Still in one piece
Today I went back for my driver's test again. Guess what? I failed again. Why? Same reason. But So and so san at the end of the test said, "Better than before, Barzak san," then laughed. Jerk.
On the way home, I took a wrong turn and ended up in the mountains. I could see the sea suddenly at one point. I finally got turned back around and, while I was traveling through a tunnel in a mountain, a semi-truck driving beside my car slammed into the side of me.
I am not making this up. Yes, it's Friday the 13th here.
My life stopped flashing before my eyes in time to pull my car away from the wall of the tunnel thankfully. Then me and the semi driver continued driving until we got out of the mountain and were able to pull off the road and call the police. The policeman was nearby and was there in a flash, and suddenly I was barraged with questions in Japanese. Somehow I was answering back, though mostly I thought I wasn't making any sense. I used the conditional tense right for the first time, though, and was able to pick the right "if/then" statement out of the four choices they have here (which just screws me up all the time, we just have if and when in English for the most part). Sadly, even though I was able to tell the policeman (who had to be in his sixties, it seemed to me, and did not want to deal with a foreigner, or maybe just not accidents in general) that if he spoke a little more slowly, I would understand him. He did not slow down, but the man who hit me kindly did. When I finally got to a point where I couldn't understand something they kept harping on, I called my company and had my coordinator talk to them. An hour later, I was back on the road.
As I was driving back home, I was still in shock and pissed off at the whole thing that I was already mentally buying an airplane ticket. But then I got back to my company's office and as I was complaining about not being able to make myself understood, my coordinator told me that I *had* made myself understood actually. When she was on the phone with the police officer, she asked if he needed her to ask me questions over the phone but he said that I had been able to tell him when it happened, where it happened, and that when the man who hit me tried to say I didn't have my lights on so couldn't see me (making it my fault) I had said that wasn't true and that I was pretty sure I had them on. I gave him various forms of id when he asked for it and was able to say I wasn't hurt, and that the only thing I wasn't able to understand was legal and insurance terminology.
Which is weird, because the whole time I was representing myself, I didn't feel like I was representing myself well. But apparently I was able to enough to get the other guy's company to call mine and apologize and admit it was his fault within fifteen minutes after I was able to get back on the road. I doubt my own ability to communicate even while I'm doing it, but I guess I'm more capable than it felt. Also I was in shock of some sort, I think, the life flashing thing, and really just wanted to speak English really really badly.
Along with fantasizing about hopping on the next plane, I could not help but think about how that jerky driving inspector failed me again and then I get into an accident and it wasn't my fault. Totally not relational, I know, but still.
I think I need to karaoke.
And a side note for anyone reading. Be nice to residents of your country (whatever country it may happen to be) who don't speak your language, or don't speak it well or who are learning it. It's frickin hard, ok? You try it. (Noted because I cannot help but remember ignorant f***s who on occasion back home would say, "Learn the language!" whenever they heard someone speaking anything non-English. By the way, the USA doesn't have an official language anyway!)