Monday, September 28, 2009


Today was interesting.

This morning my motorcycle engine died at the first traffic light to college right when it turned green. The light was red again when I managed to start it again, so I had to wait another minute and a half before I could head off.

As I approached college I saw the queue of cars that stretches from the entrance down the lane every Monday morning. I was going pretty fast, so I started slowing down and stayed in the same lane as the line of cars. As I was driving, I saw a car I thought I recognized, so I glanced towards it briefly to check if anyone I knew was inside. When I looked forward again, I saw that someone had tried to merge into the lane and was only about halfway done. The rear of the car was blocking the narrow passage between the lane I was driving in and the other, much faster lane.

At this point I had two choices: I could either swerve into the faster lane and hope I didn't end up blindsiding someone, or I could apply the brakes and hope that I stopped in time. I chose the latter. The bike slowed down considerably, but it skidded instead of coming to a stop. That was a bit of an "Oh shit" moment.

The collision seemed like it took less than a second. It seemed that I had gotten off the bike okay, as I only felt a few scrapes on my fingers and knees. I found my motorcycle lying on the road with the back wheel spinning furiously, so I walked over and shut off the engine before lifting up the bike and rolling it into the other lane. I also picked up a mirror that had come off. That seemed to be the only bit of damage that the motorcycle sustained.

The car was a different story, though. The rear right light was busted open and plastic from the light was strewn across the street. The lady who had been driving got out and asked if I was okay. I said that I was fine and that I was sorry for what happened to her car. She pointed to my fingers and asked if I was sure about being fine. I looked at my hand and saw that it was covered in blood. "Yeah, I'll feel that later" was my reply.

She told me that I should probably have it looked at and then asked me how we were going to settle this. I gave her my number and my dad's number. She called my dad and told him what happened, then handed the phone to me. I told my dad was fine and that I would call him after my first class. The lady had to get to work (it was her first day), so I apologized again and told her I would call her after my last class was over to settle things. She said that was fine and that I should go get my hand checked out, which I said I would do after my first class.

After she had driven off I put the bike in neutral and started pushing it to school. It was 7:45, so I still had about 15 minutes to get to my English class. As I was walking with my motorcycle, my English lecturer pulled up next to me. He was near the back of the line and had seen the whole thing. I told him that I was fine, but he also told me to get my hand looked at. I said I would, after class. It didn't hurt yet, but there was a fair bit of blood.

When I got into the college parking lot I put the motorcycle on its stand and checked for damage. The mirror really was the only problem with the bike, and it looked like it could just be glued back in.

I washed most of the blood off my hand when I got inside, then walked to class. The lecturer was a bit late, and when he arrived he told me to go to a nearby clinic to make sure my hand was okay. I went, but there was a line and forms to fill and stuff, so I decided that it wasn't worth all the trouble for a few surface cuts. I got back to class just in time for the lesson to start.

When class was over I cleaned the rest of the blood off my hands before going to talk with some friends. I then called my dad and told him all that had happened with the accident. I told him that I was okay and the bike was okay, and that I would test ride it around the parking lot before I left to make sure the gears and brakes worked and it wouldn't suddenly catch fire or anything like that on the way home. I also said was ready to pay for whatever repairs were needed with the lady's car, but my dad said not to worry about that. My dad is really cool like that.

I got my cuts cleaned and had some band-aids put on them by some a very helpful lady at the front desk. I then went to get something to eat and some superglue for the mirror. Breakfast was okay, and the superglue did an excellent job of fixing the mirror in place.

My second and last class of the day was Physics. When that was over I called the lady, but she said that she had already taken her car to the repair shop and talked to my dad, who agreed to pay RM400 for repairs. I apologized again for the accident and reassured her that I was okay.

It was raining when my class ended, so I decided to get lunch with some friends instead of going home straight away. A pretty bad stomach ache caused me to make an early exit, so that was pretty miserable. It didn't help that the toilet I managed to find had a broken flush so I had to hang around with a hose for a couple of minutes watching the system refill.

When that was all over the rain had finished, so I went to the bike, checked that the mirror was attached properly, drove around the parking lot to make sure everything worked, and went home without incident.

So yeah, that was my day. I have learned not to let the engine idle at traffic lights in the early morning, and to always pay attention to what's ahead of me on the road, and that I should perhaps be more appreciative of working loos.

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