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Please step out of your car while we take all your money and break most of your bones

By Cruel Elevator in Culture
Fri Mar 14, 2003 at 09:16:20 AM EST
Tags: Culture (all tags)
Culture

This story is about Bangladesh - a small country in Asia, infamous for its poverty and population density. I happen to live here (resident and a citizen), and I've gone through some situations which were rather unpleasant (that's an understatement). Some things over here are considered "normal" and "unavoidable", however, I doubt that the K5 crowd would think so.

I will talk about my experience with car crashes, mobs and rampages - a part of everyday life over here.


First of all, imagine a place the size of Wisconsin, with 140 million people in it. The people are mostly very poor and illiterate. The term "middle class" doesn't really exist and there's a huge difference between the income level of the rich and the poor. Of course, a place like this would be ridden with the usual problems like corrupt government, crippled infrastructure, stagnant economy and natural disasters (in 1991, we had a cyclone that killed 125,000 people).

Now that you've got a picture of our lovely land, I'll get on with the story.

Sometime in 1996, I was driving along this dusty road in a busy part of the town. It was in the evening, and as usual, the street lights hadn't come on. I was doing about 50 KM/h. Visibility was poor, so I switched on my high beam and a car coming from the opposite direction did the same. The result was similar to what expensive discos produce with high quality smoke machines and diffused lighting. I thought I saw something move in this haze, and by the time I slammed my brakes, I hit a rickshaw (a tricycle type passenger carrying vehicle), I think at about 20 KM/h.

Opened the door, got out. "Is anybody hurt?" I asked. It was then I realized that this was a big mistake. A mob had formed around the car, and people were shouting about "young, rich, spoiled brats out there to kill people". I looked at the people whom I hit. They were shaken, but not hurt. The passengers were two women, and this added to the "sentimental value" of the situation.

Two tough looking guys came forward, and they demanded we give them all our money, or they are going to burn down the car. What?! Who were they? They pulled out knives, saying that they were the neighborhood toughies and we were not in a situation to negotiate. They grabbed our money and watches, and told the crowd to get along. We drove off while we could.

One year later.

While driving in another part of the town, a rickshaw crossed an intersection without looking. I did what I was supposed to do (slammed my brakes) and naturally, I hit the rickshaw which flew off in the air, landing a few meters to the left. My path was clear and I got the hell out of there. Later I found out that this happened within 10 meters of a police station. I haven't been contacted by the authorities till date.

Lesson learned: Do not stop when you crash. Get out, and if you feel morally obliged, turn yourself over to the police. Let them bleed or die in the streets - it's better them than you.

I talked to somebody who had studied mob psychology. His advise was simple - "Son, you got a car. The people on the streets don't. They think that it's unfair that you own one, and just because you've injured somebody on the streets makes you a rich villain. It's far more complicated then that, but you don't need to know all that. It's in our culture and remember your training - GET OUT WHILE YOU CAN!"

Few years later - 2001. Similar story, but this time out by the country side. I was driving along a highway with a few of my friends about 150 KM away from the capital. In this particularly clear stretch of road, this motorcycle cut across us without even looking, and we hit it at about 50 KM/h. We thought the rider was dead. My friend (who was driving) got down of the car (mistake # 1) found the bike rider to be alive, and limping out of the road. He began yelling (mistake # 2) "My beautiful car! Bastard, why can't you @*$@* look where you're going?! You're bloody lucky that you're alive and you are going to pay for my car's damage..."

In the meantime, we were yelling "Get the @$#@ inside the car! Get in! Run!". He didn't listen. (mistake # 3)

Too late. That bike rider was from the village nearby, and we faced mobs armed with sticks and basic agriculture gear. No neighborhood toughies - just normal, everyday people going about their business. They started beating up the friend who was driving, and for good measures, the other person sitting in front. We saw them tear up their shirts, take their money, and beat them up with rather large sticks.

I blended in the background (go ahead, call me a coward), and found the bike rider bleeding in the ground. I told him that I know it is his fault, and a few innocent people are going to get killed for this. That's ok, because he is going die bleeding here too, because he won't make it to the hospital in time. Now, we can take him there, if we're still alive because we got a car. So, what's the choice?

It worked.

He called a few guys off, and told them what I told him to say. There was a confusion in the mob. One group wanted to take all our money and valuables and burn down the car (to be thorough) and the other group wanted the bike rider to live. In this confusion, we carried that guy to our car, and drove off to the nearest hospital.

It was a 15 minutes ride during which we discussed (in a low voice) about the idea of leaving him in the roadside, or even beating the shit out of him with a crowbar. His negligence nearly cost our lives, and he certainly deserved this. Somehow, we didn't and we took him to the hospital. I'm not sure why we did that... maybe we couldn't be cruel enough?

All of us lived. Cuts, bruises, broken bones, internal injuries. But we lived.

In this country, vehicles get attacked a lot. If there's a political protest, vehicles will be damaged and burnt. In traffic accidents, the same. It seems to be in our blood - all the hatred and vengeance seems to be directed towards anything that has an engine and moves. In the highway, mobs often block the roads due to random jaywalkers getting squashed.

One of the most horrible things I've ever read was about this traffic accident when a bus crashed into a bridge, and the "rescuers", i.e., the bystanders came in, they grabbed the valuables of the dead and injured first, and then they proceeded in actually helping them to get medical attention.

Poverty and lack of authority can reduce human beings to savage animals. Some people claim that religion is a solution to this, but I haven't seen it work (yet). Rampage is in our culture since our independence. Imagine this - high school exams have been scheduled while there is a football world cup going on. So, the students are going to go rampaging in the streets, damaging random cars. Do you see the logic in this?

I really don't think there's a solution for this problem. In the meantime, if you happen to drive in this country, be extra cautious. If you hit somebody, just get out of there. If anybody tries to block your way, mow them down too.

Let them bleed or die in the streets - it's better them than you. Things work differently in the Bandit Land.

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Display: Sort:
Please step out of your car while we take all your money and break most of your bones | 244 comments (191 topical, 53 editorial, 0 hidden)
The City of Joy (3.00 / 1) (#1)
by kb5 on Thu Mar 13, 2003 at 03:37:18 AM EST

I suggest you read The City of Joy by Dominique Lapierre. Its about Calcutta 20 years ago, but its close enough! If you already have, well...

Why stay? (4.12 / 8) (#3)
by NFW on Thu Mar 13, 2003 at 04:19:45 AM EST

(This may cost me some mojo...)

What motivates you to remain in a place where you are periodically (or always?) surrounded by total strangers who would sooner kill you than save another person's life? And by people whom you would sooner kill than stand before, out of legitimate concern for your life?

Are you hopeful that the situation will improve in your lifetime? Or, are you staying so that you may work to that end? Or, are there highly redeeming qualities of your location?

Just curious.


--
Got birds?


Roots. (4.60 / 5) (#5)
by gyan on Thu Mar 13, 2003 at 04:45:18 AM EST

By that logic, all affluent people should move out of Third World countries to the First World. But that will only exacerbate the problem. Although, Bangladesh and Bihar seem to be a bit extreme.

********************************

[ Parent ]
It's commonly called "brain drain..." (4.80 / 5) (#55)
by NFW on Thu Mar 13, 2003 at 05:06:11 PM EST

...partly because it is pretty common. The term is a bit condescending to those who can't leave, but it alludes to the correlation between eduation and income - the knowledge of better places and the means to get there - and the tendency of the upper/middle classes to leave oppressive areas.

At risk of sounding like a Rand-roid, you seem to be implying that affluent people in third-world countries have an obligation to subject themselves to this sort of thing. I don't believe that to be the case.

Also note that, if you agree with this story that you submitted, the departure of the more-affluent might actually increase the happiness of the less-affluent.


--
Got birds?


[ Parent ]

Randroid OT (none / 0) (#156)
by bjlhct on Fri Mar 14, 2003 at 10:47:18 PM EST

http://www.villainsupply.com/miscevil.html

And I'm with you. The Bangladesh government should just be trashed and/or everybody there should leave, perhaps. Then bring in the protatoes, microlending, mosquito nets, chlorine, and honest government.

*
[kur0(or)5hin http://www.kuro5hin.org/intelligence] - drowning your sorrows in intellectualism
[ Parent ]

Well (none / 0) (#176)
by gyan on Sat Mar 15, 2003 at 01:54:32 AM EST

the departure of the more-affluent might actually increase the happiness of the less-affluent.

But the displaced affluent will contribute to bringing down the happiness where they move since according to Layard, geographical mobility creates a heterogenous society which is less happier.

And the point I was making if I'm not about to move to a foreign land with foreign people and foreign languages unless it's absolutely necessary.

********************************

[ Parent ]

Call it short-sighted and simplistic (3.00 / 1) (#4)
by gyan on Thu Mar 13, 2003 at 04:20:53 AM EST

but I blame Jinnah.

********************************

And i blame (none / 0) (#10)
by kb5 on Thu Mar 13, 2003 at 06:10:21 AM EST

the Indian National Congress ;)

[ Parent ]
Truce (none / 0) (#12)
by gyan on Thu Mar 13, 2003 at 06:44:28 AM EST

I blame some 'x' number of politicians of that era.

********************************

[ Parent ]
Brought it on themselves (3.87 / 8) (#8)
by the77x42 on Thu Mar 13, 2003 at 05:17:42 AM EST

If I hit someone, my instinct is to see if they are okay and help them out if they needed attention.

It appears what's happened there is social inequality and mob mentality have created significant reason for you to change your reaction and drive away.

The first thing on your agenda should be your personal safety. Sounds like you have been confronted by a mob more often than not, so you are perfectly logical in changing your reactions.

The morality of it all? As a philosophy student, I could go on for hours, but I would personally have beat the shit out of the fucker with a crowbar.


"We're not here to educate. We're here to point and laugh." - creature
"You have some pretty stupid ideas." - indubitable ‮

Can I sign up for your course? (3.00 / 2) (#47)
by Dresen on Thu Mar 13, 2003 at 02:56:40 PM EST

I would personally have beat the shit out of the fucker with a crowbar.

It's already made you a Better Human Being. You make really fair moral decisions.

-===-
Forgive people.
[ Parent ]

Let's see... (none / 0) (#105)
by Matadon on Fri Mar 14, 2003 at 11:10:31 AM EST

...I have the choice of beating the shit out of someone, of having the shit beaten out of me.  Hmmmm...whatever shall I choose?

--
"There's this thing called being so open-minded your brains drop out." — Richard Dawkins.
[ Parent ]
Welcome back to the Old Testament, apparently. (5.00 / 1) (#123)
by ethereal on Fri Mar 14, 2003 at 12:54:42 PM EST

Fortunately, there are other alternatives.

--

Stand up for your right to not believe: Americans United for Separation of Church and State
[ Parent ]

Except not. (none / 0) (#191)
by Dresen on Sat Mar 15, 2003 at 01:14:46 PM EST

The author got him to the hospital without being 'beaten up', for instance. The debate was over whether to beat him up as revenge, which while probably satsifying would also, IMHO, have been morally wrong.

-===-
Forgive people.
[ Parent ]

Moral theory? (3.00 / 2) (#57)
by General Wesc on Thu Mar 13, 2003 at 06:46:38 PM EST

The morality of it all? As a philosophy student, I could go on for hours, but I would personally have beat the shit out of the fucker with a crowbar.

Are you using a moral theory here? Which one? It's not Deontology, it's not Utilitarianism, it's not Natural Law, it's not Virtue theory, it's not Feminist ethics, it's not Social Contract theory...

Egoism, perhaps, if you derive pleasure from making people suffer needlessly. Or possibly ethical relativism. I'll gladly debate either of those theories with you.



--
General Wesc
[ Parent ]
Oops. (5.00 / 1) (#58)
by General Wesc on Thu Mar 13, 2003 at 06:47:44 PM EST

Sorry, Natural Law could possibly work, though I'm sceptical.



--
General Wesc
[ Parent ]
Don't assume... (4.50 / 2) (#81)
by the77x42 on Fri Mar 14, 2003 at 03:29:30 AM EST

...That since I'm a philosophy major with a focus on ethics that I am myself ethical or moral. I would gladly rather go around shooting people and beat them with sticks than sacrifice my freedom for some God or universal law.

I guess, I could be a nihilist in the sense that I don't believe that values have any grounding at all, but at the same time, I am intrigued by Marxist social class structure, but more so Niestzche's rejection that our morals have any truth in their foundations.

Moral relativsm is cheap, and so is egoism. While I don't deny we are all hedonistic, I also don't deny that my actions are based on my own motives which don't necessarily come from self-interested means.


"We're not here to educate. We're here to point and laugh." - creature
"You have some pretty stupid ideas." - indubitable ‮

[ Parent ]

You don't need a philosophy degree (none / 0) (#116)
by ph0rk on Fri Mar 14, 2003 at 11:46:47 AM EST


 to administer a beat down, nor to explain one.
[ f o r k . s c h i z o i d . c o m ]
[ Parent ]
Needlessly? (none / 0) (#160)
by bjlhct on Fri Mar 14, 2003 at 11:18:39 PM EST

Except for the need to keep from getting killed by a mob. As such utilitarianism would actually work here.

*
[kur0(or)5hin http://www.kuro5hin.org/intelligence] - drowning your sorrows in intellectualism
[ Parent ]
Cause and effect... (4.66 / 9) (#11)
by bsimon on Thu Mar 13, 2003 at 06:22:05 AM EST

Do you think people's hatred of car owners is strengthened by the fact that drivers tend to flee the scene of an accident?

you have read my sig

Yeah (5.00 / 7) (#14)
by gyan on Thu Mar 13, 2003 at 06:47:49 AM EST

but it's a circle.

Driver 1 hangs around. Existing mob mentality ensures a good beating-up. Driver 1 informs friends and family.

Driver 2, aware of mob infliction, runs away. Mobsters become more agitated and continue being so.

