Saturday, January 12, 2008

The Foolhardy Autoist

Today I was going to Shanghai on a day off with a co-worker. He was checking out of the hotel. My plan was to spend the day in Shanghai, then take the train back to Suzhou. Funny how plans sometimes change.

We left the hotel and got about a mile away when a small van tried to make a u-turn from the right lane, across 3 lanes of traffic, through a crosswalk in the median. This maneuver positioned the van directly in our path. Our driver swerved, but the only place to go was in front of the van, into a curb. The driver missed the van, hitting the curb head on. The airbags deployed while we both were thrown against the seats in front. When we got out we saw that where the car had hit the curb it broke the concrete. The oil pan had been sheared from the car.

After the haze cleared, and we wiped the powder from the airbag deployment off our glasses, we stepped out of the car into the rain and cold. At this point we were standing on the road with two drivers, a traffic control officer, and a lady that came as soon as the wreck occurred to clean up the mess. None of them spoke English. We called the hotel, but they did not understand what happened. Apparently the driver called as well, as a while later the driver handed us his cell phone and the hotel was on the line. They sent one of their people in a cab to pick us up. They took us back to the hotel and gave us free drinks and lousy cookies while they arranged for another driver.

We are both okay, but I stayed in Suzhou this time.

1 comment:

Kristin said...

I guess you're getting the full Chinese experience. Nothing like immersing yourself in culture!

I'm glad you're OK. Have a better weekend!