Monday, October 3, 2011

Transportation in Cambodia.

Transport in Cambodia is a funny thing, really I guess it's more of a dangerous thing. There are lots of different modes of transport in Cambodia. Our main mode is a bike. We ride our bikes everywhere. I'm psyched to have super fit legs at the end of two years! It is a bummer that because the roads are often dirt or just really crappy you can get flat tires a lot.

During training we took what's called a romorque (or "roma") to our big meetings every week. They are like a hay ride, minus the hay and tractor and add in a moto and rust. If you're quick and grab on the back it can make for a fast bike ride.

As Peace Corps Volunteers we aren't allowed really to ride motos, but that doesn't mean that we don't interact with motos every single day. It's probably the biggest mode of transport in Cambdoia. There are so many of them on the road and they drive super fast and don't really have any respect for anything else on the road, especially bicyclists. They often drive on the wrong side of the road, and often appear out of no where.

And that's why my very first week in my training village I was hit by a moto. I was late to class, and missed my turn off, so I had to turn around. I looked behind me and didn't see anything so I started to turn, and that's when I was T-boned by a moto. I'm not really sure what happened as it all happened really fast, we both went down and at one point I remember the moto was on top of me. I don't know if it was the adrenaline, or if it was something else, but I wasn't in any pain.

The people pulled their moto off of me and many other people stopped to help me collect all of the papers from my basket that were now thrown all over the road. There were people screaming at me in Khmer from so many directions, so I was lucky when a man who spoke English stopped to help me. He actually fixed my bike so I could ride to class. All I could think about was how I was late for class. He even followed me to my class, because he found my key on the road. It was probably a good thing, because he told my teachers what happened. When I sat down to finally get looked at it all just came out, just talking about what happened made me cry, I kind of hate that adrenaline does that to me.

I was really lucky though. I wasn't seriously hurt at all. I had some scratches, and some big bruises, and definitely limped for about a week, but for being hit by a moto I was seriously lucky. This is the only evidence of my moto accident.
My tid bit of advice for riding bikes in a moto country...wear your helmet, I wore mine and it probably helped save my life. Also, always double or triple look both ways to see if something is coming, because often times there's a moto headed down the street on the wrong side of the road.


Selma @ Crazy Little World Of Mine said...

You were lucky girl. Love bikes and all but once you get love for them is gone. :((((((

Glad you are doing well though, despite the little incident there.


Krysten @ Why Girls Are Weird said...

Oh no, accidents are no fun!

Crazy Shenanigans-JMO said...

Oh my gosh! I'm glad you were ok and not seriously hurt!

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