It was at the south side of Tukcom, I'm going straight and she makes a right into me, starting at a crawl but accelerating.
She checks up on me, on the ground. 2 Thais in the area also check up, a guy and girl.
Guy thinks my arm is harmed. I flex it. It seems fine.
At first the other side sounds reasonable
"Sorry! What you want? Hold on I come back"
She disappears for 5 minutes. Hit and leave? No, she comes back on foot.
We talk. She offers to take me to a shop to fix it. This is 3:30am, I need a Thai to translate her chopped up English.
She refuses to give her information though. That sets me off. I'm not willing to hand over my bike to her if that's what she was thinking. I get ready to call the police.
She gets angry.
"No you not take picture me"
"Ok I tell police you hit me"
I check with the other Thais to see if I have backing. Guy says he saw nothing, girl says she turned into me.
"You need light on your bicycle!"
She's right on this point. Sure, she should have saw me (headlights and a street light were there). But that's no excuse for me not having lights on my bike. At this point I realize this won't be a clean victory if it comes to an actual legal fight.
I call the police. An answering person struggles to understand that I'm not on a motorbike. At one point he refuses to take information down from the witness I hand the phone to. He says a police officer may come soon. I am nervous about the non-committal tone.
My eye witness tells me she'll be gone for a moment as I discuss the police coming. My heart sinks, I think she's apprehensive about getting involved, but there's nothing I can do. She's gone for 5 minutes and then returns with a cigarette in hand.
The lady who hit me is now stuck on a loop:
"I not give you my information."
"I care about your body. Not bicycle"
"I take you to shop, right there"
"Why you call police?"
"Ok fine, they check your visa, you leave Thailand"
"I from Melbourne, where you?"
"Why you not ask about my car?"
"Ok I leave now"
I was just sitting there, a bit shaken but otherwise quiet. I guess people process stress very differently.
At some point she offers 1,000 to settle the matter. It's been 20 minutes and no signs of police coming. I take the 1,000 and put out my hand. She shakes her own hand with "no" and says "I angry with you"
I ask "Are you we done then?"
She gets stuck on another loop.
I thank the Thais and walk 300 meters home (got lucky in that respect) with my bike, that now has a bent handlebar area. Hopefully the bike shop can bend it back and there aren't other problems, we'll see
At the 35 minute mark, after I get home, I get a call. The police confirm that it's settled and I have money in hand. I thank them and conclude the episode.
-- I really should have lights on my bike
-- My deepest concern was the Thais would turn on me in support of the other Thai. But as you can see, it didn't happen that way. Ironically the 3 of us were calm and silent, next to this beligerant woman who kept aggressively repeating the same things.
-- The police are very slow to respond, at least at this odd hour. One positive is they made damn sure there was no language barrier and I had the money in hand.
-- I went back and forth about whether I was right to call the police after she refused to give information. Was I being naively Western in thought? My final call is that calling the police was the right thing to do -- in my specific circumstances. It would have been impossible for an SUV to claim that a bicycle hit it, especially at the angle of damage caused to her car. If I was on a motorbike, this calculus changes drastically. But even then, I had an eye-witness. In a motorbike + no witness situation I think calling the police would have been more of a gamble and possibly a disadvantaged situation based on other reports posted here.
-- It was really disturbing that the lady who hit me threatened to deport me repeatedly and wouldn't shut up. Now that it's all over though, I understand them to be idle threats and am glad I did not explode on her myself.
-- Had I given the bike to her, or walked it to the shop it would have been interesting to see if they would have fixed it properly. The witness who also translated for me, said that the lady knew the owner. In that case I'd expect an expensive repair to possibly "get missed."