Last night I meet some friends at Sanlitun. My lame guy friends leave early, so I end up in a car with 3 girls, driving to another bar. The girl driving I met only one other time, and while trying to get out of SLT, there is a tight squeeze to get past a car coming the other way.
After we pass them, this other girl comes running back to our car screaming that we had hit and damaged her car. Her boyfriend quickly comes as well, and they're screaming, going nuts demanding immediate payment of 1000rmb. This girl driving the car I'm in is so timid and shy, and I immediately instruct her to drive away, but she won't, fearing it will somehow cause further trouble for her.
I get out of the car and ask to see the damage. When the guy sees that I'm a foreigner, he goes absolutely NUTS. He throws his umbrella in my face and charges at me, and his 2 friends are pulling him back. I said nothing to him, just asked to take pictures of the damage, and he goes even more crazy, trying to hit and kick me.
As he acts crazier and crazier, I continue holding up my phone like I'm videotaping him, which makes him more pissed. I eventually do inspect his car, and there's nothing to see. His friend is feeling around with his hand, trying to find the "scratch," because there's absolutely nothing visible. Of course when I'm rolling my eyes, pointing out that there's nothing, he goes nuts again.
My driver called the police at some point, and just when this guy is starting to actually punch me in the face and kick me, I notice the police stopped at the end of the street, just sitting in the car. As this guy is actually assaulting me (keep in mind I never said anything ever to him, my Chinese is bad), I raise my hands in the air, continue backpedaling towards the police car, and start yelling "Pengyou! Bang wo!" (Help!). As he continues swinging his fists at me, I actually circle the police car, looking into the window for some help, and watch as the officer switches seats, but never gets out of the car!! (LA police are always dying to beat the shit out of people -- they will do it if you look at them wrong. I thought for sure the police would jump out of the car and start beating the shit out of that guy when they saw this!)
At this point, the situation attracts some attention from some other foreigners walking by. A group of black guys starts watching wide-eyed, and I look to them for some sort of support -- if anyone in this city can empathize with crazies and police bullshit, I'll bet it's them. Then a group of white guys starts watching as well, and I explain the situation to both groups. The crazy guy goes nuts when I'm talking, but his friends start pulling him back harder when they realize that there's now 7 sympathetic foreigners standing around.
One of the bystanders suggests just driving away, which I told the girl to do an hour earlier. I don't know what she was expecting to happen sitting there all night and refusing to pay. The police were there, clearly not interested in being involved whatsoever (which they shouldn't in civil disputes), and even when it escalated to assault, they did nothing.
Finally, she starts driving, and she can't even get the car around the tight corner, and I'm thinking "I did all that to defend this girl's driving?!?! It's horrible." She's still too rattled to properly operate the car,