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A Meeting with a Motorcycle

In the past I have written about driving here in the Philippines. Driving here makes New York taxi drivers look like little old ladies in an Edsel.

Well there is something new to comment about and that is Motorcycle Drivers here. I think they feel they are immortal. They drive any place they think they can fit even if at high speeds. They weave around traffic, drive between moving cars, on the right side, the left side and if there is no place, they move over to the incoming traffic lanes.

My house is on a main road with a lot of traffic. Also the house is just past a curve. A little over a month ago, I was coming home and at the house. Elena had opened the gate. As I waited for oncoming traffic to let me in there were cars backed up behind me. Finally an opening in the traffic and I started my turn. As I was almost at the gate when I feel a shock and hear a crash. Some guy on a motorcycle from around the blind curve moved over to the oncoming lane, gunned his gas and crashed into the driver’s door of my car.
I looked out and see a motorcycle and driver spread out on the ground. I jumped out and asked if he was ok. I got no response so I called out to Elena to call 911. The driver then got up and said “No 911 please”.

We moved his motorcycle into our yard and then I moved my car out of traffic. The driver luckily just banged up a finger and scraped one foot a little. Even though he was very shaken up. We gave him some water to drink and ice for his finger.

It turned out he has a “Professional” drivers license and drives for a family here in Davao. He did not want 911 called because he could loose his license and then would be out of a job.

I told him how he is going to pay for my damages. He told me he would leave his motorcycle and registration at my house for collateral. The next day we went to the dealership to get an estimate of the repairs. When I bought the car, there was a promo that I got one year’s insurance with the purchase. I thought it would just be liability insurance, not full coverage. I was wrong, I had total coverage. The service writer said that all would be covered and there was a 10,000 peso deductible. She also said she could not order the parts, one being a new door, until the deductible was paid. I was in a dilemma if I should pay it and wait for the driver to reimburse me. Well, 2 days later, a Saturday, he called to tell us he would have the money by Monday.

Monday, after we got the call that the deductible was paid, we went back to write up all the damages and what was needed. The service writer noticed other scratches and dings around the car and would have it all taken car of and it will be covered by the insurance.

Then the wait started. I was told to take care home and use it since it could take about 3 weeks for the parts to come from Manila. I was thankful that even though the door was badly dented the window still worked.
Well last week we got the call that the parts were in and to get the car washed first before bringing it is so they can note all the places that need to be fixed. While we were looking at the car, I asked the service writer if she could trim the tinting on the front windshield and partway on the front side windows. This is because when I first got the car I was advised it would be a good idea to have the windows tinted. This is because being a “Foreigner” it is better if people cannot see in. Well I had dark tinting on the rear and sides and a medium tint on the windshield. Even with the medium tint, at night it is hard to see people or vehicles without lights on. Also at night I usually drove with the side windows open to see the mirrors.

The service writer showed me a tint that is like a mirror to the outside and clear from the inside both day and night. I asked her how much that would cost me and she said she would have it covered with the insurance.

Well, now it is taxis to and from work. It isn’t too bad except I do not come home for lunch. It is also good since the cost of gasoline here keeps going up. Regular Unleaded is now at 49.53 pesos per liter which is $4.44 per gallon.

To save money for lunch I also go to one of the Carendaria’s with some of my coworkers. A Carendaria is a little open air restaurant. There are many along most main roads. The one we go to has about 5 tables, plastic stools to sit on and they have about 8 different items to choose from. There are 2 vegetable dishes, some pork, chicken and beef. With it you get a plate of rice and a bowl of soup broth. The quantity is not large but it is enough for me. A vegetable dish is 16 pesos ( 16 cents) and a meat dish is 21 pesos (50 cents). A few of us usually share a liter of coke for 5 pesos each.

So, I am now saving money on gas and food. The bad part is not seeing Elena until the evening, but that is how life would have been in the states.

One Response to “A Meeting with a Motorcycle”

  1. brspiritus says:

    Sounds like you’re just having a fun time over there Bruce. Hope things get better for you soon. Currently i’m in Florida with my dad just waiting to go up to Ak June 1st.

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