a word on motos

So in Kampot Province it is me, Guillermo (NJ), Billy (SD), Christine (CA), and Taylor Hall (GA), and the married couple Jen and Jake (WA). A good group, I think. Christine is closest to Kampot Town, and the rest of us are spread out to the North; Taylor and Billy are closest to me, I reckon. There are also some PCTs close to me in Takeo; I’m not sure how far away they are, but I’m closer to Takeo Town than Kampot Town (which is about two hours away).

Last night, the five of us “dirty Southerners” (as the K2s apparently started calling people in Kampot)- minus the married couple- were in Kampot Town having drinks and dessert at a Western-style restaurant (meaning they have things like cheeseburgers, ice cream, french fries, etc). All of a sudden we heard a bang and the sound of metal scraping cement. On the street a couple meters away, three kids had spilled their moto. My best guess, as I didn’t see the accident, is that since their light was out and it was getting dark, an oncoming moto had swerved to avoid them at the last minute and caught their front tire. When the bike turned sideways, it pitched on of the kids off, a boy maybe 13 or so, and he landed on his face. His nose and lip were torn, there was blood all over, and he undoubtedly had a concussion (sp?). When we ran over, Taylor (who’s a nurse) immediately went to the kid with the obvious head injury, trying to assess if he might have hurt his neck and back also. Billy, Guillermo and I lifted the moto off the driver, a boy maybe 15 or so. The boy slowly got to his feet, and then immediately tried to get back on his moto to drive away. He was so disoriented I don’t think he knew what had happened. I think he was in shock. Billy had to stop him from climbing back in the seat. Christine got a chair and we managed to get the kid to sit down and keep his foot elevated, because even though it wasn’t bleeding it had a four inch gash in it, straight to the bone. Guillermo looked at it, looked at me, and said, “Yeah, you can see his bone.” Wow. That kid was brave, though, he didn’t let on that his foot hurt even one bit; I let him use my phone to call his uncle. Meanwhile, some drunk German lady comforted the third kid, a girl maybe 12, who had terrible road rash and was hysterical. She stopped crying after a while but I could tell she was really in pain. After 20 minutes some Kmai person finally had the damn sense to call a tuk tuk, and it came and took all three kids to the hospital. All of this occurred amidst a huge crowd of on-lookers… Us PC kids and a couple other Barangs (foreigners) were about the only ones doing anything at all. Scary!

What pissed me off, though, was this German girl, she looked like she was 20something and she claimed to be a doctor, and I don’t know if she’d been drinking or what but I didn’t trust her judgment. She insisted that the kid with the busted-up face was okay to stand up and move around, after looking at him for like 5 minutes. How she could tell he didn’t have any spinal injuries at a glance is beyond me. Then she came over to the kid with the cut foot and said, “We need to cover that up.” No shit, Sherlock. But this is Cambodia, and leaving it open until they absolutely have to cover it to drive to the hospital probably would have been the best bet, since everything is dirty. But she took a wad of napkins from the restaurant and crammed them in that kid’s foot, squeezing with one hand on top and one hand on the bottom. Then she got distracted and left, and what do you know? His foot started bleeding! On top of it I think she hurt him, so he stood up and it started bleeding even more. I was pissed. Maybe she knew what she was doing, maybe she lied about being a doctor, I don’t know, but after this whole fiasco, when Taylor and I were washing blood off our hands and arms in the bathroom, we overheard her saying, “His foot might never be the same, but he’ll still walk,” in this disgustingly nonchalant way. She was entirely casual about the whole thing. It made me very angry. Then she had the nerve to smile sweetly at us on her way out and say, “Goodbye!” I don’t know what happened to the three kids… I hope they’re okay. Needless to say, we ended the night early and went back to our hotel to watch TV.

And this is why we are not allowed to ride motos.

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “a word on motos

  1. Drewski

    Bikes are injury/death traps!

    All Germans know is engineering, genocide, medical experiments, war and David Hasselhoff.

  2. Kashif Syed

    It sounds like at least some rules are there for good reason! That sounds really scary. I really hope those guys are okay.

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