Thursday, January 17, 2008

The peril of a narrow road

The inner streets in Thailand are surprisingly too narrow. It made me speculate that these streets were designed to be used by motorcycles. I actually was impressed with myself when I could actually fit in the van and made a successful pass whenever another vehicle drove by from the opposite direction. I would make admiring remarks to myself. “I’m an expert driver” and I intentionally said it aloud intending to be heard by anybody who was riding with me in the van.

Narrow streets notwithstanding, people like to park their motorcycles and cars in the side streets. Can you imagine how clog the streets were beside the market? With hundreds of motorcycles, carts, and cars parking along the side of the uphill market road. Can you imagine how agonizing it was to drive on it. Maneuvering the van to pass through those complex obstructions would take all the patient one could muster. Sometimes I wish that I could just run over those files of motorcycles just to give their owners the message that they should not be parking there. Of course that was just a scene I do play at the back of my mind as my patient is wearing thin.

And it happened, as I was trying to maneuver the van away from the coming pick-up truck, I steered the van slightly to the left, I heard people shouting and a screeching sound beside the van. What? I sideswiped a parked motorcycle, I looked at the left side mirror and saw that if I would made a little forward movement the motorcycle would fall… perhaps it was my shadow side telling me to move on and enjoy the sight about to unfold before my eyes, I liked to see fifty motorcycles falling like dominoes. Yes, it would have been fun.

But Narlin insisted that I should stop and back off a little to prevent a catastrophic incident that would earn me the ire of the market goers. And besides, I need to listen with the people asking me to stop. I stopped, back off and then drove on and left as if nothing happened.

Anyway, I think I had done enough damage today—an ugly 2-meter long scrape at the left side of our van.

No comments: