What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.
Since I was going to Dalat, I went back to the computers downstairs lobby to send the email to the hotel I looked at on lonely planet that I would be coming in today. They didn’t have an online reservation system. What??
I picked up my bus ticket to go.
I was in a seedy open bus tour for 9 hours. 9 hours!! But if I could deal with a 14 hour bus ride I could deal with 9. When I got to the midway point, however, I started to have a bad feeling about this. I thought about hopping out and just waiting at the next major bus station to head back to HCMC, but I stayed on.
Once we did finally arrive there, my warning flags were mentally ringing pretty loud. Something didn’t seem right at all. I was pacing back and forth whether I should just book the midnight bus ride back or stay. A little later I would find out…
Against my gut feeling, I decided to stay. Taking a taxi to the hotel I emailed, I found out that they were all booked. I told them I made a reservation, but, since I never got a response that meant that it was a little too late. So I went across the street to another hotel, Ai Nghia, to drop my things off. I thought to myself that I am just going to get dinner and leave tomorrow afternoon.
So I went across the street to get dinner and some vegetarian banh mi for my trip back the morning.
That was when I realized I should have listened to my gut feeling.
The scariest thing happened to me. I looked both ways before I was going to cross the street in Dalat. The moped driver on the left was about 500 ft away and the one on the other side was of like distance. So thinking my chances were good, I made a break for the other side of the street. As I was looking both ways, to be sure, I was just about to hop on to the finish line, the sidewalk, when the driver from the left of me hit me!
It hit me like a split second and my mind was blank. I had no idea what had happened, till I reopened my eyes to see that my wrist was broken and the shit head was down. With some broken parts to his bike.
The guy who hit me picked up his fucking moped and drove off in the other direction!
“HEY! YOU ASSHOLE!”
But shouting wasn’t going to help my situation, and with my legs bruised, I needed to assess myself to find out if there is anything else broken. Luckily it was only my wrist. This one guy, who did his best, brought me to this pharmacy to put some Vietnamese ointment on my wrist and then said I will be ok.
“Okay?! Does this look freaking okay?! See this lump under my wrist?! It is broken! Please, I am sorry. But I need to go to a hospital!”
And I repeated that in Vietnamese, but he thought the ointment would fix me right up.
I dragged myself to the hotel that I booked and asked the guy that I need to go to the hospital to see a doctor.
I was brought to a small clinic.
“Hey, this is the hospital?”
“5 minutes. Wait 5 minutes.” the son of the hotel manager told me
I pulled out my dad’s cell phone, and then looked to find my droid which came out unscathed. Dad’s cell took the brunt.. and the screen of my dad’s cell was broken. At least Eric’s phone number was accessible because it was the most recent one in the call history.
“Eric! I was hit by a moped driver up here!” I exclaimed
“Wait! What?! Are you ok?” Eric asks
“Yeah. It looks like it is just my wrist that is broken!”
“Alright alright, calm down.” he knows I was starting to get a little hysterical. “Where are you?”
“I am in this small practice. Wait. I need a freaking hospital and they bring me to a small practice!?”
“Alright Ted, calm down. glad that it was just your wrist, but get to a hospital and let me know what happens!”
I went back to the son and said I need to go to the hospital, this place isn’t going to cut it! But as soon as he was about to reply, his sister and a taxi showed up to bring me to the Dalat hospital.
When I got to the hospital, it looked like a torture facility renovated to be a hospital. I was put into the ER which was really just a big room with people bleeding and curled up on their beds.
“Shit. Should I be scared from the accident or from the hospital?!” I said to myself.
Apparently the hardest thing was remembering what hotel I was staying at. I didn’t remember and literally only walked in.
They put a splint on my left forearm but didn’t bother to clean the cuts and abrasions that I had on my legs and arm. So I was bleeding out onto their bed.
“Dear god, please let me survive this. I mean I did survive the accident…”
I had to walk down to the office to pay for my admission fee and xrays before getting xrayed. Being led to this empty metallic room with broken cans and buckets, sweat drops were falling down…
“You have a lead vest for my chest when you xray me… right?” I asked nervously. Nervous was an understatement. I was pretty scared.
“yeah yeah” she responded in Vietnamese.
After a little bit, I was brought back to the ER to wait while the doctors continue to prod to where I was staying.
“Look I don’t remember the name, but if I can get to a computer I can tell you!”
Looking like he gave up, I waited till I saw the person who had some orthopedic knowledge.
When I did go to the office of the ortho, I saw my scans. It wasn’t just broken, it was fractured on the radial bone. It looked like a break that just needed a cast, but later, I would find out I needed surgery and physical therapy.
The doctors upstairs tried their luck into finding what hospital I was at, but there was a computer in front of me. With the help of google, I located my hotel, Ai Nghia. They soon called the hotel to come gather me.
They put a long gutter caste on my left arm that went all the way to my armpit! What the?! How the heck am I going to maneuver around with this? I thought I would get a cast that just went up a little past the elbow! Note that I already paid for the materials for the caste too.
I was set, and was told to take the midnight bus back to HCMC and go straight to the FV hospital for further procedures.
The son loaded me up onto his moped.
“Wait. You want me to get on that thing?” I asked. I really did not want to get onto a moped especially after the accident.
But it doesn’t look like I had any choice. So with my right arm I did a death grip to the back handle of his moped as he drove back to the hotel. Once I got to the hotel, the daughter called up the bus company to send a shuttle here at 11:25 pm to pick me up. It was only 10 pm. they told me that they paid for my medical expenses there and I had to pay them. Not thinking about it, I paid them the money for it. It was only till later that I realized and remembered that I already paid for everything!
I went up the four stories to bring all my gear back downstairs as I waited for the shuttle to come. I was so glad that I left my camera in the hotel room. I would be even more upset if my 1d and 35L were damaged or destroyed from that asshole.
I already packed lighter than my last travels, but with this broken wrist, the weight of it all really bore its teeth! Especially relying on only one side of my body. But I gritted my teeth and walked it all downstairs. There was no elevator in the building. Tell me why did I decide to go to Dalat again? Why did I decide to not listen to my gut?
I gave my thanks to the son and to the hotel staff again, and went onto the shuttle. Hoping to get onto the sleeper bus, I was at the station when I was told the sleeper was all full. But there was one seat left in the regular bus to HCMC.
“I’ll take it.”
And with my seat at all the way at the end and slept my way down to HCMC.