March 1998 – email8

Read on. It’s up to you to ask the questions….
From: Gary Ploski
3/9/98 23:38
Subject: Booomp goes the pedestrain against the car


        Yes indeed that is what I heard/saw this evening. A man was bumped by a car and I was able to see the event unfold. I was AMAZED!!! It is not what would be expected to happen in the states. I wish it would, but I know that it won’t…..

        Screeeech… bumppped.. “huh? What the… wooo. That dude just got hit by that car. I hope he’s alright. He’s just sitting there, what’s he doin’?” Those were the first few thoughts I had as I turned and saw a car parked next to a man sitting on the ground within the corsswalk lines. He wasn’t screaming. He wasn’t whining. He was sitting there, silent. Some people came over to him in a rushing manner. THe driver was out of his car within moments and running over to the man he had just hit with his car.

        “Daijoubu” said the guy on the ground. Defined as “OK, alright; safe and sound; no need to worry” was said over and over and over by this man who had just been HIT by a car. He gave in to no pain, or at least wouldn’t show it if he did feel some. He just sat there and waited for his body to build up enough energy to move himself out of the way of other cars. All of which slowed down to a crawling speed as not to interfere.

        He was helped off the road by the bystanders whom had witnessed the event. They were just standing there… nothing was being said by anyone at that point. The driver had moved his car to the side of the road by the time the hit-man had been helped to the side of the road. There he sat on a cement block — just sitting. I couldn’t hear anything – I was directly across the street at this point. What could that be — 20 yards? If any of the people there had yelled I would have heard them easily. If they had spoken at any level above a normal conversation level I would have heard them. I could not hear anything.

        I sat on my bike seat and watched the three/four people standing there… just standing and looking down at the man on the concrete block. He was not doing anything significant. No yelling, no cussing (not that I’d understand of course) : > (I’d only be able to tell by the volume level, if I could even tell through that…it wasn’t happening though, so I don’t think any of it happened)

        At one point the driver went to his car and was looking for something. He got out about 30-45 seconds later and walked back to the man on the block. He, seemingly, handed him his business card. I appeared that the driver was explaining where he could be reached because the hit-man was pointing to the card and looking at the driver. They were still, apparently, discussing the card as the ambulence came into audible range. I looked up and saw the lights and thought “It must be coming here.”

        As the ambulence approached (within 10 minutes of the accident) the bystanders began waving toward the abulence to get the drivers attention. The truck pulled over and blocked my view of the people so I stayed for another minute. As I rode my bike I was in complete amazement of what had just happened. I had just seen something that would have been… I’ll let you imagine it. What do you think would have happened in the states?

        Be honest with yourself. Don’t look at it from your own persective, look at it in a socialogical standpoint. What sould the ‘average’ American have done? I have a pretty good idea… but I think you’ll appreciate it a whole lot more if you think it out yourself. Think of the languge that would be used. How the people would react… would the driver have even stayed? (there was a clear opportunity for him to gun it down the road and be gone within seconds) Would the … I’ll let you come up with the questions…

        Quite and amazing event in my opinion. I will openly admit that this part of the Japanese society is going to be the greatest thing that I will miss. People aren’t selfish. They’re in it for the whole group/population. Of course there are the bad seeds, but the general population would have reacted the same way. That thought was confirmed by Kazi after I told him of the event I had seen just minutes before.

        with that said… have a crazy day. ciao cito

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