Thursday, August 29, 2013

Caught on CCTV

A few weeks ago, Little A was hit by a car while dashing across a zebra crossing. The other day, it was my turn. Different crossing, same street.

While walking back from Starbucks on the last afternoon of an inadvertent ten day break from school (caused by a storm, monsoon rains and a national holiday), Little A and I crossed the road to our apartment building.

Three quarters of the way across, walking at a regular walking pace, I heard a car horn very close behind me. I turned to see a red car inches away from my legs, midway over the zebra lines. The driver, a curly-haired Caucasian man, motioned with his hands for me to walk faster. I reached out, and he was so close that my hand got to the middle of his bonnet, and tapped it. I told him through the windscreen, "This is a pedestrian crossing."

His response was to move his car forward, so that I had to jump back to avoid being hit. He drew up next to me, rolled his window down, and shouted, "Bet you'll think twice before doing that again!" Then he zoomed into the parking entrance of the building across the road.

To say I was astonished would be putting it mildly, particularly since this happened right outside our front door. Thankfully Little A kept out of the way the entire time, all two minutes that this episode took place, if that.

A taxi had been driving behind the red car, and its driver stopped his vehicle and called out to our doorman. I assumed he was there to pick someone up, but later found out he had told the doorman to be sure to report that rude driver.

I took Little A upstairs and wrote a quick email to my neighbours telling them to be on the lookout for this car - and to avoid it at all costs. The minute Big A read it, he was out the door and across the street, demanding that the reception desk of this irate man's building connect him to said man.

The man refused to speak to Big A, so he left a message informing the Caucasian that we would be filing hit-and-run charges against him the following day, as this day was a government holiday. On returning to our building, we were asked to visit the security office, where they had found that the driveway's CCTV had captured the entire incident on video.

Around 830pm, we got a call from the doorman saying the Caucasian driver was downstairs. Big A went to talk to him while I put Little A to bed.

When Big A got back, he told me what had transpired. Caucasian Man was a retired British bigot who thought I was a Korean nanny. As he said "Koreans have no manners or education," he must have felt justified trying to run me down. But since, like my husband, I turned out to be "an educated, reasonable Filipino", he condescended to apologise, since otherwise he would likely have gone to prison. He had attempted to explain his side of the story, but Big A told him not to bother, as the CCTV footage was telling enough.

On hearing this, apparently British Bigot (henceforth, he shall be called BB) began to sob and started telling Big A the story of his life, from the young native wife who took all his money to the special needs children he'd fathered with her, and all the details in between. Big A didn't care to hear all this, and told him so, but he did mention that the woman BB took for a Korean nanny was also the mother of a special needs child.

BB then requested to meet Little A, so that he could "teach him what he taught my own kids." Big A begged off, not wanting this possibly deranged man anywhere near our son.

To end it all, and to keep BB from a civil suit, Big A asked that he write an apology letter, and send it over along with flowers, chocolates and what have you. BB complied, so while we do not know his last name, I now have his photo and that of his children from the card he delivered.

The email I sent to my neighbours found its way into the social media, courtesy of one of them, and before I knew it my parents were on the phone demanding to know the details and hoping to get BB jailed or deported and his license revoked.

I haven't seen him since, thank goodness, but I always keep an eye out for that red car now, anytime I walk down the street. 

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