Thursday, September 22, 2005

The "Bicycle Incident"

Life has been rather stressful lately with travels all over the region (more on those later when I have sorted out photos taken), the general situation here in Zimbo and now during last week what I have coined "the Bicycle incident".

This is what happened; Tuesday 13 Septempter in the afternoon I was leaving my neighbor Peter that had assisted me with some diesel for the Toyota. When I come to the intersection between Coghlan Rd (that I was on) and Court Rd I check that no traffic is approaching and then I cross. It was getting dark so my lights were on. I see nothing to worry about so I cross.

Next thing I know something smashes into the passenger door and shattered glass is raining all over the interior of the car! My first though was that someone had thrown a stone or likewise in the window to make me stop and then use whatever force or tricks to rob me. So I continued down the street towards the military that I know guard a house there 24 hours a day but when I check the rear mirror I see a confused person trying to get up on his feet and a rather smashed bike lying next to him. He must have been coming down the non-lit separate cycletrack with really good speed (it is downhill quite a long bit before) and of course with no lights or reflexes and then totally ignored the "Give Way"-sign or just somehow didn't see me and then smacked right into the side of the car.

So of course I reverse to see how he is. He is bleeding from his right arm (good thing in this country...) so we load the remains of the bike in the car and proceed to our house only to realise that we definitely do not possess a first-aid kit or such. So we decide to take him to hospital but pass the police first so that I don't get trouble later for not following procedure. Mia comes along in case there would be some issue with people speaking a lot of shona and I not understanding the situation.

Once by the police they are certainly in no rush until they realise that the guy, Tapiwa, is bleeding all over their floor. Then we finally see some acitivity. They try to get an ambulance but no such are available and I explain that I already had promised to take him to hospital but could we please do the report quickly then? No, they feel it is better we take him first so I finish my part and then off we go. Of course he has no medical insurance so it has be Central Hospital that has a solid bad reputation because of very scarce resources and an enormous pressure. And you can guess who had to pay.

Once there things actually happen rather fast since it can not be disputed that he is dripping blood all over the emergency intake. It turns out that an artery is injured and I promise that very few would want to swap with him when they dig it out without any anaesthesia. They manage to stitch it though plus x number of stitches to close two rather bad cuts in the same arm. After that a tetanus shot and then off to a nightopen pharmacy and buy his medicine. Finally I drove him home and told him that I had done all I felt I had to do since in my opinion he was faulty and if he thought otherwise he had better take it via the police.

Then home and collapse, have a very late dinner without meat (we had just started the bbq/braii before...), note that the bread I was baking was almost rock solid since Ellen left it in the oven. Early to bed, completely drained. The next day I checked how much a new window would cost and did not enjoy the figures given at all. That was an expensive "visit" and probably cost us an extra warderobe we were planning for. It is of course totally pointless to try and get compensation from a young guy working as a security-guard, they are everything but well paid. Was supposed to leave for Mana Pools and the annual Game Count on Friday same week but did not feel good about it. Wanted to fix the window and also be there in case people would show up by the gate seeking "compensation" from the "rich" white man.

And of course he did show up Thursday evening together with some buddy. Bringing a letter asking about my "position" regarding compensating for his ruined bicycle, loss of income and "injuries". Said he had spoken to the police and the letter stated "cc Highlands Police". I asked him if he had any idea how much a new window and panelbeating was going to cost me, something he of course did not until I told him. I also told him that from my point of view he should be glad that I was not even going to try and get my costs covered from him and if he thought all was my fault then he should take it via the police and normal procedures. Checked with the police next day and he had not even been back to complete his part of the accident report and even less talked to anyone there!

Managed to find a new window last Friday at a better price than I thought. Panelbeating can wait until the report is done in case the police wants to inspect. Have taken photos of the place of the incident and the damages of the car just to be sure.

So much for a long weekend camping, walking and counting game :>(
Post a Comment