Saturday, March 14, 2009

Ow. Ow, ow ow.

I was riding my bike home from work on Friday and decided to try some smaller, less-traveled streets and roads. A minute after turning off the 4-lane road I usually ride on, a lady opened her car door into me and it knocked me over. I was wearing a helmet and I don't think I even hit my head. I got up and she came over and said (in English) "Are you OK? I'll take you to the hospital." I told her I was OK but I needed to think a minute. During that minute my entire upper arm turned purple and the bruised raisesd enough that it was straining the skin. I said yeah, take me to the hospital.

She gave my bike to the guard at her apartment building and we rode through rush-hour traffic. She spoke excellent English so it made everything so much easier. By then I was hurting bad and I was pretty sure my arm was broken. I cried pretty much the whole way to the hospital.

The word "hospital" has more meanings here than it does in America- there are big Western-looking hospitals and dingy little building that apparently have different departments. We went to the latter but it was so quick- a few minutes to fill out the form, x-rays in 5 minutes, we walked the x-rays to the doctor, and found out my arm wasn't broken, just badly bruised. Yay!

We went to another room and a nurse measured my bruises and took pictures, and they put some iodine on my scrapes (very superficial, no big deal) and wrapped my arm up tightly in gauze. I got my packs of pills and we were almost on our way. Then I decided to look at my leg and sure enough, there were huge bruises there, too! So they took pictures of them.

The lady paid for everything, of course. I restrained myself from offering to pay, remembering it's her fault. I dont have my health card yet but if I get it soon they will refund most of her money. On the way to meet Jasmine she started saying stupid stuff like "You were riding too fast" and "You shouldn't have been riding on that road." I politely shot that stuff down- clearly it was totally her fault.

We met Jasmine and another girl from the US who's visiting Jasmine. We went to the sit of the accident and Jasmine started to try to track down witnesses or a video of the incident. Really, I think we could have just gotten the lady to write down a statement of what happened and we both could have signed it but they just both kept talking and then a vendor got involved. It got a little crazy. The lady wound up driving me home because the bike plus 3 people wouldn't fit into Jasmine's car. Overall she was still pretty nice. I guess she said if I go to the doctor in Taichung she'll pay for it. Which seems kind of stupid as she has to pay for it wherever I go, right? But I think we will go to Taichung tonight and just get everything straightened out.

I do have big bruises on my legs now but nothing terrible. It's mainly my right arm- weirdly, although I was riding on the right side of the road so I should have landed on my left side. Maybe the bruise is from the car door, or maybe I twisted around as I fell. You know how in Taiwan people go to the doctor 20 times for everything but I think once more will be plenty. SO I'm banged up but not too badly.

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