Man, traffic accidents suck when you are part of them. They only suck a little less when they are not your fault (at least you hope they are not your fault – Japanese rules are different).
It was a cloudy and slightly drizzling day and I was heading in to Yoga (a city in Tokyo – not the health club activity)
on my way to the Starbucks to have a quick meeting with a friend of mine. A few drops here and there. The roads were still wet so, as always, I was driving a little more carefully at the time.
I had just turned onto a street in a residential area and had been just minding my own business when someone decided they were no longer obligated to obey traffic signs on rainy days. This person pulled out in front of me and didn’t stop, even after I honked my horn continuously, until they made absolutely sure that they could hear the crunch of awesome Suzuki Address plastic and metal crushed into the front left quarter panel of their Suzuki Swift car. That did it for them. Now they stopped. New rule – “If you don’t stop at the stop sign, please stop at the sound of crunching metal and plastic.”
So now what. I am American and I really do not speak enough of the language to do much more than express my anger with gnashing of teeth and waving of fists – but alas – nothing came of that. The woman (obviously, men never drive through stop signs) was very apologetic. She tried to see if I was hurt and wanted to know if the ambulance should be called – I said no and that I thought I was ok. So she went ahead and called the police.
The police arrived on his bicycle (yes, bicycle)
and asked if we were ok and then started listening to the lady tell her side of the story. This was ok as my side of the story required a higher AI level than Google Translate could provide but I did have a Japanese nearby and he was on his way to rescue me from this horrible dilemma.
My friend arrived and proceeded to call my insurance company for me and get the basics out to them about how my inability to speak Japanese was in no way to be construed as any admission of guilt.
After I get some more info about the status of my scooter and my insurance company games – they consider every one at some percentage of fault – or at least try to – I will update this info.
Updates to come… stay tuned.
Update video (part 1 of many)
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