********************************

[ Parent ]

So you've (3.42 / 7) (#17)
by starsky on Thu Mar 13, 2003 at 08:10:21 AM EST

had three collisions with other road users in a short space of time? Seems like maybe you need to slow down, or await the inevitable beating you so obviously deserve.

The standard rule is (3.50 / 2) (#18)
by starsky on Thu Mar 13, 2003 at 08:27:56 AM EST

"don't run people over, and they will not get angry"

[ Parent ]
And the rest of the rule is. . . (5.00 / 1) (#51)
by waxmop on Thu Mar 13, 2003 at 03:27:49 PM EST

"If you do hit somebody, even if it was an innocent mistake and you were being as cautious as possible, you may now be robbed, beaten, raped, or even killed."

You ok with that?
--
We are a monoculture of horsecock. Liar
[ Parent ]

Obviously not (4.00 / 5) (#80)
by starsky on Fri Mar 14, 2003 at 02:04:38 AM EST

but I'm not going to listen to someone whining about this being the case when he has been involved in some many incidents. I tell you this for a fact - if you lived in any local community anywhere in the world and you had 3 serious car accidents hurting local people in a short space of time I would not be surprised if you got the local hard mob knocking on your door to give you a good hiding.

[ Parent ]
if people are angry (4.00 / 2) (#118)
by ph0rk on Fri Mar 14, 2003 at 11:49:50 AM EST

they will remain angry, whether you run someone over, or merely park in a manner they deem unworthy or threatening.  Unless you've been to/live in Bangladesh, perhaps you should just lay off it.
[ f o r k . s c h i z o i d . c o m ]
[ Parent ]
This counts in North America/Europe (3.00 / 1) (#21)
by Gord ca on Thu Mar 13, 2003 at 10:12:33 AM EST

Around here (I'm in Canada) everybody knows the basic rules of the road, except for very young kids, who are watched all the time. We are quite skilled in not getting run over. Doesn't sound like that's the case over there. Might be wrong...

If I'm attacking your idea, it's probably because I like it
[ Parent ]
If thats the case (3.00 / 5) (#24)
by starsky on Thu Mar 13, 2003 at 11:03:59 AM EST

the people driving the big heavy killing machines should be more careful, no?

[ Parent ]
True enough (2.66 / 3) (#27)
by Gord ca on Thu Mar 13, 2003 at 12:08:32 PM EST

The article made it sound like having people die isn't considered such a big deal over there. That and the author is part of the problem, at least more than he'd like to admit.

If I'm attacking your idea, it's probably because I like it
[ Parent ]
Haven't done much third world driving, have you? (5.00 / 4) (#95)
by avdi on Fri Mar 14, 2003 at 09:49:24 AM EST

You evidently have only driven in one of those blessed western countries where scrupulous attention to driving regulations will actually prevent most accidents.   Thankfully I've never had to drive in India; but I've been driven around there by friends and taxi-drivers, and it doesn't matter how careful you are.  People barely acknowledge the existance of cars, let alone the potential danger they represent if you, oh, say, step in directly front of one.

--
Now leave us, and take your fish with you. - Faramir
[ Parent ]
So you shoudl (2.00 / 9) (#99)
by starsky on Fri Mar 14, 2003 at 10:31:58 AM EST

drive at a speed where you can drive without hitting people under those conditions. Yes, 5mph if necessary. You know-it-all cunt.

[ Parent ]
at which point (5.00 / 2) (#117)
by ph0rk on Fri Mar 14, 2003 at 11:48:37 AM EST

the traffic behind you will get out and beat you.

now who is the useless know-it-all?
[ f o r k . s c h i z o i d . c o m ]
[ Parent ]

Traffic? (none / 0) (#155)
by KnightStalker on Fri Mar 14, 2003 at 10:41:59 PM EST

The bicycles and rickshaws, you mean? They can beat you without getting out.

[ Parent ]
You're an idiot. (1.25 / 4) (#128)
by So many idiots So little time on Fri Mar 14, 2003 at 01:41:47 PM EST

Damn.

-----
Off wit' yer head!
[ Parent ]
Bangladeshi Car (none / 0) (#161)
by bjlhct on Fri Mar 14, 2003 at 11:21:41 PM EST

is unsafe at any speed.

*
[kur0(or)5hin http://www.kuro5hin.org/intelligence] - drowning your sorrows in intellectualism
[ Parent ]
So, (none / 0) (#162)
by bjlhct on Fri Mar 14, 2003 at 11:23:23 PM EST

do you drive that fast on highways because someone might suddenly run across the road?

*
[kur0(or)5hin http://www.kuro5hin.org/intelligence] - drowning your sorrows in intellectualism
[ Parent ]
Yes. (5.00 / 1) (#203)
by it certainly is on Sat Mar 15, 2003 at 07:29:38 PM EST

Picture the scene: driving down a highway in Massechussets (or whatever) at night. 65 mph. Suddenly, torrential rain starts to fall. We slow down to about 30 mph. We arrive at some highway maintainence - they're re-paving the road. The torrential rain hits the freshly laid tarmac and turns to steam. We can't see more than 1m in front of us. All we see is sheet rain and clouds of vapour. How fast are we going? 5 mph. A good job, too. A construction worker suddenly appears out of nowhere from the mist, pointing us at a lane change we needed to make (or have our tyres melted).

If you're in a situation where people can just "appear out of nowhere", you should be driving at a speed that allows you to stop without hitting such people. The further ahead you can see, the more time you have to slow down or stop and therefore the faster you can drive.

kur0shin.org -- it certainly is

Godwin's law [...] is impossible to violate except with an infinitely long thread that doesn't mention nazis.
[ Parent ]

Not what I mean (none / 0) (#205)
by bjlhct on Sat Mar 15, 2003 at 08:43:23 PM EST

I mean people running across the road right as you approach, which is more like what the author faces.

*
[kur0(or)5hin http://www.kuro5hin.org/intelligence] - drowning your sorrows in intellectualism
[ Parent ]
Also, where I live: (5.00 / 1) (#206)
by it certainly is on Sat Mar 15, 2003 at 08:53:39 PM EST

there are schools by roads. In case drivers are from out of town, or are just stupid, a large warning sign reminds them that there may be other road users who do not pay attention to cars in the vicinity. A driver should be incredibly cautious and slow in the school area.

Two of my friends were killed outside their school by car drivers. Of course, it is 100% the school kids fault for crossing the road unsafely, it isn't in any way the driver's fault for driving in a school area at such speed that he'd kill a child should one suddenly run out in front of him. If the schoolkids weren't dead, they should be put in prison for impeding the car driver's right of way.

kur0shin.org -- it certainly is

Godwin's law [...] is impossible to violate except with an infinitely long thread that doesn't mention nazis.
[ Parent ]

If they were adults (none / 0) (#208)
by bjlhct on Sun Mar 16, 2003 at 12:28:22 AM EST

and there were no signs, as it was in the author's cases, then I'd be with you.

*
[kur0(or)5hin http://www.kuro5hin.org/intelligence] - drowning your sorrows in intellectualism
[ Parent ]
But that's what I've been saying all this time. (none / 0) (#212)
by it certainly is on Sun Mar 16, 2003 at 09:30:22 AM EST

You can drive quickly on a highway because it is a good quality road, great visibility with no pedestrian streets, crossroads or blind corners/crests, etc. The less a road resembles a highway, the more you have to slow down.

kur0shin.org -- it certainly is

Godwin's law [...] is impossible to violate except with an infinitely long thread that doesn't mention nazis.
[ Parent ]

But (none / 0) (#214)
by bjlhct on Sun Mar 16, 2003 at 01:02:05 PM EST

on his highways, and other places, pedestrians and cyclists cross randomly without looking.

*
[kur0(or)5hin http://www.kuro5hin.org/intelligence] - drowning your sorrows in intellectualism
[ Parent ]
Yes! It's a hazard! (5.00 / 1) (#220)
by it certainly is on Sun Mar 16, 2003 at 07:15:37 PM EST

Just like cows that cross without looking, children running home with their ice creams, black ice, fallen trees, cars that zoom over blind summits, single-lane tunnels, sleeping lorry drivers and all manner of dangers on the road. You only have a steering wheel, brakes and an accelerator (and a horn, etc.) with which to completely avoid all these hazards. You can't say "but it's the cow's fault!" or "it's the ice's fault!" If you even slightly suspect a pedestrian might step onto the road within 200 yards, you must to drive at a speed that would allow you to stop within 200 yards. Driving any faster than that is selfish, reckless endangerment.

kur0shin.org -- it certainly is

Godwin's law [...] is impossible to violate except with an infinitely long thread that doesn't mention nazis.
[ Parent ]

Well, I just disagree then. (none / 0) (#228)
by bjlhct on Mon Mar 17, 2003 at 01:07:41 AM EST

I say that that's stupidity or suicide and not the driver's fault, if someone walks directly in front of a moving car, aware of it.

*
[kur0(or)5hin http://www.kuro5hin.org/intelligence] - drowning your sorrows in intellectualism
[ Parent ]
There's a saying (usually about cars) (4.50 / 2) (#235)
by it certainly is on Tue Mar 18, 2003 at 08:50:38 AM EST

if one person isn't paying attention, there's a near miss. If both people aren't paying attention, there's an accident.

kur0shin.org -- it certainly is

Godwin's law [...] is impossible to violate except with an infinitely long thread that doesn't mention nazis.
[ Parent ]

Quite correct. (4.00 / 1) (#152)
by tftp on Fri Mar 14, 2003 at 10:13:22 PM EST

One of my friends had a minor fender bender in about 1 km from Kremlin, in Moscow. Four strong young men emerged from the other car. But they didn't try to beat my friend up. They only intended to shoot him on the spot.

You drive in Moscow on your own risk, and there is plenty of it there. Roads are narrow (old city) and full of cars; drivers are short on patience, and you never know who is armed and who isn't. The crowd won't attack you, though. Quite opposite - hardly anybody will notice you. In case of an accident you are on your own, and the crowbar in hands of the other driver will be the most pleasing sight, as compared to a machete, or a gas gun, or a TT.

[ Parent ]

Bullshit (none / 0) (#232)
by burbilog on Mon Mar 17, 2003 at 11:04:28 AM EST

You drive in Moscow on your own risk, and there is plenty of it there. Roads are narrow (old city) and full of cars; drivers are short on patience, and you never know who is armed and who isn't. The crowd won't attack you, though. Quite opposite - hardly anybody will notice you. In case of an accident you are on your own, and the crowbar in hands of the other driver will be the most pleasing sight, as compared to a machete, or a gas gun, or a TT.

Total bullshit. "Korov'e der'mo" in Russian (well, we don't say that, we usually say "vraki", i.e. lies). I live in Moscow and I drive a lot. Several points:

  • Buy insurance
  • Buy insurance
  • Buy insurance
  • Buy insurance
Russia is one of the few countries with millions cars and no forced insurance. But it doesn't mean everyone uses gun to argue after road accident (actually handguns are prohibited here and it's better to call cops if you see anyone brandishing handgun, most probably it will be his last action before going to the jail). More about Russian gun laws on my (outdated a little) page www.gunlab.com.ru.

Now down to the truth: I had several accidents (no pedestrains, some iron bending). Every time you have an option: call police and I always did that because I have insurance, both liability and my own car damage. Sometimes people prefer to decide who pays and how much without police, but if you did not call police and they did not protocol the accident your chances to get your money are slim. But if you called police (usually they arrive in a hour or two) and they measured accident dimenisons and wrote proper papers you just give your car to your insurance company to repair it and forget everything else.

I must admin I'm reckless driver. I have four accidents since I bought car in august 2000, but every time it wasn't my fault (always damaged my right door and right side and always happened when driver in bigger and meaner car thought that I will yield in my Oka (650 kg, 3 meter lenght econobox) when my road is main and their secondary... anyway, NOTHING in horror stories is true. Once my car was damaged by thieves who set up their car so you are guilty and then demand money, but they disappeared as soon as they heard word "insurance" and "police". That's the only problem on our roads, serious problem but nothing that will endanger your health.

Can't say anything about driving outside Moscow, but my relatives have no problem too.
-- If the life is just a game of D&D then the DM really sucks.
[ Parent ]

Two (4.00 / 1) (#120)
by davidduncanscott on Fri Mar 14, 2003 at 12:13:51 PM EST

He was a passenger in the third accident.

[ Parent ]
The value of education (4.27 / 11) (#19)
by bobpence on Thu Mar 13, 2003 at 08:49:25 AM EST

The students rampaging, and thus missing both their exams and the soccer match, befuddle me. And most nuts worldwide are smarter than your local mobs seem to be. Upon beating a rich automobile owner, they should steal the car for their own use, not burn it to the ground. Sheesh.
"Interesting. No wait, the other thing: tedious." - Bender
Fascinating. (4.08 / 12) (#38)
by Work on Thu Mar 13, 2003 at 01:32:34 PM EST

Great article. I wish there were more like this and how daily life is in the shitholes of the world.

Puts things into perspective.

Shithole? (5.00 / 4) (#149)
by floydian on Fri Mar 14, 2003 at 09:32:58 PM EST

We have a saying down here (in my third world country, or shithole as you put it): only a fool believes his shit is the only one without stench.

[ Parent ]
Let's see (3.00 / 10) (#42)
by drivers on Thu Mar 13, 2003 at 01:54:54 PM EST

Driving too fast for conditions, turning on your high beams to oncoming traffic, reckless endangerment, leaving the scene of an accident. Even in the US, you'd be lucky to avoid an ass-kicking if you did that to me.

But it's not the US... (4.50 / 2) (#45)
by bsimon on Thu Mar 13, 2003 at 02:30:57 PM EST

...and what you've described is standard driving technique in a place like Bangladesh - for the good drivers, that is. The bad ones are in a class of their own...

