Scammed for be­ing for­eign

Global Times – Metro Beijing - - TWO CENTS - By Kathy De Leye

Last Fri­day, I was parked in a park­ing lot full of cars, which made it was al­most im­pos­si­ble to get out of my park­ing space. My car was sand­wiched be­tween two cars with an­other in front, and be­cause our car is quite long, I needed some space to drive out. The guard was help­ing me when the back of my car bumped into the car parked next to mine. By the time I re­al­ized that it was too late. My car was al­ready against the other car. I was frus­trated be­cause he had to guide me, and he made me bump into the other car. He went to get the owner of the car I had scratched. There were a cou­ple of mi­nor scratches on the other car and a few scratches on my car.

I called my husband, and he said that it is ok; the in­sur­ance would han­dle it. I just had to take pic­tures of the scratches and get the phone num­ber of the owner. In Bel­gium, with mi­nor ac­ci­dents, you just ex­change in­for­ma­tion and the in­sur­ance can deal with it.

But, the owner of the other car didn’t want to let go. He wanted the in­sur­ance com­pany to come im­me­di­ately to deal with it. He checked ev­ery­thing: whether all his lights were still work­ing, even his wind­screen wipers as if I hit his car re­ally badly. He some­times whis­pered with the guard, and all I could catch was waiguoren (for­eigner) I started to get re­ally stressed and frus­trated, as I knew he only acted this way be­cause I was a for­eigner.

Af­ter half an hour, I fi­nally con­vinced my husband that he had to get the in­sur­ance com­pany to come be­cause I wouldn’t be able to leave. I told him how an­noy­ing the other per­son was be­ing.

The in­sur­ance com­pany came quite fast and dealt with it pro­fes­sion­ally. The in­sur­ance com­pany agent also said that it was re­ally not a big deal, just a few scratches. He es­ti­mated the dam­age on the other car was about 650 yuan ($ 98). Then the owner started to whis­per with the in­sur­ance agent and look­ing back over his shoul­der at me, and I could hear that he was ne­go­ti­at­ing to get at least 800 yuan.

I couldn’t be­lieve it! He was just try­ing to get more money be­cause I am a for­eigner. This is the most frus­trat­ing thing about China. Even though I could speak to him in Chi­nese and ex­plain most of it, he kept on say­ing that I didn’t un­der­stand any­thing. Now, I know that I will be more care­ful about trust­ing a guard to help me get out of a park­ing space!

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