Thursday, August 15, 2013

how much is a thousand dollars? (pt. 1)

It is only in the rarest of occasion when one is forced to assign a dollar value to a human life. A parent forced to pay for a ransom for a daughter taken in a faraway land. A son who's been given the bill for a surgery that saved his mother's life. A judge assigning the compensation for a negligent death.

Such dramatic occasion, fortunately, have not happened to us. A similar but less severe one did force us to think, is a thousand dollars really worth it?

Having never lived in a place where it snows, I never paid much thought to the tyres before we left for our road trip across canada. The husband did suggest us buying winter tyres, but we thought it wouldn't be of much use, since it was nearing the end of winter. Little did I know that nearing the end of winter is perhaps one of the more dangerous times not to have the correct tyres. It was still snowing and snow plows were out in full force, but the warmer weather means the snow sometimes were more slushy than pillowy. There was a bit of sliding on the road, but not so severe that we thought we could make it all the way to the west coast and back without the tyres.

It started to go wrong when we got held up on the road just before Revelstoke, British Columbia for an avalanche control. We had to turn back to Golden, BC. And after the long drive from Banff and the day's event, we did not have the energy to be adventurous and MacDonald's is that something familiar and easy. The Maccas (us aussies call it) at Golden is quite quirky, in that, it's the hang-out place for the oldies living in the area.
We hung around for an hour or two hoping for the avalanche control to clear, but it wasn't going to. We only found out later that it only cleared sometime after noon the day after. We decided to book a B&B for the night to bunk down. The "incident" happened as we drove on one of the large roads in Golden towards the B&B north of town. The weather was sunny, no flurries in sight. The road was somewhat clear, perhaps cleared by a snow plow in the last few hours. For some reason we lost traction, the car skidded around and slid onto the opposite lane. It happened in mere seconds. There were about three cars behind us prior to the incident, they drove past us unharmed. And fortunately for us, there were no cars coming from the opposite lane either. Otherwise, it would've been a completely different ending.

The incident rattled us, we were stunned at our own stupidity, more so me at mine than my husband at his, he was more receptive to spending the cash for those winter tyres than I was. After a few minutes to compose ourselves, we drove to the B&B still sliding side to side, perhaps even worse as little side roads don't get cleared as often.

The owner of the B&B chidded us for being so foolish. I wholeheartedly agreed. As soon as I settled into the room, I used their free wi-fi to look for places where we could purchase some winter tyres and we decided to go to one first thing in the morning.

To be continued (pt.2)....

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