Our car has been side swiped several times since we've moved here, but never when we're nearby. There was one time (no, not at band camp) that we valeted at an expensive hotel and the valet drove it into a post, leaving an orange streak across the bumper. We saw him stopped in the middle of the lot but didn't think anything of it until we got home and saw the damage. By then it was too late to do anything.
Yesterday Ibis called to ask if I could bring him the car. He needed it "right away" so I rushed out the door, hair still wet from my shower. When I arrived at the hotel there were several cars trying to navigate the narrow street so I parked at one end, out of the way.
Or so I thought.
I'd just locked the door when I saw a delivery truck backing up towards me. I waited next to my car so he could pass, but instead he hit the rear bumper. Not badly, but enough that the car lurched forward. He stopped - too late - and his window lined up with where I was standing.
"You're hitting my car!" I screamed, in English.
He tried pulling forward but the over-sized tire was wedged against the bumper. Not sure if he planned to take off as soon as he disentangled himself, I ran to the hotel and yelled for Ibis.
And yelled. And yelled.
I finally ran down the stairs, where one of the cleaning women was standing. She pointed to the bathroom so I screamed, "Someone's hitting our car and I'm afraid he's going to take off!"
He flew out of the bathroom (pants fastened, btw) and raced up the stairs. Now, I hadn't actually seen the back of the car so I had no idea what kind of damage there was. For a moment I actually hoped it was fairly significant so I could justify freaking out the hotel guests with my hollering.
The truck driver was still there and he explained to Ibis what happened. He seemed like an honest guy, but Ibis yelled for the cleaning woman to call the police anyways. Less than five minutes later a police car came racing around the corner and up the hill, straight at us. Several cops jumped out, machine guns drawn.
"No, no." Ibis said. "Transito."
The transit police. They have separate divisions here and we needed the others. The policeman radioed to the transit police, and we waited some more. I went down to the office to cover for Ibis, and while I was gone the man offered to call his employer and have them pay for the damage. They didn't offer money upfront, but said if we had it fixed, they'd reimburse us.
We'll get this in writing or make sure there's some way to guarantee payment. I'm excited to get the bumper repainted, but it's too bad he didn't hit the same corner as the valet.