Day NINE → Home
By The Boyfriend, edit and comments provided by me.
In planning the trip we had been working under the assumption that we would certainly take a fall at least once. On the last leg of the ride having not really come off yet the time was well nigh. Wer’e made all the more aware of it by the incessant rain. Less than 200 km from Shanghai as I was braking behind a car that was turning left another car decided to turn left as well and swung into my braking distance. A combination of water, lack of experience/space and a very tight rear break slammed all three of us on the wet tarmac. Luckily we had full gear on. Liza’s wasn’t tight enough on the knees so she was hurt a bit but she’s had worse of a push-bike (And I’m no pussy where it concerns pain). All body parts in check we grabbed our stuff off the road. Relieved to be unharmed, though a little shaken we sat a moment, something buzzing in our peripheral hearing about 110 and police. I went back to the spot to take a picture of the bike and move it off the road while the offending driver was waving his phone around with 110 on the dial screen. I was telling him we were okay and there was no need for that when he pointed to some damage on the back of his car, I hadn’t even felt it hit. I looked from the spot on my bike where my license plate is supposed to be to the car and back to the bike and realised that we had a problem.
We set the bike up and were ready to just take off but a crowd was surrounding our escape route and, no matter how many spectators we told to piss off, more arrived and there was no way out (after five minutes the road was already practically blocked, I have no idea where these people always seem to come from when there’s been an accident). We had to talk. He reckoned the damage was over 2000 worth. He called a mechanic from across the road and told him to tell me the same. Right in front of me, even though I spoke to him in Chinese he went ahead and tried it anyway. The mechanic told him 1000 and then told him to tell me 2000, I was standing right there. Idiots. Anyway, we gave them what we had on us (the lower figure), there was much arguing and interception of key turning and eventually I told him we were on our way to Shanghai to go home (he thought I meant abroad) and he let it go (the Channel-wife was still being difficult, but – having had plenty enough of this crap, I started shouting at her in English and she slumped off), we were happy to be out of there. I think he was happy with his money too. Damn Chinese love to make a scene though, don’t they…
We stopped to get something to eat and gather our wits and turning a blind corner back onto the G318 we found a car driving the wrong way right into the radius of my turn. I tried to swing it back out but lost grip again and crashed into his front bumper as we slid hurt my knees again). He tried half heartedly to tell us we were driving too fast (which we weren’t) while Ms. Clegg unloaded all her fury at the last driver onto this guy. Wasn’t much to argue about though. We broke his front fender… We just told him to go and we regathered strength. It was still raining and felt very dangerous but we wanted home so bad we pushed on.
A toilet break: as I stopped the bike in a bit of mud we all knew we were going down but I did nothing to stop it (my knees again, but still able to laugh while I shouted at The Boyfriend he was a f’ng dick). To add insult to injury Ms. Clegg was accosted by a swarm of mosquito’s as she squatted. 15 bites in the time it takes to take a leak. Then she had to sit on the bike all the way home, poor girl (yes, poor poor me!).
Finally just to top it off we almost got slabo’ed (slabo is now a proper word for hitting someone crossing barriers to throw themselves on oncoming motorcyclists on Mychinamoto forum) by some young girl who hopped the barrier in the middle of the road and, without looking, took off running across the Huqingping highway toward her mother on the other side. Luckily we missed her. She would’ve been a perfect end to our day, trip and time in China. We couldn’t have been happier to be home.
You know they say all’s well that ends well but the opposite is not necessarily true. Can’t wait for the next trip.
Thanks for reading!
P.S. She (that’s me) still rides with me, if you can believe that (hardly, but yes… I do…)