The writer didn't mention it, but I would guess the rickshaw he hit in the first incident was unlit, and paying very little attention to other traffic.

you have read my sig
[ Parent ]

The first step.. (3.33 / 9) (#44)
by StephenThompson on Thu Mar 13, 2003 at 02:14:36 PM EST

The mob is in the wrong for overreacting to an accident. However, nothing will change until you take responsibility for your own actions. You list several accidents in which you hit people with your car. This is simply not acceptable. If you are unable to control your vehicle, you should not be driving a car. If you do hit someone, you must remain responsible, even if those around you are not. It is easy enough to blame "the mob", but in fact, you are not seperate from them. Their reaction is a mirror of your own actions.

Driving is not a pleasure in many cities (none / 0) (#153)
by tftp on Fri Mar 14, 2003 at 10:25:48 PM EST

If you are unable to control your vehicle, you should not be driving a car.

Driving in those countries is not always a pleasure (similarly to some areas of 1st World cities). It is a necessity - to earn some money, and to continue your existence. Imagine an american who can't drive from his $500,000 home to his $150,000/yr work any more, and instead has to work nearby as a janitor...

If you do hit someone, you must remain responsible, even if those around you are not.

He is responsible. But his pimary responsibility is to keep himself alive.

[ Parent ]

Driving down 5 mile (3.37 / 8) (#48)
by Blarney on Thu Mar 13, 2003 at 03:12:42 PM EST

Odd how universal this is. Last time I was in the hood was with an Indian woman who was doing volunteer work at a church. She was bringing me along so that I could try to fix up some donated computers for the neighborhood folk. Most of these machines had so many nonfunctional components in them that they were obviously tax writeoffs, broken parts deliberately assembled into the shape of a PC, but I did manage to swap together a few of them. Anyway, when we were driving there she was complaining about how people were all over the road and running across without looking and stuff - I gave her the same advice. Drive very slowly, and if we hit someone, just floor it out of here, because these people would happily kill us for a scratch on their hooptie or a scuff on their sneakers - especially me, with my white skin and Jewish features (the Jews were expelled from this neighborhood long ago). She didn't protest NEARLY as much as she usually did when I said something contradicting her "love all serve all" philosophy - so this was probably a familiar situation for her. Maybe India is like this too as well as Bangladesh?

Anyway, it's an interesting symmetry. The scenic ruins of Detroit to the ancient civilizations of South Asia, the hood remains the same.

I call bullshit (none / 0) (#62)
by delmoi on Thu Mar 13, 2003 at 07:36:03 PM EST

That is all.
--
"'argumentation' is not a word, idiot." -- thelizman
[ Parent ]
Multiple choice for you! (none / 0) (#68)
by Blarney on Thu Mar 13, 2003 at 08:21:26 PM EST

You doubt what?

  1. I was driving through the hood.
  2. I was convinced to help a charity.
  3. I am such a paranoid person that I'd flee from a minor fender-bender in such an area.
  4. The donated computers had multiple bad components each, and were obviously a fradulent tax-writeoff.
  5. Other (please describe).


[ Parent ]
It's the username... (4.33 / 3) (#77)
by bsimon on Fri Mar 14, 2003 at 01:02:26 AM EST

As someone pointed out before, your username tends to sow the seeds of doubt.

And using the kind of slang that anyone can pick up from MTV, like 'hood', is an extremely common trait in people who make up stuff that's more interesting than their real lives. Which is unfortunate if you normally talk that way - Catch 22.

I do believe you, by the way - as much as I believe anything I read on K5 (like the Bangladesh story we're discussing, for example).

you have read my sig
[ Parent ]

Not your story, your suppositions. (none / 0) (#239)
by delmoi on Tue Mar 18, 2003 at 01:17:27 PM EST

these people would happily kill us for a scratch on their hooptie or a scuff on their sneakers - especially me, with my white skin and Jewish features

is bullshit.
--
"'argumentation' is not a word, idiot." -- thelizman
[ Parent ]
Paranoia (none / 0) (#242)
by Blarney on Wed Mar 19, 2003 at 12:13:18 PM EST



[ Parent ]
a good reason (4.00 / 8) (#50)
by khallow on Thu Mar 13, 2003 at 03:27:44 PM EST

It was a 15 minutes ride during which we discussed (in a low voice) about the idea of leaving him in the roadside, or even beating the shit out of him with a crowbar. His negligence nearly cost our lives, and he certainly deserved this. Somehow, we didn't and we took him to the hospital. I'm not sure why we did that... maybe we couldn't be cruel enough?

Come on. Let's look at the facts. You sideswipe a motorcycle. Right there he got worst than he gave. Then your friend gets your group in deep trouble by mouthing off. Sounds like the motorcyclist didn't bring on the mob, your friend did. You make a deal with the motorcyclist that if he can distract the crowd, you'll bring him to the hospital. Both parties keep their side of the bargain. Works for me.

Stating the obvious since 1969.

Actually... (none / 0) (#100)
by Kintanon on Fri Mar 14, 2003 at 10:41:01 AM EST

The motorcycle sideswiped HIM if his retelling is correct. So if the motorcycle driver is at fault for weaving all over the road like a fucking maniac then why should these guys get the shit kicked out of them?

Kintanon

[ Parent ]

Ethics (none / 0) (#163)
by bjlhct on Fri Mar 14, 2003 at 11:25:26 PM EST

getting hurt does not put you in the right. Is a suicide bomber who only kills people okey dokey?

*
[kur0(or)5hin http://www.kuro5hin.org/intelligence] - drowning your sorrows in intellectualism
[ Parent ]
Oops, "only injures" NT (none / 0) (#164)
by bjlhct on Fri Mar 14, 2003 at 11:25:54 PM EST



*
[kur0(or)5hin http://www.kuro5hin.org/intelligence] - drowning your sorrows in intellectualism
[ Parent ]
Need I point out... (none / 0) (#188)
by khallow on Sat Mar 15, 2003 at 12:18:24 PM EST

getting hurt does not put you in the right. Is a suicide bomber who only kills people okey dokey?

As mentioned in the story, the motorcyclist helped distract the mob which may have saved their lives. Besides we're talking about someone who made a bad mistake and paid the most for it rather than someone who deliberately sacrificed their life to kill other people.

Stating the obvious since 1969.
[ Parent ]

Dude... (4.10 / 10) (#54)
by Harpalus on Thu Mar 13, 2003 at 05:04:46 PM EST

YOu have hit a lot of people whit your car. Are you sure you are using the right pedal when you do the "right thing" and hit the brakes?

Limitations of Cars ... (4.50 / 2) (#127)
by Cheetah on Fri Mar 14, 2003 at 01:33:08 PM EST

I'm assuming that, like me, you live in some reasonably modern country that has things like limited access highways.

So ... Have you ever tried to slam on the brakes when your car was going more than 15 or 20 MPH and seen how long it takes to come to a complete stop?

In most well developed countries, roads where cars are expected to go very fast at all have at least stop signs on the cross streets, if not traffic lights, to prevent the cross traffic from surprising each other.  On roads where you go really fast (in the don't hit the pedestrian sense), you don't have cross streets and you don't allow slow moving vehicles.

So, in the first couple cases, a vehicle moving at pedestrian speeds comes out into a road without looking to see if there's oncoming traffic, and gets hit.  This is like blindly walking into the middle of a medium sized road without looking.  You should expect to get hit!  There's only so much a driver can do to avoid hitting you.  Physics gets in the way.

Assuming similar road widths as in the USA (don't know if that's at all reasonable, but ...), the driver of the car probably has only a second or two from when they see that they might hit you to when they have to be stopped.  A quarter to a half second reaction time would be very good in such a situation.  To go from 50 KM/H to 0 in a second and a half is about a full gee in the forwards direction.  Consider that fighter jets with special body suits can only keep a person conscious up to about 4 or 5 gees as I recall.  And your tires probably won't be able to provide that much force against the road anyways!

Now, consider again fro the motorcycle, except multiply all the unpleasant numbers by 3!

The reason he hits so many people is that the roads don't provide reasonable separation between objects moving at vastly different velocities.  This is the whole reason behind stop signs, traffic lights, and limited access highways!

[ Parent ]

I was just Joking (none / 0) (#129)
by Harpalus on Fri Mar 14, 2003 at 01:44:09 PM EST

You make a good point, I was just kidding with my comment.

[ Parent ]
hey (2.20 / 5) (#60)
by minus273 on Thu Mar 13, 2003 at 07:07:41 PM EST

in some countries, you have to pay less if the person dies so the driver goes back and runs the person over just to make sure.

Nice Story (3.83 / 6) (#61)
by sypher on Thu Mar 13, 2003 at 07:08:42 PM EST

I enjoyed reading the story, what amazed me was the gruesome parallel that immediately sprang to mind:

Driver = Driver
Injured Party = Injured Party
Baying Mobster = Personal injury lawyer

Where are the law enforcement people in these situations, or does no one bother to call them until they have gained all they can out of the situation, if at all?

I think the story would be better if it explained the background of the country further, as to how this can happen (and any ideas about how the individual may best the situation, i.e gun law e.t.c) but an excellent tale all the same.

If these areas are truly lawless, then please forgive my ignorance of the subject.

I dreamt of it once, now I fear it dreams of me

yo dog (2.40 / 15) (#71)
by turmeric on Thu Mar 13, 2003 at 09:57:20 PM EST

slow the fuck down you stupid shit. maybe you should sell your fucking watch and donate the money to a school where they can teach traffic safety.

btw, 38,000 americans die in car wrecks every year, but since we have alot of 'personal injury lawyers', also called 'ambulance chasers', the mob violence sort of doesnt happen as much. also, hell, nobody walks anywhere and there are no villages. crashes happen on the freeway 20 feet in the air, 1/8 mile from the nearest houses, which are empty because everyone is at work anyways.

still, tho, los angeles has tons of hit-and run homicides of pedestrians. often it is the car drivers fault. really i have almost been hit by car drivers several times on my bicycle. you know what? car drivers are rich arrogant bastards.

He doesn't live in America (3.00 / 3) (#73)
by QuantumFoam on Thu Mar 13, 2003 at 10:55:04 PM EST

Despite what it seems like on the highways, our drivers are relatively well-behaved and everyone knows to stay the hell off the roads unless they are in a vehicle of some sort. The author of the article is in Bangladesh, where cars are a rarity and everyone is bitch-ass poor. The speeds this guy was going at were fairly low, I don't even go 50 km/h in residential neighborhoods.

- Barack Obama: Because it will work this time. Honest!
[ Parent ]

slow? (3.00 / 4) (#115)
by ph0rk on Fri Mar 14, 2003 at 11:44:10 AM EST

20Km/h, 50Km/h?  he is driving slow, you idiot!

People are stupid.  They don't pay attention, and tend to run out in front of a ton or more of rolling steel.  (they obviously know they are on the road, or they wouldn't be so outraged over the fact they don't have one).

And, as you are so quick to point out the US, here if someone runs out in front of your vehicle, they are at fault (in most states), unless it is a marked crosswalk, and the car's light is red or some other stop indicator.
[ f o r k . s c h i z o i d . c o m ]
[ Parent ]

not just the third world (4.12 / 8) (#72)
by nickco on Thu Mar 13, 2003 at 10:45:11 PM EST

in the lawless region of the USA know as Ohio you get your ass kicked and your car trashed for being a Michigan fan..

A Brilliant Allegory! (3.23 / 17) (#75)
by egg troll on Thu Mar 13, 2003 at 11:35:35 PM EST

This is perhaps the best thing I've read regarding Bush's Middle East policy. It works on so many different levels, I'm afraid to comment on the metaphors for fear I've overlooked something. +1, FP from me!

He's a bondage fan, a gastronome, a sensualist
Unparalleled for sinister lasciviousness.

nice article - but (3.20 / 5) (#83)
by mami on Fri Mar 14, 2003 at 04:32:36 AM EST

"Son, you got a car. The people on the streets don't. They think that it's unfair that you own one, and just because you've injured somebody on the streets makes you a rich villain. It's far more complicated then that, but you don't need to know all that. It's in our culture and remember your training - GET OUT WHILE YOU CAN!"

why don't you
a. take the advice: "Get out (of Bandit Land) while you can" and
b. try to understand why "it's far more complicated then that".

I would conclude that if you can only talk in terms of "Bandit Land" about Bangladesh that you might just have taken a job in a country, which you are not up to handle well.

If you are living there against your own will, I would leave. And if you live there, because you want to, I would think you learn to adapt and start examen your own moral system and compare it to those of people who surround you.

It's always a journey worth to travel, even if it's very dangerous. You might have not known much about your own ease with which you would accept the corruption your own morals, hadn't you challenged with situations you couldn't imagine to happen for real before. Sounds they are already pretty much goint south.

That's just a guess, but you didn't explain, who you are and why you are living in Bangladesh. I assume you are not native born in Bangladesh.

If it is so unsafe for cars to be on the road (3.87 / 8) (#88)
by 0xdeadbeef on Fri Mar 14, 2003 at 07:50:39 AM EST

They ought to outlaw cars. What's the ratio of cars to pedestrians and rickshaws? 100 to 1? 1000 to 1?

Maybe you ought to accept the fact that the only way you can drive witout killing people is at the pace of a rickshaw.

You're the Bandit (4.10 / 19) (#89)
by lurker4hire on Fri Mar 14, 2003 at 07:56:03 AM EST

Am I the only one thinking that they have a good fricken reason to mob you? It's not about your bad driving, it's not that they are savages with no morals, it's because they have no other recourse.

Assume everybody was polite and friendly. First accident, you hurt (not seriously) two women taking a rickshaw, and the rickshaw driver as well. Nothing serious, 20 km/h collision would knock them down though. Possibly aggravate existing medical problems (bad backs, knees, etc), maybe sprain an ankle, at worst break a couple bones or a concussion (which is pretty fucking bad in poor parts of the country, but I'll assume the road wasn't paved so less chance of concussion). Regardless, there is a pretty good chance of some minor injuries which would stop them from earning a living for a few days.

So everybody is polite, your license # or whatever is taken, or your name address etc... whatever something to identify you when the injured people go to the police to report this.

Now what do the police do?

Fine you.

ie: take money from you to 'forget this happened'. Or more likely, take money from your parents/employer (still not sure if you are bangladeshi or a foreign worker).

