Anyone who’s lived or traveled in less developed countries learns quickly to consistently watch their head and where they place their feet. Over the years I have on countless occasions avoided stepping into holes, getting poked in the eyes, or smashing my head into something that shouldn’t have been hanging down or jutting out into a public space. However I’ve also had my share of fails and this morning was one of them. As I was squeezing past people at the market I snagged my thigh on a nail that was jutting about 3cm out of a table. Luckily it was the head of the nail but it still hurt and could’ve resulted in a tetanus infection had it broken the skin. Thanks organic cotton shorts!
I guarantee you I’m not the first person who’s bumped into that thing however I am the first person who did anything about it like I do whenever I see something that’s likely to harm someone regardless of whether or not it harmed or came close to harming me. As I was trying to pull out the nail the owner of the table was telling me “Don’t worry about it.”. Since they lacked the foresight to see the nail and think “Stray nail jutting out into a crowded walkway, mmm, somebody could get hurt.” I showed them my red thigh. Then they understood, they just needed it spelled out for them in red on my pasty white thigh. After some twisting I pulled the nail out of the table and properly disposed of it.
It’s disappointing when the people who are responsible for whatever is presenting an easily rectified hazard lack the foresight and/or empathy to do anything about it however it’s even worse when people after a near miss or even after an actual injury just leave whatever caused it in place waiting for the next unfortunate careless or momentarily distracted person. I don’t know any of the would be victims I’ve saved from some pain, inconvenience, and perhaps even serious injury but that’s not the point the point is when you see something that’s likely to harm someone please take a minute to fix it or at least clearly mark it and then, if possible/practical, report it to the person or agency responsible.