew he was (I hate to say it) an American, I called a friend at the “Retired Military Affairs Office” and asked if he knew him. Thankfully he was not a former U.S. Military man, but they knew him very well, as did the local police, and other people he’d done wrong to.
I was angry and was going to Baloy Beach the next day to speak to the guy, when my friend said; “Paul, you got the money, and this puke is not worth your time or energy, his day will come.” So I agreed, it’s just not worth it. But you know if someday, I’m on Baloy Beach having a cocktail, and Mayang points him out to me… Well; that’s another story I might write for “LIP”, I still choose to live here, but unfortunately we just can’t choose everyone else that does.