The poor women who now can't work, cannot feed their families, are perhaps crippled (not in big ways, but an untreated back injury in 3rd world countries is only going to get worse), and their effectiveness at whatever it is they do (most likely manual labour, if in a city perhaps textiles, or in the country agriculture).

Now imagine this happens to every poor family at one time or another. Their cousin or their father is hurt by a vehicle, the police do nothing, the officials just use it as an excuse to line their pockets, etc. Imagine this happened everytime, imagine this happened to you. Now perhaps you understand some of the 'more complicated' reasons.

Next time you hit some poor person with your vehicle, by all means get the fuck out of there if you're alone. Then come back later with 4 or 5 big strong friends, and some cash (maybe what you spent in gas the day you hit the person, more if you know for certain that you caused a serious injury). Now walk around the area where the accident occured, find the person (or their family) and do some direct insurance payouts.

dangling whatchamagiggy (2.50 / 2) (#96)
by lurker4hire on Fri Mar 14, 2003 at 09:50:01 AM EST

and their effectiveness at whatever it is they do (most likely manual labour, if in a city perhaps textiles, or in the country agriculture).

Should read...

and their effectiveness at whatever it is they do (most likely manual labour, if in a city perhaps textiles, or in the country agriculture) is most likely impaired.

Although this is a cludge, I should probably rewrite the whole paragraph.

[ Parent ]

Or, (none / 0) (#165)
by bjlhct on Fri Mar 14, 2003 at 11:29:01 PM EST

they could be more careful around cars.

*
[kur0(or)5hin http://www.kuro5hin.org/intelligence] - drowning your sorrows in intellectualism
[ Parent ]
Fine description (2.37 / 8) (#92)
by Citori on Fri Mar 14, 2003 at 09:18:27 AM EST

I'm not really sure that a rehash of a few traffic accidents of yours merits an article.

In addition, the entire thing is really wasted on the readers of this site. The vasy majority of them have never been out of the city in their entire lives and really don't possess the capability to understand the situations you have described. In their world, everything works according to a set of social rules that they have lived under their entire lives. The things that don't are labeled as 'bullshit' and ignored.

Odd way to make a point. (2.00 / 1) (#93)
by ChaosD on Fri Mar 14, 2003 at 09:24:49 AM EST

Most modern cultures have well documented examples of how badly 'crowds' can behave. We in Europe have football (soccer for those in the US) hooligans, for example. The basic reasons for the anti-social (putting it politely) behaviour here are the same that you describe. Relative (to the rest of the local population) lack of wealth (not money!), boredom, fear, hatred. Aside from putting a regional spin on this I'd say your article doesn't add much new.
If this is travel advice then the article should be shorter, less personal, and you should never, ever encourage people to mow them down too, even as a joke - somebody will take you seriously.


-----------------------------
There are no stupid questions
ya, mowing down is too much (4.50 / 2) (#104)
by relief on Fri Mar 14, 2003 at 11:10:18 AM EST

what about turn off your headlights, turn on the light inside the car (so they can see you), then cover your eyes with your hand ("i'm not looking") and proceed to exit at a moderate speed so people can move out of the way.

of course you'll pretend to be looking =D maybe watch out for guns or bats..

----------------------------
If you're afraid of eating chicken wings with my dick cheese as a condiment, you're a wuss.
[ Parent ]

i mean pretend not to be looking (none / 0) (#106)
by relief on Fri Mar 14, 2003 at 11:11:11 AM EST



----------------------------
If you're afraid of eating chicken wings with my dick cheese as a condiment, you're a wuss.
[ Parent ]
tell me sir... (2.00 / 1) (#121)
by Cruel Elevator on Fri Mar 14, 2003 at 12:22:18 PM EST

What would be your reactions if a group of 5 people approached your car, with intention of burning it down, because their education institution has not been turned into a full fledged university? Would you peacefully step away, or would you risk making a dash for it (in the process maybe mowing down 2-3 people)?

Nothing personal, I ask merely for information.

[ Parent ]

Armored Cavalry (none / 0) (#154)
by CodeWright on Fri Mar 14, 2003 at 10:39:52 PM EST

Have a name for that kind of navigation obstacle -- they are called "crunchies".

--
"Humanity's combination of reckless stupidity and disrespect for the mistakes of others is, I think, what makes us great." --Parent ]
Mow 'em down, no question (none / 0) (#159)
by KnightStalker on Fri Mar 14, 2003 at 10:55:43 PM EST

But many people have wondered, and you haven't responded, why do you choose to drive under conditions where it is obviously extremely dangerous, and where one out of ten thousand people owns a car? It would be like an Amerieuropean taking his personal helicopter to work. If he was forced to land in Compton, (and landed on someone) I wouldn't be a bit surprised if he was beaten to a bloody pulp.

If you do feel comfortable with your choices, may I make a recommendation? You may be a good driver but it would seem to be a good idea to become a truly colossal one.

[ Parent ]

driving is always dangerous (none / 0) (#222)
by Lion on Sun Mar 16, 2003 at 09:08:21 PM EST

Many times trouble finds you, no matter how good a driver you are. It only takes a careless pedestrian. Driving is always dangerous. The thing is that we drive so often that we get accustomed to it, and tend to think that it is perfectly safe.

[ Parent ]
I completely agree (4.00 / 1) (#223)
by KnightStalker on Sun Mar 16, 2003 at 09:32:14 PM EST

Actually, after further research, it turns out cars in Bangladesh are more common than I originally thought. Apparently there is more like 1 car in Dhaka to every 100 residents. Still pretty rare, but less so than my original source implied.

With the driving I'm used to, hardly anyone ever runs out in front of you, and if someone does, and you injure them, you're unlikely to face pitchforks and torches; if you were obeying the speed limit, it will likely be ruled their fault, and everyone will accept that. I don't think it's safe; in fact, I rarely drive. (Mainly due to the expense involved.) As I understand it, it's not the same situation at all, and it seems to me that a person who chooses to drive under the conditions described in the article ought to have a good reason.

[ Parent ]

In answer to your question, sir (none / 0) (#229)
by ChaosD on Mon Mar 17, 2003 at 04:18:48 AM EST

Flippant answer:
If I could 'step away' I assume I'm not in the car. I doubt I'd have the time to get in, start the engine and drive off.
Sorry about that. The real answer is that I'd like to think that I'd peacefully step away - but would probably end up trying to drive off. Self preservation is a core part of my psyche.
However, I object to the question. You are tying my reactions in with the intent of my would-be attackers, which isn't fair, and it is personal.

-----------------------------
There are no stupid questions
[ Parent ]
rich villain (2.45 / 11) (#94)
by chu on Fri Mar 14, 2003 at 09:45:38 AM EST

Sounds like "rich villain" would be a reasonable conclusion. Seems like you are complaining that they are sticking up for themselves. If anybody tears down my street and starts knocking the locals down, people will come and have it out with the driver. The thing about bandit countries is that you can easily buy your way out of trouble - the balance is more in your favour there.

Moron. (none / 0) (#101)
by Matadon on Fri Mar 14, 2003 at 10:50:06 AM EST

Let me get this straight.  He tries to do the humanitarian thing, and gets beaten and robbed.  The second time, when a friend of his tries to do the humanitarian thing, the same thing almost happens.

You have to be pretty fucking stupid to not see a pattern here.

If I lived in a country where stopping to offer aid to someone you hit (even though they were likely at fault!) would prompt a lynching, you bet damn well I wouldn't stop.

--
"There's this thing called being so open-minded your brains drop out." — Richard Dawkins.
[ Parent ]

Read first, then reply (none / 0) (#102)
by wumpus on Fri Mar 14, 2003 at 11:04:09 AM EST

The friend did nothing but snear and threaten damages the motorcyclist was unlikely to have a chance of paying.

Your right about not being able to stop and help. The only choice would be to leave him in the street or to move the injured into a car to take him to a hospital (the use of the term "village" implies that nothing close is worth the name). In such a case moving the injured is just likely to kill him faster and leave more evidence for retailiation.

Wumpus

[ Parent ]

also... (none / 0) (#110)
by chu on Fri Mar 14, 2003 at 11:15:35 AM EST

note that they only thought of offering to take the guy to hospital as a way of saving their own skins and then discussed beating him as soon as they were out of trouble - the finely humanitarian author even seems to regret having helped the victim rather than taking a crowbar to him after he was run over. bandit land indeed. (or is the whole article a troll?)

[ Parent ]
ta very much, chickenshit (none / 0) (#103)
by chu on Fri Mar 14, 2003 at 11:04:52 AM EST

If you think repeatedly running people over and only getting out of the car to scream abuse at them for marking your nice shiny car is a humanitarian act then I will take moron as a compliment - thank you.

[ Parent ]
Ganz Idioten. (none / 0) (#111)
by Matadon on Fri Mar 14, 2003 at 11:18:24 AM EST

His friend did the screaming, and that was at the second accident.  The first was just a mob, and I'll wager that Our Friend has run into other situations in the interm.

I'm also going to assume you've never driven in a third-world country; people pay as much attention to traffic laws as I do to the flappings of Pat Robertson.  They'll walk in front of cars without looking, dart in and out of traffic, etc.  It's impossible to not hit people.

--
"There's this thing called being so open-minded your brains drop out." — Richard Dawkins.
[ Parent ]

third-world country (none / 0) (#125)
by chu on Fri Mar 14, 2003 at 01:02:11 PM EST

The first was just a mob,

well in that case...

and I'll wager that Our Friend has run into other situations in the interm.

indeed...

It's impossible to not hit people.

says it all really.

[ Parent ]

Villain? What villain? (none / 0) (#119)
by smithmc on Fri Mar 14, 2003 at 12:03:17 PM EST

In one case, his vision was obscured by dust, and in the other case the rickshaw jumped out in front of him. How's he the "villain"? You don't know enough about him to be justified in calling him that.

[ Parent ]
I only know what he wrote about himself (none / 0) (#124)
by chu on Fri Mar 14, 2003 at 12:58:57 PM EST

He wonders why he took an injured man to hospital instead of beating his head in with a crowbar. He says the 'mob' see him as a 'rich villain' - I think maybe that's understandable. Perhaps he's very decent really and has badly misrepresented himself but I'm just going by the article. The whole thing does have a whiff of the 'unwashed masses' - though the author seems to have become one of the most uncivilised and spineless. It could be that he now fears the mob with good reason.

[ Parent ]
What planet are you from? (none / 0) (#173)
by duffbeer703 on Sat Mar 15, 2003 at 01:26:26 AM EST

An angry mob was going to kill him and his passengers, and probaly trample the victim to death as well.

And he is uncivilized and spineless?

[ Parent ]

'angry mob' (none / 0) (#189)
by chu on Sat Mar 15, 2003 at 01:04:39 PM EST

Far be it from me to criticise his god-given right to drive around the third world running people over - but the angry mob may just have been angry for a reason (I don't know why you made up this bit about them trampling the victim). I think the points he tries to make are that a) they are using it as an excuse to vent their jealousy and b) that most drivers who hit people with their cars are seen as 'rich villains'. The idea that the mob are angry because they are jealous is the archetypal rationalisation of the rich for their past and future misdeeds and is hardly confined to the third world. Put simply, if he doesn't want to be treated as a rich villain then perhaps he shouldn't behave like one.

[ Parent ]
Ever been in a riot? (none / 0) (#224)
by duffbeer703 on Sun Mar 16, 2003 at 11:57:27 PM EST

I guess not.

Shit happens, and people lying in agony on the ground tend to be forgotten and trampled.

The crux of your argument is that "the guy ran over someone and was rich, so he deserves what he gets". I guess that you don't believe in things like due process of law, or common decency for that matter.

Whatever the reasoning, mob action is never a good thing.

[ Parent ]

reading comprehension (none / 0) (#236)
by chu on Tue Mar 18, 2003 at 10:01:45 AM EST

I guess that you don't believe in things like due process of law

What due process of law? This is the third world and our hero and his friends are a serial hit and run drivers - the kind who would send a valet bill to any victims who have the temerity to bleed on their paintwork.

Did the writer call the police? Did he make any attempt to recompense his victims? Did he improve his driving habits or stop driving? Of course not - he got away with it and will continue to.

or common decency for that matter.

You mean like taking the victim to a hospital to help him rather than just to get yourself out of trouble? Or do you mean the kind of common decency where you beat his head in with a crowbar and dump him as soon as you're out of sight.

The guy is a self-confessed psycho yet you take his side quoting 'due process of law' and 'decency' and you believe everything he says about the (justifiably) angry 'mob' - are you trolling by any chance?

[ Parent ]

a few more words... (4.92 / 13) (#107)
by Cruel Elevator on Fri Mar 14, 2003 at 11:11:54 AM EST

1. I'm a reasonably good driver. My friend, who got his face massaged in the highway, is an excellent driver, and he has driven in the USA and Canada. Our body counts are very low compared to the "industry average" - unfortunately, I can't think of a way to verify these claims.

2. We weren't under the influence of drugs/alcohol, and not under stress, or suffering from any illness. We were well within the legal and reasonable speed limits in the situations.

3. If you haven't figured it out already, the driving conditions in this country are pretty bad. Accidents leading to mobs are pretty commonplace. Every driver I know has faced a mob. Some of them managed to avoid getting beaten because the traffic police happened to be around.

4. I understand that many of you have driven for years without hitting anybody. I understand that I can boast similar records if I was located in a different part of the world. I am a nice guy - I don't like maiming / killing people for fun and profit.

5. The bike cut us off at 90 degrees out from a dirt trail - unless you're stunt driver driving a heavily modified car, there isn't much you can do about it. However, I'd be glad to hear from any K5 user who can get out of this situation.

Links:

Angry students damage vehicles in Magura (after a fellow student was critically injured when he was hit by a bus on the highway.)

Jagannath students damage cars ("to realize their demand for upgradation of the institution into a full-fledged university").

