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Car crash (or Honesty Pt II)

On the last full day of our holiday, we had a small car accident. It sounded like a HUGE car accident at the time but, as with many experiences, the mind plays tricks.

It is hard to determine exactly who was to blame and to what degree. In fact, there’s no point worrying about it. We were in a hire car with expensive comprehensive insurance, and the other driver was in one of his own company’s vehicles which sustained little damage and there were no personal injuries.

In order to satisfy the hire car’s insurance requirements, we reported the incident at the local police station in Port Elizabeth. Although we were dreading this, it turned into a somewhat surreal social occasion, albeit conducted in a confined space at the temporary police premises after extravagant hand sanitising as per coronavirus procedures there. The other driver was summoned to attend to provide his details. To our astonishment, he duly turned up within minutes – still unconcerned – and proceeded to chat with us about all sorts of unrelated topics, until the police officer had completed the enormous form to everyone’s satisfaction.

When we presented the car back to the hire company at the airport, there was an initial in-drawing of breath, but after full inspection and explanation – and another slightly less lengthy form – we were told that we had passed the necessary examination with flying colours. Isn’t it wonderful when expectations of conflict and difficulty are instead met with understanding, pleasantness and humour? 

Accidents do happen and we’ve been lucky to mostly avoid them to date. In this case, we divided responsibilities in our accustomed manner – one to do the actual driving, the other to supply the accompanying over-the-top histrionics. I’ll leave you to guess …


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