What Could Happen?!

Mission Accomplished

Mission Accomplished

Thursday afternoon when the main programs of the conference had ended Juha and I decided to go in search of some trinkets to take home as souvenirs.  Even though the main place for such things, the weekend market, was not open we were directed to JJ Market (an indoor shopping mall) and found some nice things to take home.  Mission accomplished!

With a little time to kill before the closing ceremony and dinner we decided to take a taxi into the center of town so that I could look for a new place to stay.  (I’ll be happy to leave the Maruay Garden behind me.)

So, traffic is always heavy in Bangkok, nothing like Hanoi but still congested with lots of little scooters darting in and out of the road and in between cars.  This became a problem for us when we were stopped and leaving the taxi and just as I opened the card door next to the curb (literately it was right next to the curb) a scooter slammed into the open door.

Stop Pig Sacrifices!!

Stop Pig Sacrifices!!

Luckily no one was hurt and the incident did not escalate into violence but I was a little concern, to say the least, that things might take a turn for the worse.  I don’t think that I did anything wrong opening the car door, in stopped traffic next to a curb but let’s face facts – I am a stranger in a strange land and I was in no position to argue my case in downtown Bangkok.

One thing I decided was to get the police involved because I did not want to try to settle things on the street and when I think things are OK, find out that the locals would make more demands.  So after Juha and I, the taxi driver, the scooter drive, the police, 2 westerners and two other Thais came to an agreement (we needed this many people to work through the language problems) I paid 2,500 Bhat for damages to the scooter.  (This is about $70USD.

In hindsight, this was a small price to pay to get out of something that could have gotten very sticky!  And here is a tip for anyone traveling in a foreign country – always have cash on had to settle any differences!

Comments are closed.