(sorry if this is a repost - my browser is acting funny)

Okay... (none / 0) (#196)
by mindstrm on Sat Mar 15, 2003 at 03:32:09 PM EST

  1. : So what, Everyone thinks they are a reasonbly good driver.
  2. : Okay, fair enough. Often, common sense is more important than rules,  epecially outside of highly developed nations.
  3. : The driving conditions are bad. Therefore, speeds and such should be lower. Perhaps speed limits are not reasonable?
  4. : Yet you fail to understand the mobs point of view
  5. : Your story is suspect partly becuase mayn habitual crashers have good excuses for every accident.. yet they still have more accidents than average.


[ Parent ]
Bangladesh is very different from your home town (4.56 / 16) (#108)
by Wile E Heresiarch on Fri Mar 14, 2003 at 11:14:04 AM EST

I visited Bangladesh for a few weeks in 1997. I can tell you that the story posted above is an accurate representation of how things work in Bangladesh.

A lot of comments here are slagging the poster for being insensitive and cruel. What people are missing here is that the problem is not so much that the poster is a bad person, but that Bangladesh is a strange situation. The poster even says that after the first accident, he got out of the car and lived to regret it. It's Bangladesh that's wierd here, not the actions of the poster.
The actions of the crowds and other drivers, as the poster describes them, are just par for the course, completely ordinary, something you have to cope with.

My advice to everyone complaining about this post: visit Bangladesh and see the country at first hand, then come back and reconsider. If you still want to complain, fine. But I think that learning more about Bangladesh will change your perceptions. Let me say it again: Bangladesh is a very different country, and American assumptions don't apply. The story makes no sense from an American perspective, but a lot of sense from a Bangladeshi perspective.

not meaning to be pedantic... (none / 0) (#150)
by mikelist on Fri Mar 14, 2003 at 09:46:12 PM EST

...but isn't that Bengali rather than Bengladeshi?

[ Parent ]
Bengali vs Bangladeshi (none / 0) (#167)
by Wile E Heresiarch on Sat Mar 15, 2003 at 12:33:18 AM EST

Bengal was a large state that comprised the area now split into West Bengal (India) and East Bengal (Bangladesh). The same language, Bengali, is spoken on both sides of the border. If I remember correctly "Bangladesh" just means "Bengali Country". Most of the people are Hindu on the Indian side and mostly Muslim on the Bangladesh side.

My understanding is that Bengali is the adjective applied to the language, culture, and ethnic group, and Bangladeshi is applied specifically to Bangladesh, i.e., whatever doesn't also apply to West Bengal. I don't know whether the driver's story could be taken as typical of West Bengal (although I guess I wouldn't be surprised) so maybe the story is a "Bengali" story after all.


[ Parent ]

Number of cars and restless energy. (4.80 / 10) (#109)
by Akshay on Fri Mar 14, 2003 at 11:15:26 AM EST

You are obviously bitter, especially after looking at autobahns and other sexy expressways.

I believe the problem is two-fold:- first, too much restless energy out there on the streets and second, the number of cars on the road. Reduce the first and increase the second, and you'll see a different Bangladesh.

The second factor really, is something that I believe is already happening in India. I won't make the mistake of speaking for all India of course, but at least in the south (Hyderabad, unless you go to the old city), there are now more bikes than cars than rickshaws. And if I'm not wrong, there are places in the city-once-known-as-Bombay where auto-rickshaws[1] are banned; they're too slow and cumbersome for the fast-moving, relatively disciplined Bombay traffic. Yes, as economic liberalisation comes through, more people are buying scooters and cars, and yes, the dynamics of (at least) urban India's vehicular traffic has probably changed in the last ten years.

Here's a thought then; it's only time before Bangladesh sees more cars than cycle-rickshaws.

On the other hand, restless energy is an endemic problem all across the sub-continent and really, the faster we solve that, the better it is. I believe China has already solved this to a large extent; if you've ever gone down to Hong Kong or Shanghai, you'll see hawkers selling their wares from morning till deep into the night, even past 11pm. These cities have some purposeful energy; people are out there to do something.[2]. They have a single focussed goal in their minds; they are want to make money.

In comparison, in India and many parts of South Asia, youthful energy often finds itself confused.

In beautiful north east India, Manipuris burnt their state assembly and (if I remember correctly) Secretariat because a rumour suggested that their state might be split to accomodate insurgent groups in the neighbouring state of Nagaland. In the Himalayan kingdom of Nepal, Nepalis shut their capital Kathmandu down for two days based on an unverified news article that popular Hindi movie star, Hrithik Roshan, said that Nepal was a "boring" country. (He later denied that statement). In sunny Madras (now renamed Chennai), irate fans broke seats and caused damage to movie theaters because they were disappointed with popular Tamil movie star Rajnikanth's latest offering, Baaba.[3] And of course, Indian cricketers' houses saw oil-paint being thrown at them, and their effigies burnt because the cricket team lost horribly to world-champions Australia in the beginning stages of the cricket World Cup. Successive victories eversince, especially the one against Pakistan, has successfully improved the players' profiles; they're back to being demi-gods for now.[4]

Silly mob behaviour, then, happens all over South Asia. I assert this without due substantiation, but I believe that mob behaviour can largely be restricted if people are given something to do. That will be possible if there are more jobs. More jobs will come if the wealth-creating capacity of the nation(s) improve(s). That will happen with political will and economic leadership. For that, we need better governance. For better governance, we need better political leaders. For better political leaders, we...

Sorry, no idea about the last one.

--
Notes
[1] For non-South-Asians, this is an auto-rickshaw, an engine-driven tri-wheeler, and here's a cycle rickshaw. Auto-rickshaws are faster than cycle-rickshaws because they have an auto, an engine, in them.
[2]That said, it's probably a bad idea to extend the thesis to the Chinese heartland; I have no idea about what goes on there, but folks tell me that Shanghai, the Pearl Valley, Beijing are islands of prosperity of sorts.
[3] This happened in arguably-more-purposeful Singapore as well, so confused restless social energy is probably not the only reason.
[4] Cricket buffs out there, is this team GOOD OR WHAT?! I mean, did you EVER see such a powerful Indian pace attack before? Yup, that's right; India ripped NZ apart today.


as Stalin said (3.00 / 1) (#113)
by chu on Fri Mar 14, 2003 at 11:23:29 AM EST

'no people, no problems'

or as Bob Marley said... (5.00 / 2) (#114)
by Mohammed Niyal Sayeed on Fri Mar 14, 2003 at 11:40:39 AM EST

No witness, no crime...


--
"You need to get your own point, then we can have an elaborate dance fight." - jmzero

[ Parent ]
and Bob McFerrin's weed said (none / 0) (#158)
by spung on Fri Mar 14, 2003 at 10:55:43 PM EST

Don't worry, be happy.

[ Parent ]
Exams (3.00 / 1) (#122)
by Space Cowboy on Fri Mar 14, 2003 at 12:22:50 PM EST

You simply canīt have high school exams during the football world cup. End of story...

Driving record (3.00 / 5) (#126)
by ShiteNick on Fri Mar 14, 2003 at 01:09:28 PM EST

If you lived in a "developed" society, you would never have gotten insurance. After your second or third accident your premium would be so high that you'd have almost no hope of paying it.

And seeing as you probably have a track record of hitting people, you are a menace who should not be allowed to drive.

Millions of people in Third World countries go though their entire lives without having a single accident that kills people. You seem to be extremely unlikely to fall into this category.

Remember-Driving is a privilege and not a right.

Ay! (3.50 / 2) (#132)
by So many idiots So little time on Fri Mar 14, 2003 at 02:05:21 PM EST

Millions of people in Third World countries go though their entire lives without having a single accident that kills people. You seem to be extremely unlikely to fall into this category.

Only because they can't afford cars.
-----
Off wit' yer head!
[ Parent ]

you fail top consider ... (none / 0) (#136)
by mikelist on Fri Mar 14, 2003 at 03:56:13 PM EST

...the population density, it would be far more likely that pedestrian-vehicle accidents would occur where the people are tightly packed, and I'm going to guess the streets tend to be narrower than two lane streets you might be used to. Fact of the matter is, that autombiles may not belong in parts of this country, if pedestrian and livestock crossing is that common and random, the other fact is that most probably wouldn't think of sacrificing their transpo to save a couple of lives. The author notes his alleged cowardice in running away, I'm intrigued by the indifference he seems to feel toward those who are injured.

[ Parent ]
If he lived in a "developed" society (4.50 / 2) (#172)
by duffbeer703 on Sat Mar 15, 2003 at 01:23:22 AM EST

The road wouldn't be a muddy or dusty trail, and pedestrians would be walking on sidewalks and crossing in crosswalks.

Millions of people in Third World countries die before they turn 16 from bacteria in the public water supply or local river. Access to things you take for granted, like clean water and plentiful supplies of a wide variety of foods is a privledge.

Comparing this person's experiences to your experience in the US or Europe is an exercise in futility.

[ Parent ]

Maybe this is "on purpose"? (4.00 / 1) (#130)
by cr0sh on Fri Mar 14, 2003 at 02:02:42 PM EST

I can't claim to have visited your country, nor to know your culture. With that said, though, is there a possibility that what is causing these accidents isn't your driving, or the other persons driving (well, it obviously involves something of both), but rather the poor "rightously" stealing from the rich?

In other words, the poor of the country have this "thing" where they see someone driving a car, and figure "hey, they can hit me, and if I survive, then I and others can beat them up - to make it look "moral" for the suffering - and take their money and car (by burning it), so they are more equal to us, and we have more cash for stuff"? Even if they don't survive the "accident", they know that they probably "helped" some other like them by creating the situation?

For humans to prey upon other humans like this, the situation must be VERY dire - but then again, as you say (and from what little I have seen in magazines and elsewhere) Bangladesh is a country of extremes and no middle.

You are obviously on the "rich" side of the equation - my advice to you is to "fake it". I don't know what your car looks like, but you might want to look into making it "look like shit" - ie, Mad Max it out, turn it into something that doesn't look "rich" - sand the car down, remove all paint, add on some extra steel, maybe a larger gas tank in the back, strip out all interior junk, put in minimally padded seats, add a five-point racing harness, perhaps drop in a custom NOX system (but make sure to "age" the parts so that they don't look "rich"). Then, start wearing shitty clothing, and adapt the rural or poor mannerisms and styles - maybe, in a way, you could make your image be a "middle ground". For times when you don't have to go far, ride a bike or walk - blend into the crowd, and the crowd will be ignorant of your presence.

This is only solution I can think of. I like the one poster's idea of "paying insurance" back to the victims in the case of accidents - that might be a good idea. The best solution would be to get out of the situation entirely, but I understand that may not be an option you want to pursue...

Ever thought about not driving? (4.40 / 10) (#131)
by freddie on Fri Mar 14, 2003 at 02:04:13 PM EST

If people in Bangladesh are crossing over the street without looking, it is probably because they simply don't have enough cars for cars to be a constant danger to them.

In countries were cars are common it's simply not common for a driver to run over a person once a year.

The fact that they resort to mob justice gives you no excuse whatsoever.  The U.S., for example, is a more civilized country on paper., but they'd throw you in a jail or prison were you'd be beaten, ass-raped, and catch aids as a by product.

The universal principle with regards to accidents, is  that the person driving the bigger vehicle  vears more responsibility, and the pedestrian or bicyclist always has the right of way.

If this happens even when you are not driving fast, you should  consider not driving a car at all.

There are lots of options, including scooters, and recliner bikes, that will also get you comfortably from one place to another.  If you get an old looking scooter or bike, it's less likely you'll hurt somebody as bad.  It's also less likely that you'll be stereotyped as a filthy rich person and beaten up, just for that.

Showing off an automobile whether intentional or unintentionally, is always a bad idea, no matter what you are at.  If you give out the message that you are rich and successful, people will envy you and resent you anywhere, but especially in those places were people are poor.

What are the benefits for showing off a car?  Probably nothing, except maybe get laid with some gold digger.


Imagination is more important than knowledge. -- Albert Einstein

excess density is the problem (4.33 / 3) (#133)
by Sikpup on Fri Mar 14, 2003 at 02:45:25 PM EST

Bangladesh is a place I wouldn't wish on anyone.  The whole country is caught in a vicious circle.  Low/non-existant education, extremely high birth rate, not enough land to support the existing population, never mind an increasing one.

To put this horror into perspective realize that within a year or two of one of those cyclones that kills 100,000 people (stop and think about just how many that really is), the high growth rate and lack of land results in people rebuilding in the same lowlands and flood plains as before, and you can't tell anyone is missing.  What kind of society can lose 100k people and not have a noticable difference? (from the outside - obviously people who lost friends/family are going to notice).

As for the corruption in regards to traffic, this is true throughout much of southeast asia.  If the taxi you are in gets in an accident - get out and start running - YOU will be held responsible for the damages.  "Rich" foreigners are ALWAYS at fault for any incident, and stealing from them is an honorable profession.

Same thing happens in Indonesia (5.00 / 1) (#134)
by pnagle on Fri Mar 14, 2003 at 03:01:44 PM EST

You drive straight to a police station if you can find one, or shovel the victim into the car before the crowd gathers and drive to a hospital. In the mid 90s, US$5,000 was approximately what you'd pay if you killed someone. One friend of mine was put in jail by the police because the villagers wanted blood for blood. Instead, they settled for several thousand dollars and monthly english lessons for two years - provided by the driver himself at the village. Now they're all friends. And then there's everyone's favorite story about the guy driving with his young son who runs over a child in a village. When he gets out to help the child, he hears his own son scream as he's being murdered by a villager in the back seat of the car. Gotta keep those doors locked. I gave up trying to describe driving in Indonesia because I got tired of offending people. We'll keep it amongst us girls.

Being "spoiled", I hired a driver (5.00 / 1) (#143)
by tedoneill on Fri Mar 14, 2003 at 06:21:36 PM EST

I visited Indonesia four times, and hired a driver everytime. I am very glad I did this. At first, I was hesitant and thought, "Why not just rent a car and just travel around freely?" Then I left the airport.

