Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Brushes with Death....#2

I realized that I have many encounters Death. However I believe we are born to die. Dying is not a problem but how we die is definitely important.

It started with a happy occasion. We drove in convoy of three cars in a row to a town 2 hours away to attend a colleague's wedding. We left in the evening at 6pm. In total there were 12 of us in 3 cars. After dinner and all the merry makings, the group decided to go to a Disco. We returned after 12 midnight.

Being the lady driver in the group, I was signaled to move and the two cars followed behind. In the remote Indonesian countryside there were no street lamps. It was scary and I had to pay full attention because some animals may cross the roads, or human cycling without lights or walking along the dark road which was difficult to identify them until you get too close.

When we went up slope, my car began to slide to the right. I turned my steering wheel to bring it back to the center of the road but it keeps sliding right. To my left was the rocky surface of a hill, to my right was a steep drain. I panicked. I was driving at 60 and I was not speeding. I used all my strength to steer my wheel back to the center of the road and I stepped on my brake. (This is an act of an inexperience driver. I should have pulled my hand brake at the same time but I was not in the correct mind frame with this frightening experience.)

Immediately my mind said "The car is going to turn-turtle"...and before I could finished my thought, the car turned turtle twice and came back into a standing position. I did not know how the windscreens smashed. The person sitting in front with me flew out of the front windscreen and landed on the road. The couple sitting behind me was thrown back into the boot. I was driving a 5-door Suzuki Vitara. The top of the car was badly dented and came down like a sharp knife. It missed my head by 1 inch.. If it came a little more, my head will be cut opened.

I sat with both my hands holding tightly on the steering wheel. My fingers were bleeding badly and finger nails turned up. My back was wet but I did not know what it was. The two cars behind stopped and were shocked as they saw the whole accident happening. They were only one car length between each other. I was pulled out of the car. Fortunately no oncoming cars or the guy thrown on the road could have died. We quickly called the workshop in the middle of the night to tow away the car and we were rushed to hospital. The passengers of my car have bruised and small cuts. I am the one with abrasion on my hands. I later realized that there was a big abrasion on my shoulder blade and it was bleeding.

Going to an Indonesian hospital in a small town was an experience. I realized that there were no doctors and no one came to check on me. The medical help that attended to me probably was probably not qualified. She used cotton wool on my ten bleeding fingers and wrapped it with gauze. A big piece of cotton wool was placed on my shoulder blade and secured with plasters . I started to feel the pain on my fingers and shoulder blade. We kept asking for Doctors but she said the Doctors went home. We must wait until morning. We asked for pain killer but she said she did not have the keys to open the medicine cabinet. I was groaning in pain. My colleagues went out and bought me panadol. One of the cars drove back to my apartment and collected my passport and some belongings and bought a ferry ticket for me to return to Singapore.

My senses were hazy and I was running a fever. I was groaning in pain and it was so bad that it numb my senses. I am not able to focus or know what was happening. Upon reaching Singapore, my Singapore colleagues were waiting for me. They rushed me to Changi General Hospital A&E Department.

Doctors and nurses were amazed at the way my wound were handled. They have to give me an injection to stop the pain and started to pour warm water over my fingers to wet the dried bloodstained cotton. It stuck to my wound and to the nails and flesh and the pain was extricating. I was screaming when they touched me and when they started to tug at the cotton wool stuck to my fingers, I passed out.

The Chinese said that the 10 fingers were linked to the heart and therefore you can imagine the pain. Partly the wound was infected without medical attention that caused the high fever. I was in a dazed and yet I felt the pain. After a long while, nurses managed to clean the wounds on my fingers and shoulder blade. I am already mentally drowsy from the pain and the injections. I dozed off. When I work up, I saw my Mum, siblings, colleagues and good friends standing around me. Mum was crying when she saw my wounds.

Another narrowed escape. I am glad that none of the people with me were badly injured. It would have left a mark on me if anything happened to anyone of them. Later I learned that the whole car was badly smashed. All the windows were broken except for one which I have the 'Kalacharkra' sticker on it. All the malas and protection amulets on the front panel of the cars were gone. Of course there were speculations. The spot where the accident happened were notorious and claimed many lives. Many motorists died there. The Indonesian believed that it was haunted. They speculated that all my prayers amulets and charms protected the passengers and myself. Funny as they said that after my accident, that place have no more accident happening. They believed I broke the spell....did I?


  1. You really should be careful on the road.

    That swirl in the evening got z in cold sweat for a long while..

    do be careful, if you are too tired, take a cab or it is ok to say no.

  2. Yup..sorry I gave u a fright! Yes, I was so busy the whole of Saturday and don't have time to even sit down. Next time if I too tired, you drive!