Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The wannabes.


Do you remember an episode from the Twilight Zone in which the lead character noticed that every time there was an accident, it was the same group of people that would gather and look?

I know exactly how he feels, because each time I have a car trouble, the same herd of men in denim shorts, loose t-shirts, and slippers would surround the vehicle. The amazing thing is that each of them would have an opinion. Everybody seems to know what’s wrong with the car just by looking at it. It would be rare that any two would have the same opinion, but everybody had one anyway.

Today, as I went up to Antipolo to deliver some items to our client, our car broke down. I have a driver, so I was leaning back with my eyes closed when I heard something that sounded like the engine falling off. The clutch cable snapped and there was no way to make the car run. The driver hopped out of the car and proceeded to push.

He pushed the car around the corner while I glanced apprehensively out of the window. I was in a completely unknown neighborhood. Then out of nowhere this heavily tattooed man headed straight to our stalled vehicle. As I watched him approach, I tried to figure out where his center of gravity was in case I’d have to tackle him if he tried to pull something. Of course, the whole notion was ridiculous. Had I actually tried to charge him, the most that would happen is I’d bounce off!

Some other men came out and join him. Fortunately they weren’t there to mug but to help. Or at least, appear like it. They asked a lot of questions which the driver answered in great detail. The big guy clicked his tongue when he heard about the noise and the pushing. He shook his head and grunted at all the right places. Finally, after 10 minutes of this, he admitted that he wasn’t a mechanic and didn’t have much of an idea how to solve things.

It was all I could do to stop myself from placing his hand in the car and slamming the door. Having some mechanic wannabe waste the time my driver could have spent looking for the genuine one did very little to make the whole experience more palatable. And yet it is infuriatingly common.

Have you experienced the same?

6 comments:

Tracey said...

No one would offer any sort of assistance here! They'd just go by & pretend they hadn't seen you... XXX

Cal said...

That's so funny Odette, the imagery you used. Have you ever heard the phrase "He who rides the bucking bronco is never short of advice" ? This was a classic case. Have a great day. Lots of warm hugs xxxxxxx

NEO-CONDUIT said...

No not here, basically if you want something done, you have to pay someone a heap of money. People tend to run from trouble or effort to help here, maybe it a population thing?
I used to always help at accidents but now I just walk on by if other people are there otherwise you can end up being a witness in court, also when I used to help people and let them stay in my home they would rip me off, so now I only try to help if I think people are worth it :)
Great post, lots of meanings.

Mimi said...

Here a passerby would probably call 911 and report your car broken down, but rarely would anyone stop because people are suspicious of car jackings or muggings. I'm glad that you're O.K.!

Odette said...

Filipinos are a helpful bunch, and just basically curious too. They would help you push your stalled car and offer their help or even tell you where you can find a mechanic. Bystanders would even stay on to watch as your car is being fixed.
yep, i am fine Mimi.
xoxoxoxo

Sheila said...

I think it is the same principle in action when you see five city employees working in the street. There is one to actually work, and five to watch and offer advice/supervise!

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