Still sober, now 49 days and counting…..
For those of you who miss my more adventurous pursuits, I can now relate a day which was a bit more like old times. Last Wednesday to be precise..
It started off innocently enough. After many false starts I finally made the decision to attend an AA meetings and on Wednesday morning I got into my car in good time to make the noon meeting at Jomtien.
I should have driven down the new motorway spur, and then whizzed down the ‘local road’ by the rail tracks to Jomtien. It was the right way to go, but for some reason I decided to go the long, slow way, around the lake and down Nern Plub Wan, before turning into Soi Kow Talo and thence to Jomtien. However, upon reflection, I guess it wouldn’t have made any difference as both routes converge at the point where I had my accident.
I had driven southwards along the local road from Nern Plub Wan, turned right into Soi Kow Talo at the railway crossroads, drove slowly over the rail lines, looked to check that the westerly local road was clear of traffic and continued on my way. I was about 25% of my way into the ‘yellow box’ when a minibus driving at high speed came from ‘nowhere’ in a northerly direction. I tried to brake, but couldn’t avoid clipping the side of the vehicle as he passed me at right angles.
We both parked up. The minibus was carrying fare paying passengers and was bound for Chantaburi. They were clearly in a hurry. I have driven across those railways lines literally hundreds of times, almost every day of the week and have never had a wisp of a problem until last Wednesday. The nearside front wing of my car had a nasty dent in it but was otherwise in good shape. The minibus was a mess. The entire side of the vehicle was badly crunched in and the rear tyre had a huge hole in it.
Nobody was hurt and one of the mini bus’s female passengers was an absolute delight. She was very worried about me and took great pains to ensure that I could take care of myself. I have to say that everyone involved, including the mini bus driver, was very friendly and nobody seemed to bear a grudge over what had happened, or to blame me for the accident. We all moan and complain about the behaviour of some Thais in Sin City, but this little accident was a reminder that Thais can also be an absolute delight and can behave in a very warm manner and be genuinely good hearted – even in adversity.
After we had all been waiting around for about 10 minutes a cop showed up on a bike and I thought: “Here we go…” But I couldn’t have been more wrong. The cop couldn’t care a less about our little accident; he was just there to catch unsuspecting motorcyclists driving without helmets or driving licences!
In my previous accidents, I have been less than impressed by the initial handling of my accident by my insurers, but this time I had a pleasant surprise. I was called by a lady based in Bangkok who spoke wonderful English and took down all the details of the accident before advising me that a representative would be there shortly. She gave me his name and even followed up this verbal advice by sending me an SMS, confirming the name of the claims adjuster and his mobile number.
At length, both insurance claims men arrived and the two parties busied themselves filling forms and writing down our opposing version of events. The minibus driver was keen to point out that the road across the lines had a red flashing light whereas the local road had a yellow flashing light. I pointed out that after I turned right on the other side of the rail line there was no traffic light visible to me and I had to progress with caution, with no lights to warn me one way or the other. I also pointed out that I must have been going slowly as there was insufficient road for me to have speeded up, whereas the minibus must have approached the crossing at well over 100kms/hr. Nothing I said seemed to make any impression on anyone and had little or no affect on the eventual result. After 20 minutes we all agreed that the fault should be split 50/50 and each insurer would pay to repair their respectively insured vehicles. Although I wasn’t convinced that I should share the blame, it was all too hard to argue about, so we signed up and I went on my way.
I estimated that I had done about 10,000 baht’s worth of damage, but when I drove to my local body shop to see what they thought, to my surprise he said he could fix it for 4,000 Baht. As I have a 5,000 Baht deductible, I readily agreed the price and delivered the car to him yesterday morning and I hope to have it back this evening. So there will be no further claim to add to my very large claim of last year. I am beginning to feel that this car may be jinxed and I may be better off getting rid of it sooner rather than later.
Anyway, once having made my repair arrangements it was much too late to go to my AA meeting so I decided to make a rare venture to one of my favourite little ‘whore houses’ where I knew they also cooked good food.
I hooked up with a very pretty, albeit slightly buxom, 20 year old from Buri Ram and we had a lovely little grope at the bar and together we munched on my ‘American’ pizza. She really was a very pretty, friendly girl and was very horny….. Every time I kissed her neck she broke out in goose bumps. I was sorely tempted, but decided to stay ‘faithful’ to the lovely Noo.
Talking of whom; yesterday I took my life in my hands. I had her take me back home from the car body shop on Sukhumvit on the back of her bike. She is so tiny and I am quite a large figure these days – I wonder what we must have looked like?
Yesterday, Noo went to school as usual, and called me around 4 pm to ask my permission to go and see a friend. I told her to go ahead and I would see her later. She is usually home by 4.30 at the latest but as the clock wound on towards six pm, I was starting to wonder where she was. I am telling you this because I confess that for the first time in weeks, the merest inkling that Noo may be late home sent my mind spinning towards thoughts of having a drink. The moment of terror and temptation passed and Noo arrived home barely ten minutes later. But it was a salutory reminder that my recovery is still in a delicate stage and how much I rely on my wonderful Noo to keep me sober.
I still haven’t returned to my novel as my music project seems to have taken on a life of its own; I have now started to use new software for part of the editing and downloading process as the old software was proving unsatisfactory.
I am just about all done at the time of writing, so maybe over the weekend I will put my mind once more towards the poor Toby and his travails……..