30 June 2008

I Should Join the Heavy Hitter

...because I seem to have a knack for witnessing accidents.

Today was rather exceptional, though. I have been terrified of cars and the crazy Chilean drivers since I got here, and today reconfirmed my fears. No lie: I watched a child get hit by a car.

Yup, you read that correctly. I watched as a green sedan came barreling down a residential street and then slammed on its brakes for a short second before hitting a kid. I heard the mother scream, I heard the child cry, and then I watched as the driver sped away. A chileano and I ran after the car trying to get the license number but we couldn't catch the car.

A hit-and-run, in Chile, right in front of my face.

Now I am even more paranoid about crossing the streets and walking near the road. Not only are these drivers CRAZY, impatient, selfish, and careless, but they get away with it. I have never seen a single speed limit sign here, and I've never seen a car pulled over (even though I've seen SEVERAL crazy drivers do incredibly stupid things). My bus ride each morning is like playing Russian Roulette: will we hit the car in front of us, or won't we? It makes me wish I was Catholic so I could say Hail Marys or at least take comfort in some rosary beads.

I know we gripe about getting tickets in the U.S., but at least we have someone keeping an eye on drivers. Another another thing: It took the ambulance at least 10 minutes to arrive, so I truly hope I don't have an accident with serious injuries because I'd probably kick it before I get any help. Luckily, the kid wasn't bleeding, but I'm pretty sure his legs were broken. Not really a pleasant thing to witness. Sorry to be such a Debbie-Downer in this post, but I am shaken and stirred, and not in the good way.

I have very few complaints about the way things work in Chile, but now I have something add to the (albeit, short) list: CRAZY ASS PSYCHO DRIVERS.

Thanks to an asshole in a green sedan, I will now have nightmares about getting hit by a car. And when I wake up, I get to take the bus-ride-of-death.

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