How the Tiger Earned Her Stripes…

…of stupidity. Or maybe bad luck. Or possibly a cursed concoction of both. (and Paddy if you are reading this right now I KNOW you are going to want to kill me…especially since this happened literally 2 hours after talking to you.)

So, let me rewind. This particular day found me shooting across the water (or barely sputtering, more like, crammed into a ferry overloaded with fellow tourists like too many crayons in your crayon box)  to Koh Samui to meet Pat (a friend of a friend). After an unnecessarily complicated ordeal I eventually found her and settled into the guesthouse; I dropped my things off and we went to Pat’s restaurant for lunch and event planning. She has a couple of motorbikes and she was more than willing to let me borrow one for the night and the next day to check out the island, which I thought was incredibly kind and trusting. I warned her that I had never driven one before so she taught me and…piece of cake. And actually quite a bit of fun! After my little lesson she saw me off as I drove myself home to shower and prepare for the night. At first I felt super cool, but that spark of Hells Angels badassery gets snuffed out pretty quickly when you remember that you are wearing an egg shaped helmet complete with a chin strap. I successfully rolled into the guest1177_10151815327027317_37170408_nhouse parking lot and killed the motor to head upstairs and get ready.

And so, my friends, we find ourselves at the commencement of this particular story.

I sat on my bed, only vaguely aware of the disappearing daylight as I chatted with Paddy on Skype. We happened to be talking about motor bikes and laughing about skin graphs and now stupid people are for zooming about in nothing but tank tops, shorts and flip flops. He even said something along the lines of, “Don’t you dare go out on that bike unless you are covered up.”

I hung up and hopped in the shower, only to discover with dismay that it was nearly dark, and Pat had said people are crazy drivers when the sun sets and the booze kicks in, and the streets can get a bit mental. I apparently forgot my entire conversation with Paddy as I rushed out the door in my shorts and tank top. I don’t know what it is about traveling, but you seem to think you are almost invincible. Well, not invincible, maybe, but more hulk-like. Or you just seem to think you will be an exception to the staggering statistics. I am here to tell you that one way or another you aren’t, and today I flew just a little too close to the sun.

I assumed that since all I had to do was go up a small hill, down said hill, and turn right the few minutes that mission would take was do-able in my shorts on a bike. Turns out I grossly miscalculated my excellent horrific skills in direction. I missed the turn, thus catapulting me onto the one way only Chewang St, one of the busiest of Koh Samui. Alright, I told myself, focus. You got this. “Getting this” consisted of puttering along the side of the road and letting nearly everyone else zoom past me. And I was ok with this, because my mind was torn between trying to figure out how to get back to the correct street and the horrors of skin grafting. It was only 8pm and the roads were just starting to get busy; I assumed finding my way back would be as simple as finding a parallel road to the one I was on and following that, but I managed to overshoot it and somehow made my way across the river passing places like Dream Girls and Club 69. I ended up motor biking around for about 40 minutes with no problems other than being hopelessly lost before tragedy struck.

Here I was, complacently drifting through town and crossing an intersection with everyone else when out of nowhere another motorbike comes flying out from the corner and clips my back end, sending us both flying. I managed to land near a curb but the other guy skidded across the road a bit before scraping to a stop. “Oh shit!” I heard him utter as he stood up, followed by “are you ok?” in my direction. I told him that yes, I thought I was, and before I had a chance to say anything else he was up and gone again. Drunk, maybe? Probably. I sat there on the side of the road next to the bike for a minute, absorbing what had just happened. People were asking if I was ok as I stood up and, panicked, asked, “how is the bike? Is the bike ok?” Thank God it was, because I did NOT want to have to call Pat and tell her I was involved in a crash that wrecked her bike. Someone gave me some napkins to clean myself up and that’s when I, as it must have appeared to everyone else, completely lost the plot. I sat there alone on the curb, covered in dirt and blood, and began to laugh. It wasn’t just quiet laughter either, it sprung up suddenly from within and bubbled out before I could stop it. The reason for my fit of hysterics, and this is possibly the best or worst part of this incident depending on how you look at it, was simply this:

That crash was so epic I lost my bra.

Knocked it clean off of me. I didn’t notice it at first as I sat there getting my wits back together and letting the adrenaline kick settle, but then something just felt…weird. I discreetly felt around a bit and realized that the front clasp on my bra had broken-it was twisted around me completely off my chest and almost around my shoulders. I rattled off some excuse of making a call for the chance to duck behind a car in the parking lot and untangle myself. For those of you whom I have laughed at when in pain (you know who you are), take solace in the fact that I readily laugh at my own pain as well.

After sorting myself out I set out again on the bike and found a side street to call Pat and tell her what happened, as well as inform her I was lost. She found me, I got cleaned up, and I now sit here in my bed writing this, covered in scrapes all down my leg and an ankle the size of the Goodyear blimp, short a bra and facing a couple weeks of pain.

Back in Koh Phangan I almost got a piercing. You know, something to remember Thailand by. I ended up opting out because it was too expensive, and I am now going to walk away from Thailand with scars to remember it by instead.

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One thought on “How the Tiger Earned Her Stripes…

  1. Pingback: Chet Si | Life As I See It

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