Monday, November 2, 2015

Trip to california

What I saw in SF Tenderloin at the traffic signal at Jones and O'Farrell

I was waiting for my signal, when I saw a homeless man jump in the way of a moving car and stand in front, blocking it's passage. I almost had a heart attack and checked the signals to make sure if the car was in the right. The car was in the right and I could not understand what the hell was happening. The homeless guy appeared to be talking or shouting at the car driver, who did not honk his anger but simply seemed to be waiting for this guy to leave. Then another homeless guy pushing a walker/cart came slowly and started crossing the road though his signal was red.
My sister who lived in SF explained to me that this happens often in Tenderloin and car drivers simply hate driving here. Some of the homeless people resort to the trick of jumping in front of cars and claiming them were hit; they then demand a few dollars(40$ she said). The drivers seem to pay.

I was shocked to hear this and the discussion veered toward drivers (in Toronto) having dashcams to film people who did similar things such as backing into a car and claiming to be rear-ended and demanding compensation.

Thinking about this I realized that the homeless who do this are doing it to demand a few bucks. The people give them the few bucks to save the time and hassle of filing a complaint and following up on it to save on  time which is much more precious to them than a few dollars. This behavioiur in turn reinforces the homeless person's behaviour of throwing himself in front of moving cars.

Come to think of it, the same thing happens in India too and I am sure it happens all over the world!
I know a village just outside Bangalore (on Hosur road) where the villagers claim that thier chickens were run over and act threateningly toward the  poor ('rich') people in cars and extort money from them!

God save the homeless guy who jumps in front of an impatient driver who hits the gas the moment the light turns green!

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