Saturday, September 18, 2010

The Accident

Hi everyone! I've still been lacking the desire to blog with any kind of recurring schedule, and i'm learning to accept it for the moment. Regardless, interesting or noteworthy things still happen. Here's a story from the week after we returned from Indo.

So, we come back from Indonesia and hang out for a week, still blissed-out from the awesomeness. The weekend rolls around and i'm off at frisbee practice while therese is with nina at the park. They too are playing frisbee, not far from their stuff, but far enough to get her iphone stolen from her bag. Which is a lame thing for the universe to do. But it gets worse for poor ace.

The next day, she gets hit by a car while riding her bike. It was his fault, without a doubt, and he was cool enough to give her all the contact info and agreed to cover any damages. He wasn't going too fast, but still hit her hard. She was lucky and not severely injured, nothing broken, a few scrapes and bruises, mostly pissed off and in shock. Here's what happened, courtesy of this.

The next day, he met her at the hospital to get some things checked out. Now, this guy doesn't speak a word of english, and therese's Chinese is purely for survival situations. Helen Lu (thank you so much!) had been calling the guy all day to ensure we would have no problems with him. At about 7pm, therese calls me and says the guy won't pay, and please come to the hospital. I get there and figure out the situation.

The guy is angry because therese went to a foreign hospital where they speak English, instead of a local Chinese hospital. He says he will only pay, at most 500RMB ($75) because that's what a local place would charge. His exact words were something like, "In China, we are accustomed to paying only about two or three hundred RMB for an accident like this." Therese's visit bill was 2200RMB, with another 3000RMB recommended for physical therapy. This is not a trivial amount to the average person in China; it's probably a month's salary, possibly two. The guy goes on to explain how this is all very inconvenient to him. REALLY? Oh no you didn't!

I get furious and have my first experience with being angry at someone in Chinese. Therese knew it, and the guy definitely knew it. I rattled off a rant to the effect of "You are not the one inconvenienced, it is my girlfriend who has been hit by a car, cannot walk, cannot go to work, and is in pain. None of this was her fault. It was YOUR fault. You did this. You are responsible for EVERYTHING." I was visibly and audibly upset.

He eventually agreed to pay 3000RMB, which i felt was fair, given that therese's insurance would reimburse her for the visit anyway. We could use that money for the physical therapy. Poor therese had been at the hospital from 4-9:30, and could have left at six had this guy just paid the bill. We rewarded our efforts with sushi and sake.

Now it's been about 4 weeks and she's basically recovered and the doctor says she can start running again soon. He just wants her to take it easy and not mess anything up before she's healed.

I think i can finally say my Chinese classes have begun paying for themselves!


1 comment:

Liz said...

Are cars very cheap in China? Because if they are priced like in the US, the guy could probably afford just fine to pay you guys 3000RMB, right?