Yesterday I had a small accident.
I had just picked Gorgeous Girl up from school and was heading home when the car in front of me stopped very suddenly. I hit the brakes, and for a few seconds thought I was actually going to stop in time, but didn’t quite make it. Gorgeous Girl didn’t realise I’d hit anything and started asking why I was getting out of the car in the middle of the street. She was very brave and only cried when I got her out of the hot car (once I realised we would be there a while) and she saw all the commotion going on. A hug and a few reassuring words and she was OK. I had managed to stop shaking by that point. When it happened I was shaking so badly I could barely dial my phone. The first thing I did was phone Gorgeous Man.
Car accidents in PNG can be fraught with difficulties and security issues. I hit a fellow Australian, who has a child in the same school as Gorgeous Girl. This simplified matters tremendously. I wasn’t going fast, but he had a very solid car (ute/pick-up truck). He had been forced to stop suddenly by the driver in front of him (who was on the phone).
As I got out of the car to exchange details with the driver, employees from a local security company saw me. They did a U-Turn and came to “stay with us for our safety” until the police arrived (the driver of the other car wanted to report the car who had caused him to stop suddenly), even though neither of us were clients of their company. Two lots of friends, also picking up their children from school stopped and offered to help. One offered to take Gorgeous Girl back to their place and the other offered to drive out and get Gorgeous Man.
Fortunately Gorgeous Man had his phone on while he was teaching and he left immediately to come and assist us. The head of the university security also accompanied him in a separate vehicle. This was so that they could escort the car home with one in the front and one driver behind me. I found out later that the university had also contacted one of their drivers who was in town and asked him to come and find me and stay with me until Gorgeous Man got there, but he was unable to locate me.
Because the driver and I had agreed on how we were going to settle the damages the police didn’t take a statement or write up a report. After they left the security company stopped traffic, which allowed me to safely pull the car down into a side street. They then went on their way after leaving me with their phone number in case I needed help quickly. It was so hot that Gorgeous Girl and I had wrinkles on our hands from sweating so much.
Eventually the security guard for the lodge that I was parked in front of tapped on the window and invited us into the lodge to wait. At that point I figured it was safe to get out of the car and just wait at the side of the road for Gorgeous Man. I figured if we went into the lodge Gorgeous Man might not be able to find us when he arrived.
We were lucky that the accident happened in a ‘good’ part of town. There is no damage to the engine and the car is still drivable (it actually looks like a lot of other cars on the road now 😀 ). I now have to fill in a 10 page insurance claim and pay the excess (ouch) and then drive the car around to get three quotes from different repair shops. I’ve been informed that getting the insurance claim processed will not be fast and that repairs here will also take a long time…
I did have a finish to show you, but with all the drama that happened yesterday I didn’t manage to get it photographed.