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As far as ambassador, perhaps I used the word loosely, but in my country, all irishmen travelling through ,are now "richards", and I will look at them like people that don´t give a shite about my countrymen and their property, you travel through our land to see, and spend only, perhaps learning and growing as a person should be part of the equation. I can only believe that you are quite young....
Ah, assuming all people from one country share the same world view. Now THAT'S what I call an open minded, mature and progressive attitude!
*Disclaimer* - I am not saying my bike is better than your bike. I am not saying my way is better than your way. I am not mocking your religion/politics/other belief system. When reading my post imagine me sitting behind a frothing pint of ale, smiling and offering you a bag of peanuts. This is the sentiment in which my post is made. Please accept it as such!
A very interesting debate.
As a rule, my advice would be pay for nothing...., unless you really really have to.
As a previous poster has mentioned, rocks and things are thrown at as Faranjies in Ethiopia in the hope we will give them pens and sweets like the UN people did...
I used to work for one of the overland companies - and spent 2 years in the Indian Subcontinent. During that time we had a couple of accidents ( not me I might add, just fellow company drvers - thank my lucky stars).
In one a driver hit and killed a pedestrian, who died immediately. A huge crowd gathered and after about 2 hours of discussions and the police providing "protection",a fee of USD200 was agreed to carry the body home and pay for the funeral.
A few months later another driver kit and killed two oxen which ran onto the road. The short story of this - the driver was arrested and spent several months in jail, a fee of USD 3000ish was paid to the owner of the cattle. The company spent several £1000's paying for solicitors, and eventually the driver was smuggled out of India, and a warrant for his arrest probably still exists in India. He was a very experinced driver with over 10 years experience on the road in Asia, Africa and South America....so this could happen to any one of us...
So remember, different cultures place different values on similar events. No matter how good and experinced you are, the sh*t can always hit the fan, and if you have to pay, you pay - simple.
Keep travelling, and keep safe.
In situations like this it is probably best to pull your handgun, fire a couple of shots in the air and back away slowly telling all the natives to stay calm.
As far as ambassador, perhaps I used the word loosely, but in my country, all irishmen travelling through ,are now "richards", and I will look at them like people that don´t give a shite about my countrymen and their property,
the assumption that all "Irishmen" have the same opinion as I do is ridiculous. I think if you did a little research you would find the Irish as a people and an nation give more in charitable aid to third world countries per capita than any other nation in the world.
That said I can see you are passionate about your opinion and I was seeking other peoples opinion on this to debate it. I completely agree with earlier posts where if the law of the land places the responsility of the dead animal on the driver then obviously the driver must pay up. But in the case of Ethiopia it is my understanding that it is the farmers responsibility to ensure his animals do not cause traffic accidents on public roads. And by admitting liability as "educated wealthly foreigners" are we not corrupting these peolple into a belief that contradicts their own law?
Originally Posted by waterfox
country where fencing ones property , if that can be identified is impossible
While there is evidence that in Ethiopia there is a reluctance to invest in long-term land improvement measures due to land ownership policies, it is "possible" to fence it.
The daily budget of a tourist is IMO irrelevant in deciding liability of any traffic accident. However, having a certain amount of compassion in the farmers loss is obviously important. I just don't feel it should end with the farmer OR the driver making a profit.....
I had a very interesting experience in a town called Gondor, North Ethiopia where I will try to illustrate my point:
We arrived in the town and after a brief search settled on a nice streetfront hotel, checked in and stayed the night. The following evening after a bit of sightseeing etc. we met 4 other travellers in the hotel and had a great booze-up in the bar. The keys to our room were on our table. At the end of the evening the keys were missing. We went to reception to ask for a spare but were informed there was none. Hmmmm.. Asked for the manager etc she said there was no spare either and that we would have to rent another room and pay for a locksmith to change the lock the following day. Hmmmm. On the top of this the room she showed us (identical in size and layout) was twice the price. Ouch they had us - we reckoned they had lifted the key and were trying on a great swindle (and might even loot the room during the night). We had 2 choices: A. Break the door down to get in and get "done" for a lot more, or B. pay up. Well we chose C. I had a battery drill and carried up an extra battery and drilled the lock out there and then went to bed. Next moring, went to the market and bought new lock barrel for $2 and fitted it. Before moving out I threw the spare keys away and gave them one. Justice.
Classic story about the hotel in Gondor. Was it the Circle Hotel? I was there a couple of months back and they were a bit dodgy in the pricing and room availability.
Like you, I am loath to get ripped off and hate setting bad precedents for future riders. I like to think that most times I try to act pretty reasonably even when the situation may require a bit of unreasonable action, only because I try to think about the next rider coming along and would hate to have burned any bridges for them. Must be my age or something, but I do tend to think of all of us ambassadors of all motorcyclists as well as of our own country.
