It’s been 10 days since our accident.
First thing to mention is that Danielle and I are ok, with no serious injuries.
Some local obstacles.
We rented a scooter here in Sri Lanka and were hit by a Tuk Tuk. Now I know there’s a lot of questions floating out there now, like “why weren’t you riding an elephant??? They’re so much safer..” And that might be true, but you don’t go very far, or fast on an elephant, and besides that, it’s just NOT NICE! Also, a Tuk Tuk is a three wheeled taxi, like a chainsaw with wheels – they go like snot!
Anyways, there we were like good little tourists, doubling on our scooter (Danielle and I), with Kathryn following behind. Life was good! Helmets on, T-shirts, shorts and flip fops on, wind flowing through Danielle’s hair.
Not my photo, but a typical street scene.
If you’ve read any of my posts or seen any videos of our travels, you know that traffic here is like the Indianapolis 500 with every type of vehicle imaginable. Without any exaggeration, we have been in vans and Tuk Tuks that are flying around a blind corner, passing another vehicle and come face to face with a full size bus – in our lane – passing another full size bus that is passing a scooter very similar to the one we are riding in this story. That makes 5 vehicles on a two lane road – two going one way, and three going the other. Somehow, everyone zigs or zags and makes it through. In our case, one didn’t make it through….
Danielle and I don’t remember much, but Kathryn tells us that we were cruising along on the shoulder of the road at a modest 30k/hr when a Tuk Tuk starts to pass us. As he does this, he is squeezed by a number of vehicles wanting his space, so he careens into us hitting us on the side and then catches my right mirror (they drive opposite to us here – that part I remember). Down we go… hit the pavement and slid. According to Kathryn, the minute that happened, 20 or so locals converged on the road and made a human shield around us. Traffic came to a halt (except the Tuk Tuk driver who stepped on the gas and was out of there). A number of people came and got us off the road so that no other flying buses would take us down again. Very amazing. Another Tuk Tuk stopped and told us there was a hospital just half a kilometre down the road. Danielle and I were in shock, so Super Kathryn took over!
Not so bad, right?
From first assessment, we didn’t think anything was broken, lots of road rash on legs, arms, but no head trauma or limbs pointing in weird directions, but still, off to the hospital we go.
This is where it gets really scary….
Heading in to the hospital…
We’ve all been to Canadian hospitals, but have you ever been to the basement of a ‘turn of the century’ hotel? Well, thats the ER. It is filthy. Nothing is new, nothing is clean, the beds are black vinyl that is split. There is a pail of used needles in the bathroom and blood soaked rags in the corner. My flip flops were shredded when we hit, so there I am in bare feet.
You’re not going to the bathroom!” says Danielle.
But it’s funny. There we are in what I referred to as a torture chamber, and the nurses are walking around in crisp, starched uniforms. Go figure!
Remember, 5 Nurses did this…
“Do you have pain?” the nurse with the full beard asks me as she’s scrubbing my skinless knee with Iodine. (When was the last time you used Iodine?) I think I squeaked. Danielle, now she was a trooper! She just squinted and laughed – something she does in times of stress. The 5 nurses who were working and watching us (real live tourists! in our hospital!!) did there best to bandage us up with what they had. I don’t think they’ve bandaged toes or fingers before. And then off I go for X-rays. Still in bare feet, and it’s now torrentially raining, I go out the front door, through the throngs of people waiting to get in, through the Tuk Tuks and taxis that are waiting for said people, to a cinder block building on the other side of the parking lot. Down a grey/green hall filled with plywood benches, to a steel door where there are 4 people with big smiles waiting for me.
“Where you country?” “Is cold?” “My brother lives in Canada, his name is Adjith.”
We wait. The steel door opens and in I go. The machinery is circa 1961 and is all scratched and dented. How X-ray machines get scratched and dented I don’t know. They position me in front….and run. Click, click, I’m done.
Her first crash…
Back to the black vinyl bed I go and wait. They don’t pay any attention to Danielle. The ‘man’s’ hurt. Still a hugely patriarchal society. The nurse with the beard comes over and I’m free to go – X-rays are clear. Danielle goes to find me some flip flops and we go to buy some Medicine they have prescribed. According to Google, it was for Rheumatoid Arthritis and stomach irritation.
Total cost for the day? $23 Canadian. Experience? Priceless!