A chronicle of Alison and Ron's trip around the world in 2009-2010.

"Not all those who wander are lost"
- Tolkien

Monday, January 11, 2010

Evil Kneivel Kutulas

It was the day before New Years Eve and we decided to rent scooters to explore the island. We had avoided motorbikes successfully up until this point due to inexperience and the fear of being mangled, but the island seemed so quaint and slow and flat. Really the ideal place to learn your chops on the road. So we thought. Jay and Corina, were in a similar boat, a bit apprehensive, but we strapped into our helmets and threw caution to the wind. A mere 15 seconds later, our throttle got stuck and we were literally flying through said wind into a 12 foot ditch, narrowly missing the sharpest corner of a house but breaking its roof, water pipe and electrical line on the way down. Not to mention running over a baby banana tree who surely never saw us coming.

Amazingly, we didn’t flip end over end and we landed upright and were able to get up and walk away. It reconfirmed our belief in guardian angels. We had some minor bruises and scratches. One I like to call “house burn” where my arm just dragged down the side of the house. Even with the amount of adrenaline pumping through our veins, Ron’s back hurt almost immediately and he had to lie down the rest of the night. We paid the damage to the bike, which was about $60 for mostly cosmetic issues, including the seat, left side of the body, and mud flap. Ron carried on valiantly through New Years, fueled (and anesthetized) by whiskey no doubt but crashed hard afterwards.

He couldn’t sleep through the night due to the pain, found it extremely uncomfortable to sit in a chair, and winced at even the thought of a yawn or a cough. We went to the clinic on Koh Mak and were given some light medication, but it didn’t seem to help much. Over a few days he seemed to improve and we had also reached out to my brother who suggested he may have fractured a rib. Although, there is nothing much you can do medically to help that along, at least we would have a diagnosis, and perhaps better painkillers.

We came to Koh Chang, a nearby island that has a small hospital for an X-ray. Low and behold, he fractured his left paraspinal process of his L1 vertebrae. Which means, he has to rest rest rest for another couple weeks for it to heal. Good thing we are on a Thai island, with nothing much to do but bum around the beach. I’m playing nurse and taking good care of him. And don’t worry about us getting on bikes again, the whole ordeal has basically scared the living shit out of us for ever riding a scooter again. Life is unutterably fragile, something I didn’t even have time to think about as I was flying though the air on an out of control bike. Best to keep your head in the clouds, but your feet firmly planted on the ground.


Anonymous January 13, 2010 at 5:59 AM  

Notes from your loving brother in Law and Sister in Law.
We found out early (or I did) that riding on two wheels with the Kutulas' does not always work out as planned :O)
Much Love to you both,
Sue and Rocky

corina January 14, 2010 at 10:17 AM  

wow. Ron put on such a brave face while we were there. we are still in awe that more damage wasn't done...although a fractured anything is pretty bad. I'm glad you're in a place where chilling out is about all you can do!

get better soon Ron!
corina & jay

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