Thursday, October 30, 2008

Overcrowded Car Bumps a Pole

If you saw the picture, which I can't seem to locate at the moment, you will note that the car was 'totalled', that is, destroyed to the extreme, and I think it was only because it hit the pole square on, and so the pole intruded into the middle of the car, that the result wasn't worse.

When I first heard the news of a crash with eight people in a very small car, I thought South East Asian. Nah, they are mostly proper Australians now and we need to look to our newest immigrants, the Sudanese.

Just three weeks ago, R and I were travelling along Stud Road near Dandenong and I was feeling very uncomfortable while at the wheel. In front of us was a crowded car full of African immigrants but that the car was very crowded did not impact on me until later. What I saw was two of the guys in the back who kept turning around and looking at us. I kind of knew they were looking out for something or someone but paranoia was setting in big time for me. They were looking at us, for whatever reason, and I had fear that they would stop dead and we would be trapped.

I am not so feint of heart usually. I have wandered the dark sois of Bangkok late at night. I have had fun under a bridge in Vietnam while listening for the footsteps of the police. Agro and charged skinheads on the London Tube, no problem. I get constantly hassled by drug addicts and beggars when I am out and about. My work involves a lot of contact with a lot of low life.

But never have I felt so threatened than I did when there were six dudes along a back seat of a car in Stud Road, Dandenong, with two of them staring at us.

I suppose it is a typical racist response, fear of the unknown, but I can't see me exploring the streets of Dandenong in the near future. I need to get to know some Sudanese I think, but they don't live nearby and I don't work with any.

As for the accident, a car full of eight people, with probably three not wearing seat belts, late at night is a disaster waiting to happen.


  1. You must work at centrelink or be a social worker or something.

    I'll admit I've been in my fair share of overcrowded cars. Once a cop told us it doesn't matter how many are in the car, as long as everyone has a seat belt we went kind of nuts. I've even been in the back of the ute with a couple of other people, but the lid was on at least... unfortunately the tool box wasn't tied down or anything. Bang.

  2. Just feel like I am a social worker at times.

    It has been happening since cars started chugging around. I remember when I was young and irresponsible. The law and society has to save young people from themselves at times.

  3. My broomstick seats one and that's the way this happy camper is keeping it.
    Plus it doubles as a human-sized swat for cheeky offspring.

  4. Obviously the people in the car were too stupid to realise the error of their ways...before it was too late.

  5. I felt sick when I seen this image on the telly. After working a shift on the trauma ward I know exactly what survivors of crashes like this look like!

  6. The problem with this kind of thing is that as you pile into the car with seven mates (and often a drink or five under your belt) you fail to realise the potential for disaster.

    Hopefully this will come as a sobering reminder.

    As for fear of the unknown - I understand that too. I'm familiar with Indian, Asian and Middle Eastern cultures from working alongside them, but anything else still makes me wary, and I hate myself for being like that.

  7. I've seen what's left of the car, and nobody should have lived from that accident - it was nasty. As for driving without a seatbelt, it's just not understandable why anyone would. They're there for a reason. Didn't anyone stop and think - Gee, if I'm not wearing a seatbelt, what's going to stop me?

    As for the two giving you the eye, a simple response is to wave and smile. Even better - stop looking back at them!

  8. Maybe they just thought you were hot and were just pervin

  9. Serves 'em right for attempting to run over a Polish immigrant.

  10. Andrew, unfortunately where they come from, looking out for trouble over a shoulder is second nature.
    Stud Road in Dandenong would mean they'd be watching for the police. I didn't think you'd look that tough, must be R.

  11. And you could whack cricket balls with it Jayne, or cricket officials.

    Yep Reuben, and take note young man!

    Not pretty hey Cazzie.

    I full know what it is like Kezza. That is why I worry. I didn't realise your workplace was so multi-cultural.

    It was amazing how they all survived Rob. I should have done as you suggest.

    No doubt they did Jo.

    Nicely gathered two subjects together Brian.

  12. I just look sour Jahteh. I practice at work.

  13. Ah, more about the Vietnam holiday please.

  14. Back here TDW.

  15. Haha that was a cool story. I thought it was funny how people commented on the first half wanting to know more, and then there are zero comments for the second part.

  16. I am confused TDW. Wasn't there just one comment on the first part from Rosanna and none on the second. Anyway, I had no readers much back then, sob sob.