Wednesday, June 12, 2013

How to overanalyze a bike crash

It’s always interesting to be on the receiving end of a, “it happened so fast,” moment. In said moment, it seems like time doesn’t exist. While everything around you moves quickly, and recalling what occurred presents difficulty, thoughts, mental images, and other seemingly time consuming facets of the moment reappear with ease. For my own moment, being run off the road by another scooter driver in Bali, I can’t tell you exactly how I crashed. I can’t tell you how fast I was going (I think around 30), nor if my tire hit the other scooter or the curb. I can tell you, though, that I closed my eyes, I didn’t feel my head or chest hit the ground (they did), and that as I began to tumble off my bike, I thought to myself, “ I knew this was going to happen today.”

From the moment I saw the lady I was trying to pass begin to fade to the opposite lane, to right around the moment she yelled at me then drove off while I lay bleeding on the concrete, is all a blur. I can remember the vivid thought of déjà vu while being angry at myself for driving that day. Beyond that, my mind is blank. How I ended up with a bike facing the wrong direction, two bruised ribs, two missing toe nails, road rash, and a horribly sprained ankle and wrist is beyond my recollection.

What I can tell you about the crash is this; driving on Bali is ridiculous. Worn like a badge of shame, thousands of tourists seem to crash a scooter on Bali. Even with driving (in Asia!) experience, I still fell. On top of that, I can tell you that it must occur regularly because before I could even accept and acknowledge the pain (as the adrenaline wore off and I realized a big chunk of my foot was missing), I was surrounded by locals trying to help. I was lucky to be with total strangers who all did more than dabble in alternative medicine, as well. The two groups of people in unison did more than any person could ask of their loved ones, let alone randos. I was cleaned up, taken care of, and after I could walk, taken to the hospital without a worry (or a Rupiah spent on the ride). Sandals, scooter, bag, and all made it to the clinic while I was cleaned and bandaged.

While an easy take from this experience is to say I was driving too swiftly, too recklessly, and to Balinessly (drive here and you’ll understand), that’s too easy. No, for me the take home message is much more in depth. I had forgotten how to read, or more so listen, to the constant stream of directions given from my life’s internal road map. I knew full well that day there was going to be a crash. From the moment I woke up I had a quiet, obfuscate thought of an accident. Even more minuscule was the idea that the crash was going to be mine. Travel has always been a sabbatical for me in which I reconnect with my center. My crash on the way from Ubud to Changgu was more than just a dumb mistake, it was a heavy reminder. If I can’t trust myself, my intuition, and my heart, what am I doing? If the channel of communication’s signal is so weak I can barely hear it, I think it’s time for me to take a vacation from my vacation and reassess why I’m here.
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