Monday, March 20, 2006

my brushes with fate

... bringing you another trip down memory lane .... but ...

*warning* *warning*

... perhaps not for the faint-hearted ...

*warning* *warning*

Got your attention? Heeheheheeee!

"Inspired" by what happened about 3 hours ago outside the apartment:
I had my window open, was kakuro-ing, then heard someone shouting (in Malay) something like "Oooiiiiii, slow down, he's (it's?) ... "

Just as my brain was processing that...


~~~ CRUNCH !!!!! ~~

... a chorus of horns start honking...

Obviously, an accident had occurred at the intersection near the apartment.

Gotta love the chorus of horns... NOT! An accident just occurred, y'all! Honking is gonna do NOTHING to help the situation!!

I had absolutely no view from my room, so I had no way to see for sure what had happened. But from the sound, it was two vehicles colliding, so hopefully no/minimal loss of life lah (as opposed to the sound made by car vs motorbike, or even worse: car vs pedestrian!)

There was one horn that was "on" continuously .... on and on and on ... I suppose a driver was slumped unconscious on the steering wheel?

Finally heard some sirens (with a hospital just there, you'd think they's have been there much sooner, or no need for an ambulance at all?), then the continuous horn was silent.

Yep, it was probably a body on the steering wheel.

Later, heard the "trilll" whistle, probably the sound of a traffic cop manually directing traffic at the intersection.... but of course nNot before hearing *so many* busses totally laying on their horns... I *really* don't understand why people think pressing on their horns will actually help the situation any....

A bit after that, on the way out of the apartment, mother took a peek: sed it looked like a clash of a school bus and a van. Yikes. Hope the bus was empty, or at least that the kids are okay! Maybe we'll see a little blurb in tomorrow's papers.

... waiting for that trip down memory lane I mentioned?

Well, I was thinking back to how I've been extremely fortunate, I've not been injured in the few run-ins I've had:
  • Sure, I've been in the backseat when my mom accidentally hit a pedestrian who was jaywalking UNDER a pedestrian bridge (yes, UNDER the pedestrian bridge; and the moron wanted to blame my mother??!);
  • I've had a near-miss when some idiot tried to cross traffic at a no-entry, ramming into the front of MY car (a few seconds difference and he'd have rammed into the passenger side and ME cos I was riding shotgun at the time);
  • I've kissed the bumper of some moron who stopped their car BLOCKING my car instead of stopping further ahead as expected, so I had moved forward looking at oncoming traffic, not at them;
  • I've had a tree branch fall straight onto the car I was driving, landing diagonally across the windscreen. A second's difference would have had it either totally damage the bonnet & engine, or come crashing down on the roof and me. Instead, all it did was smash the glass and dent a bit of the surrounding area. And I was wearing a cap AND shades, so no glass into my eyes or anything.
  • I've looked up from studying a map while driving just in time to swerve away from crashing into a divider... :p
  • I've made donuts with the car, stepping on the brake while on ice (Malaysian where know how to deal with winter weather?!), and having the car make two circles before stopping - on a totally clear road, no traffic. Phew!
  • ... and BEST of all... I rammed straight into a telephone pole just outside my (then) house, cutting the phone connection to my house and neighbours, cos I'd been distracted by something just as i took the corner.

... i've also been spared seeing the gory sights of accidents ...

yes, I've passed by and seen some bodies sprawled by the side of the road at scenes of accidents: one seemed to have been well-burnt. I've seen some pix of awful accidents too.

But one I'm very thankful to have been spared the sight of:
There was this girl in school, many years younger than me. People knew her by sight, if not by name, because she was small for her age, and had to walk awkwardly around because she was bow-legged.

School busses would usually stop outside the school, unload the kids, and the kids would have to cross the road into the school.

So that fateful day in Form 1? Form 2?, I'd been dropped off by the bus, had crossed the road, was safely in the school. A few minutes later, news spread like wildfire: someone got hit!

It was the bow-legged girl.

Run over by her own bus.

She'd gone to the front of the bus to cross; the driver thought all was clear (you usually can't see what's immediately below you when you're on a high-up bus...), and moved forward...

... it seems her brains were all over the road ...

Of course those already in the school compound weren't allowed to go anywhere near the scene, only those who were still arriving for school had the chance (?) to see anything.

But even if I didn't see anything, it was quite upsetting for me just to think about it : a life snuffed out, just like that. And what a way to go... Brrrrrrr!!

A scene still vivid in my mind: we were all on the school field, in little groups, friends morbidly gossiping / speculating / reliving the scene: it was all too much, and one of my friends was about to bawl; I was about to hug and comfort her, probably end up bawling too, when another "friend" came up and totally belittled us for being emotional about it. I dunno what HER problem was - I'd like to think she was dealing with it by being rude & brash, but lemmie tell ya, my respect for her dropped sooooooooooo low right there....

Anyways... so yeah, those have been my brushes with fate.

Have I been fortunate? Definitely. And I am very thankful for that.


  1. Had a lot of near misses myself while driving on the way to my Mom's hometown in the south. One time,I was so sleepy after driving for almost 8 hours I didn't realize I was already on the opposite lane of the highway, and almost smashed head on to an oncoming freight truck... while everyone was asleep inside the van I was driving.

  2. yowch!! that's scary!! and that's one of the reasons I rarely sleep in the car even if there are other people in there, unless I'm confident the driver doesn't need a co-driver, or if I'm just totally way too tired... the risks are so high... glad u realised what was going on in time!!


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