Friday, April 23, 2010

Confessions on a motorbike: Part 8

grazed elbows and bruised legs......the life of a Hanoi rider

I have had a few bumps and even a small fall since arriving in Hanoi but yesterday was my first decent crash. I hit the road before I knew it and realised at once the importance of a helmet. It was not my fault, which really doesn’t matter that much, aside from easing the guilt I had for my helpless passenger. The helpless passenger was Celine’s uncle, Laurent.

Staying with us for a few days I decided to show him some of the sites while Celine was at work. We visited 40 years dead Ho Chi Minh and rode over the Long Bien Bridge. We stopped for photo’s and explored random streets. Coming back into the Old Quarter, heading towards the City View Café, we had our fall. A guy on a bike packed with empty water bottles came darting on the inside of us and when cutting back a bottle caught on my handle bar. Before I knew it I was making out with the dirty Hanoi road. I went head first and because of the helmet I only have a small cut on my lip. Laurent smashed his knee and tore a big hole in his favourite pants. As I looked at his grazed arms and bleeding knee I thought this is great for family relations.

We are both ok, walking away with a few cuts and bruises, but I am now more acutely aware of what can happen. As Laurent told me, an avid motorbike rider himself, things can turn from good to bad very quickly. It turns out the bad was sticking with me for the rest of the day because a few hours later, when driving to work, a taxi drove over my foot. Cheers!

I can’t help but feel guilty wondering, as Laurent limps around the house in his newly cut off shorts, if I could have avoided the situation. Hindsight is a wonderful thing but if I can offer any words of wisdom; please wear a good helmet, be attentive to what is happening around you and if a taxi is driving very close to you, don’t put your foot in a compromising position.

1 comment:

  1. I think you don't like Celine's family...
    I remember, last summer, you wanted kill my daughter..... and now you try to kill my brother in law !!!!!Dan, oh Dan.....