Let me start off by saying it could have been a lot worse.
On the other hand, it can pretty much always be worse (unless you’re dead, in which case you probably won’t be blogging much) and sometimes when you endure a motorbike crash and end up a barely stitched together string of bloody extremities, you just feel like complaining.
In case you’re new here, I live in Thailand and drive a motorbike every day and all over the place. It’s some scary shit, to put it nicely.
Roads are twisty and crowded, nobody wears helmets or follows traffic laws (Okay, guess we’re driving through this red light… stop honking at me! I’m going!) and between confused tourists trying to navigate the convoluted traffic patterns and Thais that give absolutely zero fucks, the whole experience can be a bit… intense.
Long story short, I crashed my bike. Again.
But I’m alive! Woo!
Motorbike Angel of Death – 0
Alexa – 2
This past weekend, a couple friends and I took our bikes and drove up the highest mountain in the National Park that we live nearby to see the sunset.
Come with us! They said.
It’ll be beautiful! They said.
To be fair, it was completely beautiful. The drive up the mountain was a peaceful one on an empty road through lush greenery. We watched the sun set over a gorgeous view of the mountains of northern Thailand and I totally blissed out on life.
A huge cloud (and/ or the apocalypse) came thundering over us and we decided we should probably get the F out of there before we ceased to exist at the hands of a pissed off Zeus.
We hopped on our bikes and as the stormy darkness crept in, began our descent down the windy roads, with me leading the way.
Driving down the mountain, my brain was doing this:
Tra la la la la! Nature is so pretty! Thailand is so wonderful! My friends are so great! Life is so grand!
I wasn’t driving like a maniac, in fact I was going pretty slow but driving down a steep, twisty and slick from rain mountain road is what I imagine driving down a slip and slide might be like. No easy feat.
I came upon a sharp bend and simultaneously hit an oil slick on the road, tried to brake and when the back end of my bike was just like NAH, I’LL JUST SIT THIS ONE OUT, I started spinning and crashed to the ground.
I landed first, then my bike (on top of me) then my friend who was riding behind me must have seen me and panicked because he crashed about 2 seconds later.
Now we’re both bloody and laying in the middle of a slippery road in the dark. HAHA life choices, you kill me. Like, literally almost kill me.
Luckily, our other (non-idiot) friend pulled our bikes off the road and helped us up while we moaned and groaned and inspected our wounds.
The following things happened after the accident:
– A lot of awkward “I don’t know you well enough to be in this situation with you yet” looks
– One extremely solid hug
– Some whining, some OMG I’M LIKE TOTALLY FINE I DO THIS ALL THE TIME *faints*
– We picked the gravel out of our gashes, strapped on our helmets and drove the remaining 40 minutes down the mountain like a couple of bad ass MFers
We both ended up with pretty legit battle scars, but nothing worse than bumps, scrapes, gashes, bruises and some gnarly flesh wounds. We spent the rest of the (Friday!?) night drowning ourselves in saline and iodine and watching the worst movie of all time. (Hint: it’s Hit Man and it’s awful)
Six days later and I’ve been in and out of the hospital, am still covered in gauze and look like a total n00b but whatever, I’ll sacrifice a little dignity for my long term health!
If you happen to get into a motorbike accident in Thailand, or really any kind of road accident anywhere, which I hope to the old gods and the new that you do not, BUT IF YOU DO… learn from my mistakes and follow some of these tips:
These obviously do not apply if you are knocked unconscious or very seriously injured, in which case you should be taken to a hospital by ambulance immediately.
– GET THE FUCK OUT OF THE ROAD
Like A to the SAP, my fallen friends. It doesn’t matter if it’s busy, slow, dark, or what- get out of the path of other moving vehicles like your life depends on it… because it does.
– MAKE SURE YOU’RE NOT BROKEN/ CAN WALK
Scan for any protruding bones/ organs, try to rotate all your joints and make sure that the sudden rush of adrenaline isn’t masking any extremely serious or life threatening injuries.
– FIND THE NEAREST PERSON AND MAKE THEM GIVE YOU A HUG
This one is crucial. When you’re alone in a foreign country and just had an affair with the angel of death, nothing can calm you down quite like a tight hug.
– TAKE YOUR TIME, LEAVE WHEN YOU ARE READY
Sit down somewhere safe and try to just breathe. Let the adrenaline rush subside and don’t let anyone make you do a god damn thing until you’re good and ready.
– CRY LIKE A LITTLE BITCH IF YOU NEED TO
I’m not a crier, but there’s no reason you shouldn’t absolutely bawl your eyes out after something traumatic happens. Don’t be embarrassed and let those emotions flow like the Nile, child.
– GO TO THE HOSPITAL EVEN IF YOU HATE HOSPITALS
I motherflippin’ hate hospitals, but I went to one two days after I crashed. Mostly because Thailand is really dirty and it’s hard to keep wounds clean here but I have to say… it is incredibly nice to let someone else take care of you when you’re hurt.
TRY REALLY FRIGGIN’ HARD TO NOT EVER DO THAT AGAIN.
I realize these “tips” are pretty obvious and most of you (lucky bastards) will never crash a motorbike, but sometimes in the heat of the moment you somehow end up thinking about whether or not you left your straightener on instead of dragging your broken ass out of oncoming traffic.
And if someone, somewhere, sometime remembers this post and it helps them to not become a statistic, then my work here is done and yes I will accept your Medal of Honor, thank you.
** Photo & vid credit: Zack Lazarus, check out his work here.