An old co-worker of mine had lived in Bali for three years. She had regaled us with tales of fun and surfing, but also a few stories like yours. Specifically, a UKian friend had had a terrible accident between two motorcycles. The other person died and he was hospitalized. Perhaps nobody really knew where the fault lay at this point, but one things was sure, he was going to pay a lot of money, or spend sometime as a guest of the state. They grabbed him from the hospital and put him on a plane home.

I was reminded of this when I saw three traffic accidents between the airport and my hotel in Ubud: Motorcycle vs motorcycle, truck vs motorcycle, car vs car. I began to feel very glad that I had hired a driver, especially when we had a few close calls ourselves.

I was once a passenger in a cycle rickshaw in Ho Chi Minh City and we had an accident. The driver was trying so hard to sell me something that he failed to pay enough attention to where he was going. I kept asking him to put away his photo album of samples and turn around, but no dice. We ended up tangled with another rickshaw which had been carrying two female students. I saw coming, but what could I do? Evidently pay. My driver suggested I pay off the other rickshaw driver and his passengers. Feh!

I won't even get into my wife's adventures on a motorcycle taxi in Bangkok. I leave it to your imagination, and suggest that you may fall short.

And then there was the time I went on a bicycle tour for three weeks in Thailand and Laos...

--Ted

"Always be wary of any helpful item which weighs less than its operating manual." -- Terry Pratchett
[ Parent ]

Since this is Kuro5hin... (5.00 / 1) (#171)
by duffbeer703 on Sat Mar 15, 2003 at 01:18:24 AM EST

I must provide you with a tree-hugging, pro-noble poor person reprimand.

What the hell were you doing driving a car in Indonesia. You have legs and could very easily pedal a bike to wherever you needed to go.

By hiring a driver, you reveal your true nature as an evil, pro-Bush capitalist bent on dominating the people of Indonesia.

[ Parent ]

What the hell were you doing driving a car in ... (none / 0) (#204)
by tedoneill on Sat Mar 15, 2003 at 07:55:25 PM EST

Indonesia?

But that is the whole point! I wasn't driving! As an "evil, pro-Bush capitalist bent on dominating the people of Indonesia" I paid them generously, but not too generously mind you to hurl the metal boxes of motorized death (otherwise known as Toyota Kijangs) through the tortured streets of Ubud. I am a compassionate conservative. I maintained the safety of the local community while keeping the messy business of life-and-death at arms length where it belongs- and contributed to the local economy to boot!

Walking and cycling dirty hippies are the ones who are oppressing the people of Indonesia by being cheapskates who contaminate the local religious and cultural life, tax the already over-burdened infrastructure, and just generally lower the tone- all without ever opening their wallets to pay for a ride.

--Ted

"Always be wary of any helpful item which weighs less than its operating manual." -- Terry Pratchett
[ Parent ]

THAT was a good joke, I hope :-) (none / 0) (#207)
by BerntB on Sat Mar 15, 2003 at 08:59:54 PM EST



[ Parent ]
Attitudes of cars vs. {motorbikes,bikes,rickshaws} (4.60 / 10) (#135)
by odds on Fri Mar 14, 2003 at 03:41:46 PM EST

Your attitude seems like the typical attitude of a car driver. You probably only use a car to get around in North America, since you made the utterly impractical choice of driving a car in Bangladesh. Motorcycles or other more compact and less dangerous vehicles are more typical in these places, where space is at a premium.

Now, imagine that you're a motorcyclist. On the road, you are very vulnerable - essentially at the mercy of any rogue car driver. In the case of an accident with a car, the car driver will pay in terms of damage to vehicle; the motorcyclist will pay in terms of loss of life and health. It's hardly a fair exchange. The same goes (even more so) for cyclists or rickshaws.

Now, imagine a society where only an elite minority (<1%) drive cars. Everyone in this society will understand the point of view of the motorcyclist (rickshaw driver, cyclist, etc.), with no appreciation for the driver's point of view. This is exactly what you experienced in Bangladesh: a complete lack of sympathy for your situation, while entirely understanding the plight of the vulnerable vehicle. The resulting violence is unusual, but the rest of the reaction is entirely understandable. <p> Since when is driving a god-given right? In Bangladesh, driving a car is an ostentatious display of wealth, kind of like renting Times Square for your birthday party. You're not entitled to much sympathy, honestly. The fact that you persisted in driving a car, instead of switching to some more practical mode of transport, speaks to your attitude to the whole affair.

Yes, my attitude sounds extreme. I'm a cyclist, and I've seen the casual disregard drivers have for risk to my life, while sitting secure in their hulking metal boxes. Drivers regularly cut me off, just because they're not used to looking out for cyclists. Two weeks ago, an SUV driver threw junk at me at 80km/h on a narrow mountain highway. You've just seen what happens in a society which values the life of other types of traffic over the life of drivers, where rickshaw drivers don't look out for car traffic. I'm not about to condone either approach; just be aware of your biases as a North American car driver.

...and as an aside, I lived in Bangladesh for two years as a young child. I haven't been back, but I heard my brother's stories after spending a month there last year. A rough country indeed.

- Odds

Cars vs. ... (4.00 / 2) (#144)
by Aemeth on Fri Mar 14, 2003 at 07:17:53 PM EST

As a fellow motorcyclist, I fully agree that bikes tend to end up worse off than cars in any given accident, and more often than not (at least here in Australia) little real attention is payed to the needs of cyclists on the road (push-bikes too for that matter), and the attitude of most car users is one of ignorance and at worst, negligence, BUT, from reading this account, it seems clear to me that the fault in these accidents lies firmly with the rickshaw/bike drivers, who were blithley ignoring other traffic, much as car users normally do to cyclists. Frankly, if motorcyclists expect to be noticed and accounted for by car drivers, then they have to reciprocate. It frequently annoys me when I see motorcyclists, who would no doubt complain vociferously about the lack of consideration given to then, drive up between two lanes of cars at traffic lights to get to the head of the queue, they just worsen the case for us more conscientious riders. Always remember, there's two sides...

...mathematics may be defined as the subject in which we never know what we are talking about, nor whether what we are saying is true.
Bertrand Russell


[ Parent ]
Lose the car (4.33 / 6) (#137)
by 5pectre on Fri Mar 14, 2003 at 04:22:12 PM EST

get a bike or something more local.

If anybody tries to block your way, mow them down too.

And you say it is poverty and lack of authority that reduces people to savage animals.

"Let us kill the English, their concept of individual rights might undermine the power of our beloved tyrants!!" - Lisa Simpson [ -1.50 / -7.74]

What about the monster behind the wheel (4.80 / 5) (#138)
by flarg on Fri Mar 14, 2003 at 04:58:54 PM EST

In each of your stories, you point out the monsters in the mob, and blame them for many problems, but you never seem to blame yourself? But what about the monster behind the wheel? Look here: Sometime in 1996, I was driving along this dusty road in a busy part of the town. It was in the evening, and as usual, the street lights hadn't come on. I was doing about 50 KM/h. Visibility was poor, so I switched on my high beam and a car coming from the opposite direction did the same. What the hell were you thinking? Why are you driving 50Km/h in the evening down a dusty road in a busy section of town where visibility is poor? High beams in dust lower visibility. 50Km/h or more is fine for a clear road, but you were driving to fast for conditions, and you nearly killed someone as a result. People jumping in front of you is part of driving, you as the driver need to be prepared for unexpected events. Being prepared means not driving as fast as you can go, but rather driving at a proper speed.

Car owners in 3. world countries (and elsewhere) (4.50 / 2) (#216)
by hovik on Sun Mar 16, 2003 at 01:29:04 PM EST

Some tend to think that since they paid alot of money for their car, they have the right to travel faster than poor people who can only afford to walk or use a bike. So they drive way to fast, and whenever they hit somebody, its the shithead who happend to be in front of the car who is to blame.

There are people liike that in the west too, but they're more likely to loose their licence or get locked up before they cause too much harm.

[ Parent ]
why are you surprised? (4.00 / 5) (#139)
by bgs4 on Fri Mar 14, 2003 at 05:03:13 PM EST

you've just shown that, even when driving carefully, it is very easy to hit people. Therefore, driving a car AT ALL in that area is recklessly endangering people's lives. By the logic you used on the motorcyclist (who you say deserved to be beaten with a crowbar for endangering you), you deserve to be beaten for endangering the lives of all the villagers. That is exactly what you got.

You chose to risk their lives. (4.50 / 8) (#140)
by rdmiller3 on Fri Mar 14, 2003 at 05:45:18 PM EST

You said that driving conditions are so bad that even an excellent driver cannot avoid hitting some poor person who gets in the way.

...yet you chose to drive.

I think that says it all. By driving when you know you're bound to hit someone, you have already decided that it is your privelege to drive at the expense of their lives.

If it's impossible to drive in Bangladesh without hurting other people, then you damned well should not be driving at all.

villain (5.00 / 2) (#141)
by bgs4 on Fri Mar 14, 2003 at 06:01:46 PM EST

I agree. I think this line was most upsetting to me:
They think that it's unfair that you own one, and just because you've injured somebody on the streets makes you a rich villain.
as if, after having several accidents in only a few years, one can continue to call them "accidents" and not take any blame.

[ Parent ]
Actually (none / 0) (#183)
by A Trickster Imp on Sat Mar 15, 2003 at 10:37:44 AM EST

Actually, it doesn't surprise me that in countries (or areas of same) where there are very few cars, that people crossing roads don't pay much attention, and thus get hit by people in cars.

When cars started being used in America, they came up with all kinds of stupid laws because, presumably, people were constantly getting hit, and politicians being what they are, rode to the rescue with poorly designed laws.

At its worst, speed limits were set extremely low, with everyone having the right of way over a car, and in one case, you had to stop your car at an intersection, get out with a lantern, and wag the lantern back and forth before you crossed.

[ Parent ]

And you would get places how? (none / 0) (#145)
by achaudhary on Fri Mar 14, 2003 at 08:15:17 PM EST

Right.  This is not New York City, where you can hop on the Subway.  Driving is the only way to get around a lot of times in south Asia.

[ Parent ]
Does not compute (5.00 / 3) (#151)
by KnightStalker on Fri Mar 14, 2003 at 10:00:50 PM EST

  • Driving is the only way to get around
  • Almost nobody drives.
Therefore,
  • Almost nobody gets around.
While that's possible, it doesn't seem likely. Like many others have pointed out, you can easily keep up with this traffic on a bicycle, or a moped if you're a fat lazy American.

I've never been to South Asia, but I do seem to remember seeing picture after picture of hugely congested traffic lanes of . . . bicycles. Hell, I get around just fine in Portland without a car, and our society is *built* around cars. Don't tell me you can't do it in Dhaka.

[ Parent ]

You don't compute (none / 0) (#170)
by duffbeer703 on Sat Mar 15, 2003 at 01:12:19 AM EST

Did you ever consider that the bulk of the villagers in outlying areas are peasants? They don't commute to work -- they live where they work.

When you are a farmer or small merchant, you can do all of your work in your village, you don't need to go anywhere.

Even "fat lazy American" farmers tend to stick around in town alot more.

If you are a businessman who needs to get to a factory or other facility, or in any job which requires travel off the beaten path, you need a car to get around.

I'm sure you have no trouble getting around on subsidized mass transit or bike on a nice, paved road in Portland. You might find that traveling outside the capital of a 3rd world nation is a little different.

While you may be a thin workaholic, you are as ignorant of the rest of the world as most of your countrymen are.

[ Parent ]

Actually (none / 0) (#174)
by KnightStalker on Sat Mar 15, 2003 at 01:33:19 AM EST

I'm a fat workaholic. But a little research might convince you that there are a lot of car-free commuters in Bangladesh.

[ Parent ]
and furthermore (5.00 / 1) (#175)
by KnightStalker on Sat Mar 15, 2003 at 01:47:37 AM EST

the "you can't get anywhere without a car" attitude is quintessentially ignorant-American.

[ Parent ]
Bah (none / 0) (#182)
by A Trickster Imp on Sat Mar 15, 2003 at 10:33:53 AM EST

Bah!  Young folks in any country try their damndest to get a car to drive -- for exactly the same reason American kids do.

The girls go with the guy with the car, not the guy trumpetting the joys of government-supplied mass transit.

[ Parent ]

The notion (none / 0) (#186)
by duffbeer703 on Sat Mar 15, 2003 at 11:44:06 AM EST

that "you can get anywhere by carrying your bike or moped on a city or greyhound bus" attitude is the ignorant assumption that only an ignorant dweller of rich american suburbs would make.

Try going to Bangladesh or India someday. You'd probaly find that since most people have no choice but to ride public transportation.

I'm sure your love affair with the near-empty city bus in Portland would end quickly when the bus was packed to capacity with people, baggage and even livestock every day.

If you could afford a private, air conditioned car when the alternative was a 150 degree bus teeming with passengers... anyone would choose the car.

[ Parent ]

This is futile (5.00 / 1) (#190)
by KnightStalker on Sat Mar 15, 2003 at 01:05:14 PM EST

But I'll try it again. According to that letter to the editor, one out of 8000 people in Dhaka has a car. I expect the rate is lower out of the city. Do you seriously think the one goes to work in his nice car and the 7999 just stay in bed all day? No, they go out and do whatever they do without the aid of a vehicle.

I have no *problem* with someone driving a car. I don't think it's immoral. Personally, I don't drive because it's expensive. But apparently, driving in Bangladesh is incredibly dangerous. So I am wondering why the author chooses to do this dangerous activity when there are obviously alternatives.

Tell me, when was the last time *you* were in Bangladesh or India?

[ Parent ]

Yes it is. (none / 0) (#225)
by duffbeer703 on Mon Mar 17, 2003 at 12:03:33 AM EST

Apparently you don't understand.

People living at that level of poverty conduct their business in or near their homes. They don't commute, because their job is next door.

People with jobs that leave them responsible for things scattered throughout the city or countryside need a away to get to those responsibilities. Walking, riding a bike or horse or goat are not fast enough or capable of safely carring whatever baggage you require.

