English: Taken from the back of a motorcycle, ...

Yeah, I heard. Andy emailed me about it. Not that I knew him that well. He did the late shift and I always worked early. The only thing I remember about him was the websites he used to look at. Stuff like ratemypoo.com. He’d call me over with this little mischievous grin on his face and show me them, then tell me not to tell anyone, as if we were kids looking at something we shouldn’t.

Sad, though, what happened. Why did he go to Vietnam again? Work? His wife worked at the embassy? Brave move, at his age. And with a young daughter. But if your wife’s a high-flyer, well. Didn’t really see her as the type. I always thought she’d be in an NGO. Or a social worker. Something good. Shows how much I know.

And then their daughter getting killed.

Well, the drivers are mad over there. I’m not surprised she got knocked down. I went there on holiday a few years back. No rules of the road at all, or if there are they get ignored. I saw motorbikes go through red lights then drive the wrong way up a one-way street. And the taxi drivers – awful. Don’t know where they’re going then just turn without looking and take a few pedestrians and motorbikes out while they’re at it.

I can understand why he did what he did, why he felt he had to do something about it. Why should his daughter have to look where she’s going on a one-way street? It couldn’t have been good for his wife, though, or her career, her husband going off on one like that.

Yeah, I saw the video on youtube. Andy sent me the link to that too. I felt sorry for him even if the comments below the video were all about how mad he was: look at this loon, what an ex-pat prick, etc. The faces on the motorbike riders were priceless, though, when he stopped them and pointed to the road signs. As if he was the one doing something wrong. Good for him trying to bring a sense of order even if it’s too late to bring his daughter back.

Somebody should’ve stopped him from getting that baseball bat, though. I know one of those motorbike guys drove over his foot, but still. He’s in a foreign country. You can’t change a country. And clotheslining people as they drive by is not going to help even if he does get some sense of satisfaction out of it.

I didn’t see that video, though. Andy sent me the link, but it took too long to load and I had other things to do.


10 thoughts on “The Wrong Way Up A One-Way Street

  1. I love the short stories, mini dramas, or just a peak into someone else’s mind. Do you think he felt bad he didn’t look at the other video? It is also interesting to think how we are a lot of the time: we watch others do things we would never do; but, we were never moved like they were. Andy being moved by the loss of his daughter, what would that have led any one of us to do?

    Looking forward to your next story.

  2. Captures well the apathy that comes when the internet saturates our lives with everyone else’s strife- it’s a desensitisation leading to becoming uncaring even to the point of not being morbidly curious. Like driving past an accident and checking the watch “Looking forward to dinner tonight…yawn.”

    Very naturally written, the way he casually brushes over such a serious story hardly even sounding connected to that- could be true- well done.

      • It’s up to the individual- but I think his attitude wasn’t atypical or even overly cold. A heart that bleeds for everyone wouldn’t be much use to anyone, least of all the owner. I just feel that it’s more of a modern thing, to hear a story told like this by a person like this. You’re right though, apathy may be too severe a word- I mean, he did care enough to tell the story- but then you get people who’ll tell a story to cash in on it somehow, on the reaction of others, sometimes they’ll add the most tenuous links to the story and themselves- “The accident happened on the same road I always go to work on!” “It happened to my coworkers friends from back home.”

        In any case, it’s a work of fiction that I find pretty effective- only you, or your character’s know the whole truth.

      • Thanks for the long reply. Glad you got so much out of it. I agree with the tenuous links things, but we need that, don’t we, so the story has more meaning

  3. We sure do- stories can be so mjuch more interesting if we’re somehow part of the same world rather than observers firmly behind the fourth wall.

    Sounds like he’s on the phone or talking to someone out of earshot perhaps at work. I can easily imagine something like bad signal or the boss interrupting to have a brief word and then either one of the participants saying something like “So what were we talking about?” or even breaking completely from topic with some chat about the sports or something.

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