Monday, January 30, 2006


Felt a bit shit last night, really, after what appeared to be a cute white fluffy puppy (I didn’t see it for long enough to be entirely sure) decided to run across the road that cuts from the highway across the mountain back to home, just as I was driving up it. I hit the brakes but had nowhere near enough time to stop before I ended up on top of it, its yelps of pain piercing the closed car windows. I moved forward with an almost imperceptible bump and the yelps ceased. I wasn’t sure what to do next. Belgian J, in the car with me, advised (rightly, I think) to drive on – there was nothing I could do, it was probably a stray, and there was a good chance that I might be the target of attempted financial exploitation. (Or violence? Probably not, but you never know.) Besides, official advice for expats here is to not stop after a minor (I think this qualified as minor) accident, provided no people were injured. At least the bump – hopefully – put the poor thing out of its misery. (And note that the bump was unavoidable; at this stage I was merely trying to get the car off the animal.) I drove away considerably faster than I'd been travelling when I hit it; images in my mind of witnesses phoning friends ahead up the road, organizing a mob, and securing a wrathful vengeance.

Most of the dogs around here do seem to be strays (why couldn’t it have been one of the aggressive, mangy, wretched examples that would be better off dead?) and D pointed out that, had it been a pedigree pet, it probably wouldn’t have been out on the road. Plus, previous experience in having my car occupy the same space and time as something else taught me that attempted exploitation is a possibility (it only takes a split second for a now-dead dog to be elevated from a stray to a beloved family pet). Am not feeling overly guilty (I don’t think I could have avoided it…I guess I could’ve been driving a little slower, but I wasn’t driving fast), but do get a tinge occasionally when I think of some poor Filipino kid wondering why Fluffy never came home last night.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Could you please drive a couple of times 'round the block in my 'hood please?

5:30 pm  

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