Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Thanks To Buddha - First Posted October 17th 2008

This post was originally on my old deleted blog

There was a big family outing to the police station, and then to the site of the accident.  I was puzzled when Nit had asked for a shirt and pair of shorts before we left.
Once at the police station there was some chat between the policeman and Nit.  Nit asked for 3,000 baht.  I looked puzzled and Nit explained that if he paid the police 3,000 Baht they report would say what they wanted and they would not be charged for the damaged trees.  I handed over the cash and walked to look at the pickup.  The roof was caved in on the driver’s side, obviously where they had landed.  I could tell from the bonnet where we had hit the trees.  We had obviously still been doing quite a speed when they flipped, but I was surprised how robust the car was.
The insurance agent arrived took some photos of the pickup and took a copy of the police report.  He seemed suspicious and tried to suggest that I was driving.  I hadn’t been and I realised from something I had read that the insurance probably only covered people with a Thai drivers licence.  Once the insurance agent was satisfied, and had a picture of me pointing at the passenger seat to indicate where I was sitting, we went to the scene of the accident.
Reviewing it in daylight, I realised how lucky we had been.  We had travelled over 200 metres and crossed the oncoming carriageway, rolled and we had all walked away with the sum total of one sore shoulder and two cuts.  I was amazed that the guys on the bench seat, with no seat belt, had walked away with one small cut between them.

Where we landed

The road where we crashed

I could see the 4 damaged trees in the path of the pickup.  We were quite substantial, but had just been snapped by the force of impact.  One was about 3 inches in diameter.  I looked at the deep scars in the tarmac made by the wheel rims where they had bounced onto the road and launched into the air.  The tyres had obviously burst as we bounced across the ditch at the bottom of the central reservation.  The next marks were where we had landed on the roof were ten metres away.
Then one of the old ladies who had come with us took the clothes we had brought, and placed them on a length of cloth.  She then lit candles and we had a short ceremony to thank Buddha for taking care of us.  She took the cloth with the clothes inside and brushed them over the path of the accident.
Back at the house the families tied white threads around the wrists of the four survivors and chanted whilst we held hard boiled eggs and candles.  The eggs were shelled and then cut in half using a piece of thread and examined.  We were all pronounced safe.
As we walked back to the house Nit turned to me and said “You know why we live.  We all wear Buddha amulet, they protect us.  Buddha protects you because when we leave the river you say that you believe.  Somebody already offer me 20,000 baht for mine because they know it works, but I not sell”

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