Our First Accident

So I am making this post since Seth feels a little sheepish about it, but we had our first accident! Seth has written all about how it is crazy it is to drive in China, so it was only a matter of time before it happened. Thanksfully no one got hurt, at least not because of the accident.

So we went to the pet shop because the girl had called Cindy and told her that Vash needed his shot. This was a bit surprising since she had said he needed it after 4 weeks and this was only week 2, but he needs it so we put him in the carrier and took him to town. We bought him some toys and waited for Cindy to meet us at the shop. Turns out the girl did try to take advantange of us. She wanted to charge us 40 Kuai for each shot and he needed 3. This was more than the dog cost so Cindy thought it was unreasonable. So Cindy called a vet friend of hers and found out he could give us the shots for on 20 Kuai each and that the puppy only needs 2. So we left without the shots, but got him some nice toys.

So we were heading home because we didn’t know when Cindy’s friend would be sending the shots over. We were not very far from the shop when we came to a rather busy intersection. From our left a lady with baskets of eggs on each side rode right through the interscetion without looking or stopping. Seth did not see her until she was right in front of him. He slammed on the brakes, but not quick enough. He hit her square in the side towards the rear of the bike right into one of her baskets. I saw it coming so kind of braced myself for the impact, but still kind of fell forward and to the left and kind of jumped off as the bike stopped. Thankfully we had the puppy in his carrier and I wasn’t just holding him (sometimes when we take short trips to get snacks near the school I just carry him in my jacket; but longer trips that actually go to town, we put him in his box).

The lady was older, probably in her 40s or 50s. She fell to the left. I am not sure how hard we hit her, but the bike does not go fast in the first place, he slowed down for the intersection, and he was riding the braks as we hit. Still, she went down to the left, but she was trying to maintain her balance and hold onto the bike. The basket (she had two big metal cage baskets on each side)kept her bike from going all the way down, but she eventually lost her balance and fell off of it.

At first I think we were all in shock. She couldn’t believe she got hit. She couldn’t beleive she got hit by Americans. I was afraid she was hurt. Seth was worried about the eggs. And so we were all kind of just standing in the intersection. We finally get out wits about us enough that we move our bike out of the road and I called Cindy. Thankfully I knew she had to still be near by. I started looking the lady over to make sure she wasn’t hurt. Her right wrist seemed to have a lump on it, like it was already swollen. I thought this was awfully strange to swell up so quickly, but she was holding it like it hurt. She was also rubbing her right leg. By this time, a crowd was already forming or 5-6 people, most of whom saw the accident. So I finally suggested we get her out of the street. She walked fine so we knew her leg wasn’t broken, thank goodness.

Cindy arrived and started talking to the lady to find out if she was hurt and how much we should pay for the eggs. A huge crowd started to form at this time. People just walking by stopped, people driving by, parked their bikes to come and see. There were 20-30 people out there, and they all seemed to have an opinion about how bad the injuries were and how much the eggs cost. Some people even started getting angry and yelling, but they were yelling mostly at the lady we hit. At this point, I was wishing I had my camera just to show what a scene we caused. But, alas, my battery died the day before and I forgot to get it out of the charger 🙁

So Cindy finally worked out that we owed 50 Yuan for the eggs and that we should give her 10 Yuan for some pain medicine. We figured this was fair since, while she wasn’t actually injured, she was going to be sore. But she kept refusing the 10 Yuan. Apparently she was quite insistant that she wanted to go to the hospital and get x-rays incase her leg (which she used to walk across the street) might be broken. This we found odd and kind of annoying, but I thought well maybe she has a fracture or a really bad sprain and does need to go to the doctor. She also did have that swelling in her writst. So we agreed. The x-rays were 120 Yuan. So someone took her bike and baskets away and we went with her to the hospital for the x-rays. She saw a doctor first who could tell nothing was broken but let her get the x-rays anyway.

The x-rays showed that there was indeed nothing wrong with her. So we went back to the doctor and showed him the report but she still kept insisting that something was wrong with her wrist. She was shoing him how it was swollen and how she couldn’t bend it. He thoroughly checked her wrist and arm and could not find anything wrong, but she kept insisting. At this point he began to seem a bit annoyed and would just kind of chuckle like “look lady, there is nothing wrong with you.” I finally told Cindy, “if her wrist does hurt, it wasn’t caused by the accident because we hit the back of the bike.” She then explained the accident to the doctor who seemed to just sigh as he sat down and agreed with Cindy that nothing was wrong or if it was wrong it wasn’t caused by the accident and it certainly wasn’t broken. We finally left the doctor’s office and went out to the bikes and then the lady and Cindy started getting angry with each other. We don’t know what was said, but Cindy was clearly upset and even offended enough that she refused to give the lady a ride home.

All-in-all, it was more a waste of time and money than anything else. I might sound callous about hitting the lady, but I’m just suspicious of getting ripped off. I feel bad for her. I know she is going to be sore tomorrow, which we offered to pay for the medicine for, but she refused because she wanted the x-rays. But I honestly feel that she was trying to milk the damage and injuries as much as possible because we are Americans. A similar thing happened when we were staying in Yangshuo. One of the boys rented a bike and hit a car. No one was hurt in that instance, but the car had a ding in it. Owen himself went to settle the simple matter, but since the man had been hit by an American he insisted the damage was much more extensive and would cost significantly more. I think something similar may have happened here. We think that the lady had already injured her wrist and was trying to blame the injury on the accident.