Being right and wrong at the same time


Dear Hillary,

While driving up a small street in the suburbs the other afternoon I saw at the last minute it had been blocked off.  I went to do a U-Turn because of the blockage and then in the rear vision mirror I saw a taxi coming up behind me at a great rate of knots.  By the time he saw both me and the barricade in front of me it was too late and he lost control of his bike and slid sideways into the rear bumper of my car.  My car had no damage and he was not severely injured, just a few barked knuckles, and the motorcycle only had a few scratches, but he demanded payment from me.  As I was in a hurry to get to an appointment, my Thai friend who was with me said to offer 500 baht and we eventually struck a deal at 1000 baht and that was it.  Away he went.  What I don’t understand is why I had to pay anything at all?  He was going too fast and ran into me.  Why should I pay anything?  It makes me angry.

Confused Motorist

Dear Confused Motorist,

There are lots of ways at looking at your accident.  You could have called the police and waited around and gone to the station to make a report and allowed the nice policeman to deliberate whether the poor little taxi bike rider was to blame, or the angry farang.  There is also the viewpoint that in any accident with two moving vehicles it is extremely rare to see one 100 percent in the right and the other 100 percent in the wrong.  Could the taxi bike afford to pay for treatment for his barked knuckles and the damage to his bike?  You would do better, my Petal, to consider it a donation which allowed you not to have to waste several hours of your time.  I believe your Thai friend gave you good advice, but the choice is always yours.  Hope you have lots of time up your sleeve.