Saturday, March 21, 2009
A morning of drama
We had an interesting morning. We were on our way out of our hotel this morning (a rainy morning in Shanghai...the first time it has rained in the day on this trip) and our driver who was going to turn right slammed on the brakes. He had hit a man who was crossing in front of the bus holding his umbrella up in front of his face. The man was hit (not seriously...although he has a bump and a slight cut) in the forehead by the front mirror and somehow his umbrella was also broken. Not exactly sure what happened although Scott said he saw it happen. The sequence of events to follow was most interesting. They called the police who came after about 10 minutes. The driver yelled, the man who got hit yelled and our guide told us they were negotiating how much the fine would be and who would have to pay it. After about 45 minutes of negotiating the police took some pictures and drove to go back to the station and report it. He came back and had decided that it was both of their faults (there is a new law that anyone who hits a person or anything else is at fault) because the pedestrian should not have been walking along the side of the road in front the hotel where cars and buses pull out and the driver should not have hit the person. The driver wanted to pay 200 Yuan and the person hit wanted 500. The police decided on 300 Yuan. At this point the arguing and discussions continued (an hour later). The man who was hit decided he was not going to accept 300 Yuan because he wanted 500 so he went in to see the hotel doctor and get some medicine. He said that he was going to say at the hotel and would not leave until he had his 500. Our guide convinced our driver that he should get us to our destination and then go back to continue the discussions after. Although the police left and had decided on 300 the end result was that the driver agreed on the 500 (which is about $100...huge for this man I am sure...and also a huge loss for our driver). Even though the decision was made by the police (very cut and dry back at home) there are always negotiations and people don't just walk away until everyone has made the final decision. Yet another interesting experience and alway a place for Bailey to snap some pictures.