I think that we must have left Ethiopia with different impressions. Legally, you could be correct, with enough time and money you might be able to prove that it wasn't your fault and get away without paying much, if anything. Realistically, I believe that this effort would be too much for most of us to put up with and the laws of locals vs. foreigners and of frontier justice would rule the day. Don't get me wrong, I'm the type of person who has refused to pay the 4 birr (45 cents) for a couple of bananas in Gondor because I know that the locals price for a whole kilo is 4 birr. But when the crowd gathers around me with their wooden clubs or machetes or AK47s, I would negotiate with the best of them, feign ignorance, pretend not to understand them and put up enough of a fuss to figure out how serious they were and where the real rate stood. Eventually, you would get a good sense for risk, and more likely than not, because they have much, much more time and patience than the majority of us foreigners, pay an amount I could live with. I don't know if it would be less than the $250 he mentioned, but I would like to hope so, impossible to say though without knowing them and the situation.
On the topic of Irishmen, I met a fellow from Ireland on the same trip who had ridden to Syria from South East Asia. He was clearly insane enough to like motorcycling across continents, which made him a friend of mine, loved , which made him an excellent travelling companion and with 48 hours notice almost changed his plans to ride the length of Africa instead of heading back across Europe. Carzy Irishmen are always welcome along for the ride, now I just know to wait for them in the next pub while they negotiate for the price of the livestock that they just hit
Classic story about the hotel in Gondor. Was it the Circle Hotel?
I have to confess that I found spending hours negotiating with Africans is what made that trip. I like to think that when it comes to a game of patience I can win hands down and get as close to the local price. As long as it is a game.. I know this isn't everyone's pastime but I felt it's only when you take the time to do this you gain the respect of the locals and it was fun .
Funny story not far from Gondor - we had to pull over because the engine was over heating and as you know we were soon surrounded by kids demanding money. We said "No you give us money" and they did. Obviously, we gave it back but we were suprised how they actually weren't really looking for money - more that it was the only way they knew of introduing themselves.
I was in Pakistan a while back, driving on a mountain road escorting a truck which I'd hired. As we went round a corner a minibus screamed past us the other way, just missing my car. Then we heard the crunch as it hit the Bedford truck behind us. Not much damage, but total hysteria from all the minibus passengers.
So, lots of arguing, the truck driver in tears and huddled in his cab, crowds of people shouting, the minibus driver screaming about the injuries he hadn't sustained... Then the police arrived. I thought we'd have a bit of sense at this point... I explained that the minibus had been going far too fast and had only just avoided hitting us, and that the driver was obviously not only to blame for crashing into the truck, but also a danger to any other road users (and his passengers) in future. The sergeant of the patrol explained to me very seriously "sir, in this country we do not consider the speed to be a contributory factor in an accident" - after that we negotiated $50 to pay the minibus driver and got home to bed - sometimes you have to accept you are beaten! - but at least we followed the legal process!
And as for hitting cows - I live in rural Ireland and have a neighbour who lets his cows run free - to teach them not to come onto our garden I run them back down the track with the Land Rover - ramming them with the bull bar to keep them moving along and make the point - they've bent the bull bar but never shown any sign of being discomforted - how you kill a cow with a motorbike is a mystery to me - unless you drop it on them from a very great height!
Above you are forgetting the price to slaughter and transport the cow.
When I was taking Spanish lessons in Ecuador I told my hippy Spanish teacher about how my Australian friend ran into a cow. She said "well did he pay for it?¨
I had to restrain myself. A cow could so easily kill a motorcyclist and the idea of rewarding a farmer for being lazy is crazy. I know many of the farmers do not have a lot of money, but there is no excuse for not staking each cow if you do not have the money to maintain your fences.
BTW: It is different if it truly was an accident. ie. the fence suddenly broke in one place.
'And as for hitting cows - I live in rural Ireland and have a neighbour who lets his cows run free - to teach them not to come onto our garden I run them back down the track with the Land Rover - ramming them with the bull bar to keep them moving along and make the point - they've bent the bull bar but never shown any sign of being discomforted - how you kill a cow with a motorbike is a mystery to me - unless you drop it on them from a very great height![/QUOTE]"-----------------------
BTW - you won't teach a cow a damn thing by chasing it with your Landy . But the cows might teach you to put a gate on your driveway and shut it occasionally .I sympathise with you because it's hard to deal with awkward neighbours who don't give a toss.
In the UK the law was that you fenced to keep your stock in .
In Canada you make fences to keep other's cows out.
You really have to check on the local laws , in Swaziland ,for instance ,it's illegal to allow cattle to wander on the highway , during an outbreak of foot and mouth disease a farmer friend of mine was contracted by the police to shoot stray cattle . After a couple of days the negligent owners smartened up and kept them in .
Here in the US state of Arizona, it is "open range" in which a rancher can let their cattle run free, and it is up to property owners to keep them off their property. It used to be that ranchers were responsible to keep their cattle off the roads, however, and were liable. Just recently, I think a ruling was made in a case that actually turned this completely around, and makes drivers repsonsible not to hit cattle!!??
I guess Arizona has resorted to Ethiopean law regarding cattle!!
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