It was only a matter of time….

You can’t expect to travel the world without some bumps along the way. But even by my own accident prone standards this one is a record. Just eighteen hours after arriving in Bali disaster struck.


The pink beast

I had rented a scooter for $5 a day. A bargain, even if the beast was painted in wild pink  and emblazoned with the name B***tard! My public humiliation was complete when they handed me a helmet that Biggles would have happily sported in the First World War.

An hour later I was on a narrow stretch of potholed bitumen crammed with other bikers. Suddenly an oncoming scooter wobbled wickedly on the far side of the road, lurched violently right and crashed to the ground. Myself and another rider tried to swerve, but it was too late. I slid 10 metres along the floor on my knees, arms and elbows before coming to a rest with the pink b***tard on top of me.

All hell broke lose. Wobbly, who turned out to be a young Aussie girl 10 minutes into her first ever scooter ride, was in hysterics. The Balinese rider was threatening Armageddon and I sat there painting the road red with my blood. Well, not quite, but large chunks of skin were hideously grazed and bloody. My machine was badly scratched along its front and right hand side.

But in adversity you find the best in humanity. A United Nations of people set about putting me back together again.

Back at my hotel I’d met Debbie and Paul, an English couple from Port Sunlight on Merseyside.

Debbie - The angel of mercy

Debbie – The angel of mercy

Debbie is a nurse. She did an examination and prescribed lots of good advice. Two more examinations have followed. Tang Xiaowen and Chu Qung from Singapore offered sympathy, their emails and an invitation to hook up whenever I am over there.
Next came Norina from Uma Karan, the fabulous boutique hotel I am staying at in Seminyak. Although I now had several creams and sprays from the local pharmacy Norina was still concerned. She went and bought me a Chinese healing potion. She paid for it out of her own pocket and absolutely refused to take a cent for it.
Now it was time to front up to Bali Radiance bike hire company, to confess my sins. Norina had offered to call and negotiate damage costs but I decided to do my own dirty work.

At first there were frowns and shaking heads. A price of 500,000 Rps ($50) was proposed with an accompanying sheepish grin. I counter offered and after a series of friendly and smiling exchanges we agreed on 120,000 Rps or $12. They were happy and so was I. Could you imagine Mr Hertz or Mrs Avis being so accommodating? Bali Radiance will forever be my scooter hire company of choice in Seminyak!

And finally there was Marie. Originally from Mauritius, she arrived in Bali via Australia in the mid 2000s and runs her own very successful hair and beauty business here. I had been given her name by my hairdresser Debbie back in Noosa. Over some fantastic food and drink, some of it given to us free of charge by the Greek manager and French restaurant owner, she painted a picture of Bali for me. It was a wonderful night to cap off a memorable 24 hours.

It looks worse than it is

It looks worse than it is

So here I am. A little battered and bruised, short of some skin, but so happy and so grateful to be in the caring company of strangers from all over the world.
With the Boston bombings, threats of nuclear wars and all manner of depressing issues in the news this week, it’s easy to forget our planet is full of the most amazingly decent and kind people.

Anyway, time to scoot. The pink b***tard is all revved up and ready to roll again.

Categories: Indonesia, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , | 23 Comments

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23 thoughts on “It was only a matter of time….

  1. Arthur, sorry to hear about your little scooter accident. Hope you’re all healed up now. Teri and I are in Bali and I just stumbled upon your blog by searching scooter hire seminyak. We met you at the guesthouse in Luang Prabang in January. Wanted to say hello and wish you well! Danny

  2. Rod Coles

    Nice redhead, is she a kiwi!

    Sent from my iPad

  3. Brian Bishop

    I WOULDN’T EXPECT ANYTHING LESS! No doubt you have set the bar with more adventures to follow ……keep on flyin’ Biggles!

    • Cheers Brian. It gets me lots of attention. Particularly from taxi drivers who stand on corners hawking for business. When I say I have a motorbike they point at my knee and say “taxi safer”. They have a point.

  4. Oh Arthur, only you!! I am going to enjoy reading your blog

  5. Nikkas

    Hmmm, I say Arthur, what was it you said to me about my breaking and dislocating of my ankle? What is it they say, “Practice what you Preach”? you win the stupid of the week award – no more injuries for you but at least you got a few contacts for your travels! 🙂 Show that bastard who’s boss – that’s the Aussie way!

  6. Roger

    Like your golf – failed to complete the course. I told you not to put the ski leathers in storage. Keep upright and see you in Croatia.

    • All the leather in the world wouldn’t help. Croatia is in my diary. I was planning on flying but I have a taste for this motorbike lark……..on second thoughts!

  7. Wayne &Lona

    Your Riding is obviously akin to your Driving……You (like your golf ball) spend most of the time on the ground…Bwaahahaha

  8. Satomi

    May the angels and fairies be with you to fix and mend you 24/7 shift…you’ll need them, baby.
    Safe trip to Ubudu tomorrow, no motorbike please! Xxxxxx

  9. Carmel O'Brien

    Arthur the lengths you go to……………to be looked after!

  10. Arlene

    long pants next time …and a shirt with sleeves.

    Glad you are being looked after. x x

  11. Judy

    Luckily photos were included – wouldn’t believe it otherwise!

  12. Peter McDonald

    Trying Again Arthur—- Fking beautiful, I can’t stop laughing, Pete

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