Thursday, March 12, 2009

Moped Madness

Kim, Sheldon and the boys from Saskatoon drop me off at the moped place after a nice lunch at Pollo Bronco. They’re such a nice family and I just love the boys! I bid them adios and they wish me well as I step up to the counter to claim my moped.

Renting it is fairly simple as I fill out the paper work and all that, the agent gets the moped ready for me. I’m nervous but excited by the aspect of having more mobility and facing my fears. This moped is simple – it’s basically stop and go. No clutch or gear shifts.

I get onto the moped, start it up and as I'm trying to get up and over the curb, I give it some gas and it lurches forward which makes me lurch my weight forward which makes me give it MORE gas. I’m squeezing the brakes and nothing is happening.

I end up driving straight into a souvenir stand at full speed, taking down a local girl, 14, whose family owns the shop, with me. Not good. It's chaos....everyone is screaming. I'm completely freaked out and not sure if I'm hurt or if the girl's hurt. She's on top of my leg screaming and crying.

Nobody speaks English thus far and check it, I'm the minority here, ya know?

They pull the moped out and the mother is screaming and the little sister is's bad. Finally, an American woman comes up behind me and offers me some coke - as in coca cola. I'm hysterical crying at this point and thank goodness for this woman who's trying to keep me calm.

All I'm saying over and over again, “I'm so sorry. I'm so sorry.“ Which, of course, nobody understands. And I’m holding the girl, her head in my lap, stroking her head, trying to keep her from moving, just in case she has a spinal injury. Her toe is bleeding, but that’s all that seems to be wrong from where I’m sitting. Fingers crossed.

The ambulance comes.

They take her off me first and then I'm wondering if my leg is broken because it hurts like a MUTHA. They put me on a board, strap my leg up to keep it straight and then my head to the board like on freakin' tv....but nobody's saying much except this nice lady who tells me my leg looks in tact and can I feel her scratching it?

She gets my purse and finds only one of my shoes and lays them on my stomach as they're putting me into the ambulance. Then I lie there, clutching my purse and shoe waiting and crying. I was so scared. It was awful. I felt so alone and powerless.

The nice American lady comes back and climbs into the ambulance and says, "I'm breaking the rules, but here's your other shoe." Total angel.

I couldn't move my head so I don't what's happening. Finally we start moving, but nobody says anything to me. My mind is racing and I’m worried that I'm going to end up in a dumpster somewhere.

We get to the hospital and I use that term lightly....more like an infirmary. There are people outside taking pictures of me. I feel like a criminal.

None of the doctors speak English.. And my limited Spanish is a dim memory. I’m so scared I can barely remember English.

They start to hook some bag of something up to me and I'm asking "que est a?" They answer, but I don't know what it is. All I'm thinking is they're going to drug me and take me to some gringo whorehouse or something.

Finally, I find out that it's saline so I say okay. Then, they try to give me some medicine and I say, “NO WAY!”

I don't care if I was bleeding from the way. They get that.

I'm there for about 4 1/2 hours. The girl gets stitches in her foot. I try to walk, but it's hard and though I know my leg isn’t broken, I’m still not sure if I have a sprain or something. I have minimal scrapes and bruises on my leg and foot.

The worst part is that I'm sharing the "emergency room" with this girl which is kind of uncomfortable. Oh yeah, and I'm still crying wishing i never went on this trip solo.

The girl's father speaks English which is helpful. He was nice too.

The insurance guy comes and he doesn't speak English – shocker. I end up signing all of these papers. Fuck if I know what I'm signing and I can't argue because who's going to explain it to me or even know that I'm arguing?

Plus, I'm still waiting for the cops to come and take me away.

In the end, I think I understand that they're ruling it an accident and insurance will cover the medical stuff.

They're going to take the girl to Playa del Carmen to get her checked out. I opt not to go because my leg is feeling better – just stiff. My hand hurts a lot, but I think it’s from the IV.

And then the entire family shows up which is like 6 people! They're all giving me dirty looks while eating chicken, laughing amongst themselves and hovering over the girl. I feel like a total outsider and a complete fool.

I finally get to leave and I basically walk out of the hospital onto the street. I had no idea where I was and surprised to find out that I’m fairly close to the apartment.
I take a taxi home and thank goodness for my little family here who were all sitting around in one of the apartments. I come in and tell them the whole story and they are sweet, feeding me beer and potato ships. Brian tells me he'll take me to Hertz the following day to straighten out the damages. Everyone agrees that I shouldn’t go alone. Once again, I am grateful for these nice people and their kindness.

We say good night and I am finally in back in Karen’s apartment. I am exhausted which is probably a good thing. There’s way too much to process and I need some sleep. I do however, note to myself before drifting off to sleep, how lucky I was and offer up some gratitude for that.

Though the last thing I remember thinking before I fall asleep is how guilty I feel about the young girl.

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