Cambodia Crash Chronicles: Second Flight

Now, Cambodia is known for one of the countries where the number one cause of deaths is, traffic accidents. I see it happening everyday. However, that doesn’t stop me from driving a motorbike to get from point A to point B.

I took time to get up from bed. I was supposed to go with two of my housemates on a motorbike. I figured it would uncomfortable to ride with them plus! the time I have to be at the office was much later, compared to the time they have to be. So I told them to go first.

I got out of bed, prepared for work and was out the door. I hailed a motorbike to take me to st. 63. It was the first working day after a very long Khmer holiday–Khmer New Year. For those who have been living in Cambodia, you would know what it is like when people started coming back to Phnom Penh from their respective provinces on a Monday.

The traffic was fairly heavy. A lot of cars, buses, vans, and of course, other motorbikes were on my route to work that day. Much honking of horns were heard, brakes screeched, as each vehicle inched its way forward. If you know the area were I live, you would know that I’d have to go across the Japanese bridge, go along the huge roundabout and then work my way through Monivong Blvd. traffic.

I was feeling rather feminine that day, so I wore my pencil skirt and was riding on the motorbike in a very lady-like manner. The moto driver was a teenager–hence, speeds a bit speedy. We safely crossed the bridge and passed the round about. Then on the onset of Monivong Blvd., by the massive walls of the French embassy, I saw this other motorbike coming towards us from the opposite lane, attempting to cross the street.

The other bike was moving towards us, not slowing down, I braced myself for impact and impact each other–we did. It felt like everything went into slow motion–I was flying for a few milliseconds and landed hard on the concrete, back first because of the way I was sitting on the motorbike. My eyes snapped open as my brain told me that I should get up because there were a lot of cars and I have to move out of the way. I looked around and found that there were no cars, there was this huge gap on the part of the road were we fell, enough time for me to get up and walk to the side of the street. It was like the cars in front were pushed forward and so were the cars that were incoming.

I stood there and checked if I had any broken bones or bruises. I was really fortunate to leave with only a scratch on my right elbow. I called the office and told them I won’t be coming in for work the whole day because I just felt like I shouldn’t go anywhere that day anymore. So I hailed another motorbike to take me home and stayed in my room for the rest of the day.

That day, I couldn’t help but feel really blessed to have been given another day to live. It wasn’t even a month after my last dive on concrete.

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