Christmas Eve at the Police Station
So, how did you spend Christmas Eve this year? I spent mine in the local Police Station. Here's the story:
I caught a ride with my friend Justin to Costco to pick up some food for Christmas. On the way there, a delivery truck was doing some severe tailgaiting (Not uncommon in this part of the world). Justin braked slightly a few times to get the guy to back off... but he didn't. Finally, Justin put his hand out the window and motioned for the guy to go around us.
The truck driver though that Justin had given him the finger, so he pulled up beside us, looked down into my window, then drove his truck into our lane (while we were still there!) He swiped the side of Justin's car, scratching the paint and denting the side a bit, but nobody was hurt at all. Then the guy stopped his truck right infront of us, and as Justin got out of the car, he got out of his truck and started pushing Justin. He refused to give us his lisence #, insurance or phone numbers (all of which drivers are required by law to exchange after an accident). As it happened, a Korean friend of ours was driving by and saw us all standing around in the middle of the road, so he stopped and translated for us and called the police.
The cops came, took our statements, then escorted us all to the police station. We sat around while the cops gave the truck driver a lecture on recklessness. Then, the police asked where we were from. We said "Canada", which then prompted the cop to give the driver a lecture on being kind and showing a good face to foreigners. Finally, after some discussion, the police suggested that it would save everyone a lot of trouble if we didn't engage the insurance companies, and agreed to let the guy pay us in cash for the damage(!?). So then we had to wait for a guy from a local autobody shop to come in and estimate the cost of the damage. (about $100) Then we had to wait for the guy to go to the bank machine and get the money. We were a little skeptical of a cash transactio, but the the cops mentioned that this was really the best way ~ it would save them paperwork, it would save us the time and trouble of engaging translators to help us process the paperwork, and Justin wouldn't actually have to get his car fixed he could just pocket the money! lovely.
The nice part of all this is that as we were in the police station, a gentle snowfall (the first of the year here) made it look a little bit like Christmas Eve afterall.