It’s a sad day when the title to a favorite song of mine (The band is Great Big Sea…great band!) gets ruined by the reality of this place. It’s even more pathetic when it affects me personally.
I live in an apartment building, and have to park my car on the street. It’s a fairly wide street. Plenty of room. I’ve had a couple of slight dings from people (mostly pedestrians walking near the car) to the mirror, but that’s just par for the course around here. Usually I just find out the next morning and the asshole who did it is nowhere to be found. That wasn’t the case tonight.
3am. My Filipina wakes me up. Someone has hit my car. Fuck me. So I go downstairs and, sure enough, the car has been hit.
That’s my front bumper hanging, my tire flat, my front fender creased to all hell, and what’s left of my mirror just hanging there. By my estimate, over 20,000 pesos in damages, if I can even find the mirror housing to replace it with. Can’t just replace one tire, have to replace both tires. Fender repair as well. *sigh*
Sitting on a running scooter nearby is the drunk. The Barangay “police” are around him as well. Apparently, no one is bothered that a drunk who just ran into a car and is bleeding all over the place is sitting on a scooter with the motor running. Of course the idiot doesn’t speak English. Neither does the owner of the scooter who let his drunk friend borrow it. I also find out that the drunk is an unemployed “student” who somehow had the money to get drunk.
With my Filipina’s help, I get the pleasure of hearing that he is so so very sorry, but he didn’t hit my car. He had his accident 30 feet away where he was sitting now. He doesn’t know how my car got damaged. If it wasn’t for the reek of his alcohol and focusing on keeping my cool (my Filipina begged me to stay calm), I’d have caused a lot more bleeding than he was suffering from…just for insulting my intelligence.
So, after a bunch of standing around for no reason I can think of, it’s off to the Barangay Hall. They load the scooter up into the van with the drunk idiot, and meanwhile me and my Filipina have to find our own way to the Barangay hall. We get there, and it’s sit and wait…sit and wait. The drunk idiot is there, bleeding on the floor. His buddy trying to keep him awake. Eventually it dawns on people that he needs to go to the hospital. So while waiting for the transport to bring him to the hospital, I get this prize winning gem from the owner of the scooter:
“Sir, I am so sorry. I will pay for the damages…once I get a job.”
Say what?? You don’t have a job, and you have the stupidity of letting your drunk friend drive your scooter, and you want me to just drop everything and TRUST that you’re going to pay me back…when and IF you get a job someday?? We’re looking at at least 20,000 pesos in damages here, and I’m just going to trust that you’ll pay for my damages someday? Sorry. I’m following through on this. There HAS to be some sort of legal follow-through on this, right?
An hour later, we’re still sitting there while some guy in a polo shirt is HAND WRITING the details in a log book. Yes. This is the “official” report. Meanwhile, the drunk, who as it turns out, is an unemployed “student”, is carted off to the hospital. There was blood on the floor where he sat. They did get a mop and sort of clean it up. Yep, you guessed it. I got up, grabbed the mop, and did the job right.
Meanwhile, there was an obnoxious drunk there who, instead of being supervised, kept harassing a woman there on her own matter (I think the drunk punched her husband’s car). I waited to see if anyone was going to handle him. They all just sat there. So yep, you guessed it. I maneuvered him away from the woman…twice. 3 barangay officers just sitting nearby, so I have to do their job for them.
Finally, the blotter is filled out. It’s then I find out how this goes. The scooter and my car have to be towed to some place else in the city, where the matter is “settled”. Guess what? I have to pay for the tow.
And that’s it! No follow up details on how it gets settled. Nothing. Just wait for someone to call, I guess. I have no idea how this car is going to be paid for, but it’s my guess that the kid will cry poor, they’ll assume I have an ATM in my home to just pull money out of, and that’ll be that. No consequences…not a one. Just a bunch of “sorry!” said over and over again, like that’s going to pay for my car.
And I’m not even going to get into the stupidity of driving drunk. I’m just too fucking tired to connect the dots on that one.
Fuckin’ Philippines….Published in