Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Day 17 - Near death

I nearly died today.  How often does one get to say that?
Ok, perhaps that is a little dramatic, but it certainly is a story to be told.

Today is the official day one of Songkran, so we donned our water guns and suited-up so to speak and hit the streets running.  We made it our mission to cover more ground today, so we started to talk our way onto the backs of tuk-tuks, songthaew, trucks and utes. You know where this is headed.

Tom came across a ute with only two Thai guys in the back, but with a barrel full of water, so that was invitation enough for us.  We were enthusiastically welcomed onboard and after quick introductions, the games begun.  Lots of people to shoot at means lots of refilling of water guns, hence we quickly ran out of water.  We pulled over to fill the barrel with water from the moat that surrounds the old city of Chiang Mai. Tom jumped straight into the moat, and we established quite the little production line, passing various size buckets back and forth between the moat and the ute.  The process was slowed by the irresistible temptation to occasionally pour an entire bucket of water on a passer-by.  Nonetheless we got the barrel filled and all jumped in the back.

It was inevitable that with all the water-throwing the ute would start to fill with water.  And smooth, shiny surfaces filled with water are one main thing: slippery.  The driver stopped suddenly and like dominos we all fell forward onto one another.  No-one was injured and we all thought it was hilarious.  Not a minute later, the driver accelerated suddenly when traffic cleared, and not having completely regained my footing I fell backwards.  I landed sitting on the back of the tray so I thought I was okay.  However, as soon as the ute gained speed it was Alicia meet bitumen.  Having hit my head with such force, the details are a little hazy in my memory.  I do remember lying in the middle of the road and seeing another ute looming towards me, so I somehow picked myself up off the road before collapsing onto the kerb.  I know now that upon hearing me scream, followed by a loud smack on the road, Tom leapt off the (still moving) ute to run and help me.  With me about to go into full on shock, I was so glad to have Tom there.  Tom calmed me down enough to walk back to our room, but not before the driver and at least 10 other people came over to see if I was okay and to give us advice.  All very sweet, but at the same time, very overwhelming. I just wanted to lie down and sleep.

Upon returning to the room, I curled up in bed and tried my hardest not to fall asleep.  With Tom as my watchdog we watched 'Sister Act', which happened to be on one of the movie channels (oh yeah, we have pay TV, did I forget to mention that?).  There's nothing like a cheesy musical to make you feel better.

So that's me out for Songkran, it was fun while it lasted! New near death story? Acquired.

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