Tuesday, January 15, 2008


There is no free will. There are no variables. There is only the inevitable.”  Chuck Palahniuk

The inevitable happened today.  I got hit by a car.  Okay, maybe "hit" is too strong a word.  I guess it was more like a "tap."  Anyway, a car touched in an inappropriate way at an inappropriate time.

After my other near-misses with Korea's awful drivers (see "Why I'm afraid to cross the street" and "Driving and Parking: Crosswalks"), I have been very careful:  looking both ways two or three times, sticking to crosswalks 99% of the time, and not wearing my black sweatshirt at night.

Nonetheless, many Korean drivers are still reckless (not wreck-less mind you) and stupid when it comes to driving, and downright flippant when it comes to the safety of pedestrians.

Today, I was walking through a crosswalk near my school.  Its well-marked, but doesn't have a light associated with it.  I'm a little more than half-way through the intersection when this car makes a quick right-hand turn toward me.  He didn't have his turn-signal on, and seemed to be too concerned with clearing the narrow space with the car next to him to be worried about what he might be hitting ahead.  He slammed on his brakes just a few inches from me.

Then, before I even have time to react, he lets off his brakes and rolls forward!  The bumper taps my leg.  He stopped again.  Was he trying to push me out of his way?  Instead of a look of shock, or embarrassment after hitting a pedestrian in the crosswalk, he looks thoroughly annoyed.

This is what we in the education field call, "a teachable moment."  Since I'm a teacher by training and profession, I decided to teach him a lesson.  I pounded my fists on the front of the car and and shouted at him and pointed to the crosswalk beneath his car and my feet.  When my scolding was finished, I got out from in front of his car and went on my way.

I hope he learned his lesson.


“Feeling right is a strong drug. Some people sacrifice a lot to be right. Ever hear the expression 'dead right'?” Peter McWilliams

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