That fateful morning, we were heading for the DMZ tour all the way at the border - our dear friend YS decided to swing by to give us a ride to the meeting point @ Lotte Hotel across the river, in spite of him having only landed in Incheon two hours earlier from his week-long US business trip.

Because we were out till late (or early morn could be more appropriate) the day before, everyone was totally knackered and took longer than one should in getting ready. This meant we only had 20 min to get to a place on a car journey that normally takes 45 min. Knowing that we had each forked out US$65 for the trip, YS decided to risk it all and was driving, should we say, in a similar manner to what you see in the latest canto-movie, Initial-D.

Here you see the result - to cut a long story short, at an extremely busy intersection, where in each direction there were at least three lanes, we sped off immediately when the lights turned green. We hit a small truck that was coming towards us that was trying to make a left turn and we swerved to the right upon the impact. Luckily no one was injured, although one had a bump on his head from dozing off. The damage to YS's car, which was almost brand-new (less than 1-year old) was the most significant though.

Impressively, the insurance people arrived at the scene very quickly, taking pictures and questioning both drivers in detail. Unfortunately because there was a disagreement on who was responsible, everyone had to go to the police station to file a report. This probably rarely features on any tourist attraction list...

What particularly impressed me was how efficient and responsive the insurance guys were when such a situation arose. Within 15 minutes of the accident, YS' insurance rep arrived on the scene, questioned everyone, took many pictures of both cars and the traffic condition, assessed the situation, and immediately began giving YS advice on how best to handle the incident. He was also the one in liason with the other party and the police, so YS didn't have to do much, apart from trying to recover from the shock and mourn over his car. It also made the whole situation a lot more civilised as a result, since the truck driver was also communicating via his insurance rep, so not a lot of screaming or swearing took place. (Since we don't understand Korean, the inference was just based on the body language).

We didn't go to the DMZ tour in the end, and decided to stay with YS to lend our support while he and the insuranceman negotiated with the other party. Check out the bottom right hand corner of this picture below of the strong a contribution one of my friends was extending to the whole incident... yes, he was the one that dozed off during the car accident too...

One thing I learnt from the Korea trip is that while in HK, the taxi drivers are normally the most aggressive and ruthless bunch, in Seoul, it's a totally different situation. Also noticed that in general, scratches are normal on cars in Seoul, no one ever bothers to touch it up, probably because minor scratches are a part of their daily lives. No wonder most people chose black or grey or white paint for their cars... Imagine our luck~ on the same day as YS' car accident, we got into a second incident in the afternoon while returning to the hotel in a taxi... very minor, and yes, my friends were fast asleep again!

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