I’m not sure where they came from, but all of a sudden there was another bike with two young locals right in front of us. We broke, but not enough, and BANG. Hello blood and bye bye knee cap.
We’d arrived in Mawlamyine the day before, Jacob, the beautiful Danish blonde (pastry), and I, with the pretence of exploring it’s few attractions by motorbike. Jacob’s a rider anyway, and we’d been adopting this method of travel for the last few weeks so I wasn’t faintly worried whilst sat on the back in my important role as, the navigator. We were headed to Win Sein Taw Ya – the largest reclining Buddha in the world – when it happened.
Driving along the main road out of the town, another bike just pulled out in front from the side of the road and stopped, diagonally, in the road. Jacob reacted instantly, braked, but as we got closer it was clear we were going to hit no matter what. We’d slowed so much that the impact didn’t even knock either bike over, but sadly for me, my knee decided it wanted a story to tell, as it smashed into the number plate / back light of the other bike. Cue adrenaline. I jumped off and immediately saw that my leg now had a steady stream of blood pooling in to my Birkenstock. I stumbled over the side of the road, and promptly laid down in the dirt. Jacob, upon realising that I’d gotten hurt (miraculously, mine was the only injury) ran over and saw the extent of my knee. Within seconds he’d whipped off his shirt like the Hulk and wrapped it tightly around the wound to stop the bleeding. It was a nice distraction I must admit.
“Do you think I’ll need stitches?” I asked, not being able to look at it in fear of passing out. “Erm, I don’t know, maybe. It’s not that bad.” Was the reply. Okay that was good, although I had a sneaky suspicion it was a lie as his face was getting paler from looking at it. Plus there was a lot of hand holding and; “You’re so brave, you’re doing so well. Don’t worry you’ll be fine.” So it is quite bad then? But thank you for being wonderful right now.
Not long after the crash, a couple appeared from their restaurant / home just next to me, and I was inside on their floor before I knew it, with my leg up on a chair and the man bringing me blankets to prop my head. They were the sweetest couple in the world ever. Once I could get up without wanting to faint back down, they’d insisted I rest on their bed until I felt okay enough to go to the hospital. So there I am, lying on a strangers bed in the back of a small restaurant with my leg up on a beer box and wrapped in a t-shirt. The couple kept bringing me cola and energy drinks to get my sugar back up, and refused point blank to the money we tried to offer for their kindness. Best people in the world award.
When I could get up we got back on the bike – because I’m a badass – and went to the hospital, about a 10 minute drive away which was really fantastic. After TEN STITCHES, a retrieved piece of brake light and no reclining Buddha, I walked out of hospital with a bandage the size of England around my leg and a mind full of gratitude for being alive.
A backpacker without some form of motorbike scar is not a backpacker at all though, right?