I work with several people who have spent months in rural India and was there for a week about two years ago. I loved the experience, although I was in the city. Most of my colleagues loved the country and had a wonderful time -- but their caravan of five trucks with valuable equipment needed to be escorted by soldiers to travel safely though the countryside.

[ Parent ]

get a gun (3.00 / 4) (#142)
by mpalczew on Fri Mar 14, 2003 at 06:11:46 PM EST

Get a big fat shotgun and keep it in your car.
-- Death to all Fanatics!
gun? (3.00 / 2) (#157)
by spung on Fri Mar 14, 2003 at 10:50:18 PM EST

"A gun?" - that was my first reaction. Then I saw 'washington.edu' and everything made sense: "He's American.."

[ Parent ]
re: gun? (none / 0) (#169)
by duffbeer703 on Sat Mar 15, 2003 at 01:04:49 AM EST

"A smug anti-gun advocate?" - that was my first reaction. Then I saw 'He's American..' and everything made sense: "Condescending Eurotrash."

[ Parent ]
i am american, but you are wrong (4.50 / 2) (#178)
by circletimessquare on Sat Mar 15, 2003 at 08:35:02 AM EST

and i hate condescending eurotrash.

and i am for intervention in iraq.

and i think america's love affair with the gun is a little like our love affair with the car... pretty shiny objects we love too much and pay with on a daily basis with a regular flow of pine boxes.

if you think a gun protects you from harm, well then, this must be darwinian evolution in action. because if you are intelligent enough, you realize how you put yourself in more of harms way by having one, not less.

it's called hubris: exaggerated pride or self-confidence. thinking you can control a firearm at all times, and not fall victim to the emotional, intellectual, or situational failings that we all have to some extent or the other. having a gun in such a situation brings upon consequences that would not normally otherwise occur.

like i said, a darwinian evolutionary intelligence test you either fail or pass. i know plenty of you fail it.

normally i would be perfectly comfortable with guns claiming their moronic owners alone. but i know that poor people, robbery victims, and innocent bystanders pay for it to.

all of this, and hypocritical claims it protects those it hurts.

hubris in action.


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

hehehe (none / 0) (#185)
by duffbeer703 on Sat Mar 15, 2003 at 11:38:26 AM EST

Well, I guess you are a condescending american rather than eurotrash. The key attribute there was "condescending" anyway.

My family has owned guns for centuries and continues to do so today. They are not militia wannabes or crazed control freaks.

If you are some sort of psycho who cannot control his temper and takes out your aggressions on people or objects... don't buy weapons. Don't buy a car or good kitchen knives either.

You sig is ironic. If one was to run "tracert life.liberty.pursuit-of-happiness" from your computer, it would fail before leaving your computer. Someone of your level or ignorance and arrogance has no room for freedom -- except for yourself.


[ Parent ]

idiots and guns, nothing new here (5.00 / 1) (#192)
by circletimessquare on Sat Mar 15, 2003 at 01:22:19 PM EST

yes, i am condescending, to stupid people.

your family has owned guns for centuries? how does this make you unique?

my family came to america in the 1600s. they fought in the revolutionary war and both sides of the civil war. i grew up on a farm, the same house my mom grew up in. our nearest neighbor was a mile away through a swamp. my grandfather taught me shooting out in said swamp with a wwi-era rifle.

what does any of that prove? absolutely nothing. but apparently it's important to you, since you say your family has been using guns for centuries. who cares. whatever.

if i am some sort of psycho? i am not. and neither are you. we are both human beings. human beings are frail physically, mentally, emotionally, situationally. look up hubris in your handy dandy dictionary. see why it is all you need to know when it comes to judging the combination of human frailty and guns.

are you really commenting on my sig? then you might have failed another hypothetical intelligence test. other people have commneted on it's irony, others have said dumb shit like you, like "hey idiot! that trace route doesn't go anywhere! you moron! hahahaha!"

uh huh. intelligence test failed.

and this, coming from someone with a simpson's-inspired sig, a tv show built on multiple levels of irony.

excuse me while i smack myself on my forehead.

the 2nd amendment is a historical fossil of the days when davey crockett and the cheyenne roamed open wildernesses. if you don't understand why your adherence, as if it were from the bible or something, to a historically irrelevant, misinterpretted line of text is the cause of so much suffering and pain in the urban and suburban areas of this country, then you are not a stupid fool, you are an evil fool.

history is on my side, friend. adjust your views to the future, or go watch some more john wayne/ dirty harry movies... because those are the only places where gun ownership makes sense in the wish fulfillment way you believe they do.


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

Whatever (none / 0) (#227)
by duffbeer703 on Mon Mar 17, 2003 at 12:13:41 AM EST

Look at the urban and suburban areas of the Mexico, the UK or France where it is either difficult to afford guns or illegal. The misery, suffering and pain of the poor and forgotten is no better in those places.

Banning firearms is as utterly moronic as banning strong encryption, knives or automobiles.

History is not on your side. If it was possible to
"traceroute" through life, you'd quickly learn those who wish to force their will on others -- people like yourself -- are the barriers to "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness".

Those revolutionaries who raised a flag reading "Don't tread on me" took up arms against their rightful government and won independence. Whomever your ancestor who fought in that revolution was, he'd spit on the ground you walk on if someone told him that you support any government disarming its citizens.

[ Parent ]

don't tread on me (none / 0) (#233)
by circletimessquare on Mon Mar 17, 2003 at 12:53:43 PM EST

don't tread on me

a flag raised when some king across an ocean professed to speak for the americans

an example alluded to by you, as you profess to speak for:

  1. my ancestors
  2. mexicans, brits, and frogs
arrogant of you, isn't it?

arrogance: inflated view of self, similar to the root cause of hubris, which in turn is the root cause of people walking around with firearms thinking that makes them safer.

you go on with your bad self

but don't tread on me

;-)

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

Guns... (none / 0) (#215)
by Xanthipe on Sun Mar 16, 2003 at 01:10:26 PM EST

are for cowards. Pure and simple. If you're going to kill someone, at least have the dignity and honour to look them in the eye.

And if you want protection, buy a bullet proof vest.

Love, the anti-gun eurotrash.


--

The best answer I can give to the question of whether I am alive or dead is "Yes"...


[ Parent ]
hubris, our mortal enemy (3.00 / 5) (#146)
by circletimessquare on Fri Mar 14, 2003 at 08:46:59 PM EST

i live and work in midtown manhattan. my income level is upper middle class. i don't own a car. i walk to work. i hate cars.

of course, it easy for me to do so, considering that my situation is rather atypical.

but, my criticism is still valid i think: people love cars because they offer cheap freedom to go whereever you want. that is the problem. because people don't understand how dangerous cars are.

people feel safer in their drivers seat than sitting in an airplane seat. why? human psychology: if you have control over the situation, then you feel safe, even though the statistics prove you wrong.

so the enemy here? simple human psychology. when we feel like we are in control, we feel safe. we forget our own human weaknesses and failings.

same things with guns too, btw: false sense of security, to the detriment of us all... people buy them to protect them from the mythological middle of the night house robber or alley rapist. this is the movies. but all you really hear about guns is how somebody shot up a club or robbed a store. think about it. we are our own worse enemy. we have an inflated view of ourselves and our ability to the control the situation and not fall victim to our own emotions or stupidity or simple human frailty.

hubris, our mortal enemy, each and every one of us.


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

guns, self defense, and news (none / 0) (#210)
by glasnost on Sun Mar 16, 2003 at 01:38:12 AM EST

Gun-ownership instances which lead to the prevention of crime aren't newsworthy. The media mostly reports the "anomolously bad", not the "omnipresently good" or "mundanely uneventful."

[ Parent ]
The Beauty of the third world (5.00 / 3) (#147)
by floydian on Fri Mar 14, 2003 at 09:16:15 PM EST

A while ago, when I was feeling a lot more miserable, I wrote up this diary entry, which is (somehow?) related to your story.

However, I feel better now. I am learning to see the beauty of my third-world country, instead of focusing on the negative aspects. I have recently begun to take trips outside of the capital city, and have discovered people are nice, friendly, and unprejudiced, not to mention the breathtaking natural sceneries. So what if our countries aren't as safe as the modern industrial cities? I'd bet my ass that, if you know where to look, you'll find they're more beautiful.

We seem to share a common ill: our streets simply aren't safe. But, my friend, there's little to nothing we can do about that. What we can do is, enjoy the good things about the place where we live. Accept our life for what it is, and try to make a positive effect on our immediate surroundings: our family, our friends.

You know what I'd like? I'd like to see that, as your next K5 article idea, you choose to do a story on how beautiful your country really is (if you look hard enough, that is).

A little bit of Bangladesh in Chicago? (5.00 / 3) (#148)
by ranchdudes on Fri Mar 14, 2003 at 09:17:35 PM EST

A little bit of Bangladesh in Chicago? Beating of drivers after an accident is not something confined to "savage lands"[*]. On July 30, 2002, two men driving a van "slammed into a limestone building in the 3900 block of South Lake Park Avenue in the Oakland neighborhood" [quote from Chicago Tribune].

The crash injured three women standing nearby, and what happened next shocked Chicago - a mob beat the two men to death.

You can read about this incident in the Chicago Tribune. Some articles I found are:
Hillard vows to catch killers in mob beating
Witnesses to fatal mob beating sought
Officer testifies teen took part in mob beating

rd

[*] Some would say that Chicago's South Side is savage land. Certainly, it is rife with crime and averages two murders a day. Major Daley and the affluent citizens of Chicago probably don't care much - it is mostly criminals robbing poor people and killing other criminals.

The simple solution. (1.00 / 1) (#166)
by bjlhct on Fri Mar 14, 2003 at 11:33:22 PM EST

http://www.benelliusa.com/m1_tactical/

*
[kur0(or)5hin http://www.kuro5hin.org/intelligence] - drowning your sorrows in intellectualism
guns and darwinian evolution in action (5.00 / 1) (#179)
by circletimessquare on Sat Mar 15, 2003 at 08:37:37 AM EST

i think humanity's love affair with the gun is a little like our love affair with the car... pretty shiny objects we love too much and pay with on a daily basis with a regular flow of pine boxes.

if you think a gun protects you from harm, well then, this must be darwinian evolution in action. because if you are intelligent enough, you realize how you put yourself in more of harms way by having one, not less.

it's called hubris: exaggerated pride or self-confidence. thinking you can control a firearm at all times, and not fall victim to the emotional, intellectual, or situational failings that we all experience now and then. having a gun in such a situation brings upon consequences that would not normally otherwise occur.

like i said, a darwinian evolutionary intelligence test you either fail or pass. i know plenty of you fail it.

normally i would be perfectly comfortable with guns claiming their moronic owners alone. but i know that poor people, robbery victims, and innocent bystanders pay for it to.

all of this, and hypocritical claims it protects those it hurts.

hubris in action.


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

Or put more simply.... (4.50 / 2) (#187)
by fencepost on Sat Mar 15, 2003 at 12:04:30 PM EST

If you're carrying a gun, you're more likely to let yourself get into situations where you'll be tempted to use it; if you're unarmed you'll find the ways to avoid those situations while still doing what you wanted to do.

People who carry guns are more likely to walk down a dark street in a bad neighborhood while the folks not carrying them will go one block over to the well-lit/busier street. Which one is really safer?

--
There's a constellation of traits that make up (no pun intended) the defective girl. --Parent ]

Well, (4.50 / 2) (#194)
by bjlhct on Sat Mar 15, 2003 at 02:26:25 PM EST

the author of the article, at least, seemed smart enough to not do that. If you handle a firearm responsibility there is little downside and here there is a large upside.

*
[kur0(or)5hin http://www.kuro5hin.org/intelligence] - drowning your sorrows in intellectualism
[ Parent ]
hubris speaks (nt) (1.00 / 1) (#202)
by circletimessquare on Sat Mar 15, 2003 at 06:49:04 PM EST



The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
the downside is for everyone else (1.00 / 1) (#243)
by soulcatcher on Thu Mar 27, 2003 at 07:04:00 PM EST

<Sarcasm>Except that now you are a psychopathic murder just waiting to happen.</Sarcasm>

Seriosuly though.  There really is very little downside for the person carrying the gun.  The downside is for everyone else, because that person is now very very dangerous.

Any person could be carrying a gun, because as a society, we have no standards of what kind of a person you need to be to carry one.

Any bucktoothed "I'm gonna make you squeal like a pig" yokle dipshit could be packing, and that makes the whole society less safe.

[ Parent ]

Guns don't substitute for brains (4.50 / 2) (#237)
by Cro Magnon on Tue Mar 18, 2003 at 10:26:43 AM EST

Anyone who lets the fact that he's armed lure him into bad situations is an idiot. Whether I'm armed or not, I try to avoid trouble. The gun should be a last resort, not an excuse to be "bad"!
Information wants to be beer.
[ Parent ]
Huh? (none / 0) (#184)
by Hightc on Sat Mar 15, 2003 at 11:22:22 AM EST

So, instead of having angry mobs attacking people with sticks, you want angry mobs attacking people with guns?  That helps in what way?

[ Parent ]
No, the idea is (none / 0) (#195)
by bjlhct on Sat Mar 15, 2003 at 02:27:07 PM EST

angry mobs won't attack people who have guns.

*
[kur0(or)5hin http://www.kuro5hin.org/intelligence] - drowning your sorrows in intellectualism
[ Parent ]
Guns are a lot cheaper than cars... (none / 0) (#198)
by bsimon on Sat Mar 15, 2003 at 03:56:20 PM EST

...so I'm sure the angry mob could afford a few of their own.

Maybe it's better if nobody has any guns in this case?

you have read my sig
[ Parent ]

Maybe. (none / 0) (#200)
by bjlhct on Sat Mar 15, 2003 at 04:44:49 PM EST

But they don't here. And whether or not some in the mob have guns the driver is better off with one. Probably would have been seen or used. And the driver having a gun here doesn't do any harm really if (h)'s smart about it.

*
[kur0(or)5hin http://www.kuro5hin.org/intelligence] - drowning your sorrows in intellectualism
[ Parent ]
The perfect place for US corporate outsourcing (4.00 / 1) (#168)
by alizard on Sat Mar 15, 2003 at 01:02:53 AM EST

If you examine the conduct of US business leadership (here is a current Slashdot thread on outsourcing linked to a couple of good articles) you will discover that it doesn't take poverty to produce that kind of behavior in people, just support in the culture. Though your point with respect to lack of authority is also on-topic with respect to comparison to corporate leadership.

How many US CEOs are taking falls in person for situations like Enron and other corporations known for pumpling and dumping on wary investors? How effective is SEC supervision? How effectively is DOJ regulating Microsoft's conduct after their contributions to the Bush campaign?

The difference? A few years of college, connections, and decent quality business suits.

The difference? Destroying a community by shipping its jobs overseas takes a lot less risk and a lot less physical labor than pulling people out of a wreckage so one can steal their belongings.
"The horse is dead. Fuck it or walk away, but stop beating it." Juan Rico

it's amazing (4.00 / 1) (#177)
by Rahaan on Sat Mar 15, 2003 at 04:23:25 AM EST

It's amazing how quickly the Kuro5hin-gali mob has (figuratively) descended upon you, much as you've described in the article.

Here's a drink to either you getting out of Bangladesh or it becoming a much, much better place..


you know, jake.. i've noticed that, since the tacos started coming, the mail doesn't so much come as often, or even at all

"Underdeveloped" countries (4.00 / 1) (#180)
by mentor on Sat Mar 15, 2003 at 08:40:45 AM EST

Three years ago, I had a holiday in Cameroon in West-Africa, visiting the family and birthland of my wife (I'm European, she's adopted, and Belgian too as of her adoption)

We had similar problems there - not in the sense of murderous mobs going for every penny you had, but in the sense of desperate people trying to con you into giving everything you had or else ...

In the capital Yaounde, it seemed like a national lottery so to speak - people standing by, and looking into cabs and vehicles where white people might be sitting in - when the car stops, or has almost stopped, they tend to get in front of it - knock on the car where you can't see it, roll some meters, like you just hit them full throttle, keeps lying on the ground, while his aides try to cause as much scandal as they can ...

In a span of two months living there, I think it happened two times to me, and I saw at least 10 other cases where this seemed to be the case while roaming the city ...

Actually - from what I've seen there - you can hardly blame them, for trying one way or another to con you into giving them some money, after which they will be all friendly and OK with you, telling you that you are lucky that you have some money on you and such, and so on ...

The two times I was involved though - we didn't have any troubles - there was a soldier riding along, and people tend to stay clear of them ...

Civilized (5.00 / 1) (#181)
by A Trickster Imp on Sat Mar 15, 2003 at 10:28:30 AM EST

One wonders if people in the West truly appreciate the government doing things like protecting your safety and your property, and how much that benefits the creation of a strong economy where even the "poor", loudly lamented by power hungry politicians, are fat and drive cars.

People can rely on the preservation of their wealth for the construction of businesses.  They can rely on not having to bribe local politicians to get any real work done, such politicians, wrongly, having the power to say yea or nay, and thus saying nay until their palms are greased.

[ Parent ]

shame on all people (3.00 / 1) (#193)
by adequate nathan on Sat Mar 15, 2003 at 02:16:13 PM EST

Who fail to get the literary allusion in this incident.

Which I will post tomorrow, so wait 'til then to rate me down.

Nathan
"For me -- ugghhh, arrgghh."
-Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chrétien, in Frank magazine, Jan. 20th 2003

Join the petition: Rusty! Make dumped stories & discussion public!

Bah. I lose. (n/t) (none / 0) (#197)
by gzt on Sat Mar 15, 2003 at 03:40:21 PM EST



[ Parent ]
Tale of Two Cities /nt (none / 0) (#213)
by adequate nathan on Sun Mar 16, 2003 at 12:01:15 PM EST

en tea
"For me -- ugghhh, arrgghh."
-Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chrétien, in Frank magazine, Jan. 20th 2003

Join the petition: Rusty! Make dumped stories & discussion public!
[ Parent ]

Self-defense. (4.50 / 2) (#199)
by gloin on Sat Mar 15, 2003 at 04:28:49 PM EST

This is why gun control is a bad idea; if you were armed when your car stopped, you could take out your would-be assailants and protect yourself.

But since Bangladesh has bought into the liberal anti-gun raving, you weren't armed, you weren't prepared, and you were fucked.

Alternatively, (5.00 / 2) (#201)
by it certainly is on Sat Mar 15, 2003 at 06:36:33 PM EST

he could just run over them in the car. You know, like he's already done.

If mobs can appear from nowhere to beat you, then mobs with guns could appear from nowhere to riddle you and your damn car with holes, long before you could see any of them. They could also shoot you through the windscreen. Anyone who proposes guns as a "solution" is actually proposing escalation as a solution. More violence! More death! Eye for an eye! Libertarian fucks.

kur0shin.org -- it certainly is

Godwin's law [...] is impossible to violate except with an infinitely long thread that doesn't mention nazis.
[ Parent ]

Not necesserily (none / 0) (#209)
by strlen on Sun Mar 16, 2003 at 01:27:25 AM EST

If the people on the streets knew that others on the streets could well be packing heat, they'd be far more reluctant to get into fights.

In addition a gun is a great equalizer: I can put a bullet into OJ Simpson's head ([and the society will greatly thank me]) as much as OJ Simpson can put a bullet in the head of 4'8" female. And, if there's a 10 on 1 fist fight, whoever is the "1" is fucked. If there's a 10 on 1 gun fight, while the "1" may still be fucked, he has more of a fighting chance, but most importantly, at least someone from the 10 is seriously injured.

--
[T]he strongest man in the world is he who stands most alone. - Henrik Ibsen.
[ Parent ]

Flawless libertarian logic. (4.00 / 1) (#211)
by it certainly is on Sun Mar 16, 2003 at 09:27:08 AM EST

Utopian scenario: every single person carries a gun at all times. People live under the continual threat of death from absolutely any member of society. It'll be like the old Wild West again, where the gun is the law.

Face it. At least in a 10 on 1 fist fight, you can see a mob baying for your blood and can run for your life. No such luck with a gun -- they'll shoot in the back as you flee You can watch your blood spill out on the road in front of you. If you stay for the fight, their overwhelming force will still beat you, and instead of broken bones, you'll be dead. What does it matter to you if someone from the 10 gets injured? You'll be dead. A bullet can inflict vastly more death and destruction than fists could ever hope for.

kur0shin.org -- it certainly is

Godwin's law [...] is impossible to violate except with an infinitely long thread that doesn't mention nazis.
[ Parent ]

You're missing the fact (2.00 / 1) (#217)
by strlen on Sun Mar 16, 2003 at 01:41:14 PM EST

That whoever is part of the mob will have very strong incentive not to join in, as there's a very strong chance of them not getting out unscathed.

That being said, libertarianism doesn't in any way suggest a utopia, the only thing it promises is that you'll enjoy more individual and economic liberty than you will with the status quo. And while you'll be allowed to the means to defend yourself against a mob, there's no guarantee of crime being eliminated.

And for the record, I don't even consider myself a full libertarian, I just identify with their ideas a lot more than with conservative or liberal (or anarchist) ideas.

--
[T]he strongest man in the world is he who stands most alone. - Henrik Ibsen.
[ Parent ]

Haven't you learnt anything from gang warfare? (5.00 / 2) (#234)
by it certainly is on Tue Mar 18, 2003 at 08:35:50 AM EST

You know, where kids are out on the streets gunning one another down?

People form mobs because it increases their chance of survival. Overwhelming force. If you're a lone gunman and have 12 people pointing guns at you, would you even shoot a single one of them, knowing the other 11 would gun you down instantly? 11 vs 12 living guys doesn't matter much to a dead guy. That's the whole point of forming mobs -- to intimidate. If the one guy had a gun and everyone else didn't, he'd have an advantage, but if they all have guns, the advantage returns to the mob. That was the whole escalation thing I was talking about.

As for Libertarianism, I view it as another nutty "only in America" cult thing. It completely ignores this whole idea of society, unless you count hermits living in caves and shooting at anyone who comes near a "society".

kur0shin.org -- it certainly is

Godwin's law [...] is impossible to violate except with an infinitely long thread that doesn't mention nazis.
[ Parent ]

Huh? (4.00 / 1) (#231)
by Anonymous Hiro on Mon Mar 17, 2003 at 09:37:56 AM EST

You're using a pretty dumb argument against gun control.

If you are already armed with a working 1 ton vehicle, drive out of the situation. I'm sure a self defense oriented gun trainer will tell you that too.

Typically these people have nothing to lose. If you're going to use your gun you better have enough bullets. Even so, wiping out a clipful of people isn't going to make you look good in the eyes of the local authorities (you better be able to buy them, and it better be kept hush hush).

When the riot police fired warning shots etc in my country, the rioters ran away and dispersed. When the riot police fired shots etc in a neighbouring country, the rioters didn't give a shit. You'd have to shoot quite a number of them to make an impact (and the army there seems to do that regularly).

The difference is the rioters in my country had motorcycles, cars, homes to run to, their bellies were full, their ribs weren't sticking out, many even had jobs or places in institutes of learning.

The illegal immigrant Bangladeshis in my country are generally well behaved. Why? Because over here they have something to lose. I bet they definitely don't want to be shipped back "home".

Bangladesh is probably one of the crappiest places to live, so I don't begrudge them coming over here. Arsenic laden wells, shifting land (it's a delta- one year you put your hut here, the next it's a river), regular hurricanes and floods, and recently even near freezing 0 degree celsius temperatures (think poor with minimal clothing + 0 degree celsius).

I wonder how come they still manage to have 140 million people.

[ Parent ]

Wrong on many levels (1.50 / 2) (#218)
by splitpeasoup on Sun Mar 16, 2003 at 04:56:23 PM EST

This really belongs in a diary, not an article.

It also has no point. You say "Poverty and lack of authority can reduce human beings to savage animals." Then you go on to say "Let them bleed or die in the streets - it's better them than you."

In other words, you're just as savage as the people you condemn; in addition you (presumably) lack the excuse of poverty. So what's your excuse?

At the risk of getting personal, the fact that you have hit smaller vehicles three times in five years, regardless of fault, once resulting in serious injuries, and once in a hit-and-run, leads one to believe that not only are you a part of the problem but you are significantly worse than the average third-world motorist. My sincere advice to you is to stop waffling and making excuses based on other people's savagery and look good and hard at yourself.

-SPS

"Be the change you wish to see in the world." - Gandhi

His excuse is (none / 0) (#221)
by strlen on Sun Mar 16, 2003 at 08:37:14 PM EST

Is that if he makes any attempt to help, he'll get killed himself. Honestly I'd do the same.

--
[T]he strongest man in the world is he who stands most alone. - Henrik Ibsen.
[ Parent ]
Really? (none / 0) (#226)
by daliman on Mon Mar 17, 2003 at 12:07:13 AM EST

So you'd be dumb enough to get out and get yourself fucked up into the deal? Better them fucked up than them _and_ you fucked up.

[ Parent ]
Wow (3.00 / 3) (#219)
by billt on Sun Mar 16, 2003 at 07:02:53 PM EST

A City where drivers get the shit kicked out of them for driving unsafely and running into pedestrians and human-powered vehicles. As a road cyclist, this sounds like heaven on earth. How does the immigration work over there? Can I get citizenship?

The solution (4.00 / 4) (#230)
by freakazoid on Mon Mar 17, 2003 at 04:44:49 AM EST

1) Get the hell out of Bangladesh, if you can.
2) If you can't get out and things don't get WAAAY better, don't subject another generation to the same crap. Don't have kids!

You may think it's your RIGHT to have kids, but it's also your RIGHT to watch your kids suffer and die in the environment you brought them into.

Not just in 3rd world countries... (4.00 / 1) (#238)
by noquarter on Tue Mar 18, 2003 at 01:13:15 PM EST

Brushing aside the many other comments I'd like to make on this diary (most of my points have been made by others already anyways), there is one thing that I think is worth repeating: The "it's safer to NOT stop" philosophy is hardly contained to 3rd world nations or the bad parts of major cities. I've been given the same advice for rural driving in both Australia (Northern Territories) and Canada (particular stretch of highway in Alberta): "If you hit someone along this particular stretch of road, or in this particular region, don't stop and NEVER get out of the car. Head to the nearest police station and report it." Fortunately, I never hit anyone, so I was never put into that situation.

Traffic too common a death sentance (4.00 / 1) (#240)
by Sawzall on Tue Mar 18, 2003 at 08:14:14 PM EST

My mother just spent two weeks in Vietnam teaching proper medical / surgical tech to doctors and nurses. It seems there are tremendous numbers of closed head wound injuries involving motorscooters, bicycles and walkers. Cars are not the issue there, it is simply a mass of people attempting to move from place to place. It has none of the "mob" issues mentioned in this article, no evil people. There is a lack of the advanced medical care that most of the first world would expect (the hospital in Hanoi lacked the surgical instruments to perform the brain surgery she was there to teach, so they brought and left the instruments - thanks to the firms who donated the more than $30k worth of these), so large numbers of the injured die.

So is everyone just supposed to stop moving and starve to death?

Do your part (1.00 / 1) (#241)
by flaw on Wed Mar 19, 2003 at 08:04:20 AM EST

Make sure you have as many children as possible. This will improve the situation in Bangladesh.

--
ピニス, ピニス, everyone loves ピニス!
Aiya Porsi (none / 0) (#244)
by moksud on Wed Apr 16, 2003 at 07:57:53 AM EST

bhaloi kop dili bhai. jaihok, ekhon theke amio.......
God has created man in his own image. Because glory is always reflected glory.
Please step out of your car while we take all your money and break most of your bones | 244 comments (191 topical, 53 editorial, 0 hidden)
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