01 August 2007

Death by tuk-tuk

Tuk-tuk. Sounds harmless enough. Vaguely Tattoine. But it's a sort of two-wheeled carriage pulled by a motorbike (which, by the way, are the overwhelming majority of vehicles on the road in Siem Reap. Like 6-1 to cars, at least). We've been riding them everywhere and they're great fun.

Finally got caught by the rain -- it is the rainy season here -- on the way back from a temple excursion. Our driver, Sui, has a bike that keeps stalling, and he keeps pulling about half off the narrow, two-laner to adjust the fuel supply line or something. Other tuk-tuks pass us closely, but he's trying to avoid putting us over the splattering clay. I'm sitting on the thing, facing backward, and I see a huge bus coming toward us. "This is going to be unpleasant," I say. E turns around to look, grimaces, then turns forward so he can't see. Meg, next to him, sees my expression and chooses not to look back.
It's bearing down on us, not skewing much to the center of the road, and just then Sui gets the tuk-tuk started. He pulls out onto the road without checking back. The bus is right on us. It honks its horn, startling Sui, who overcorrects and swerves off the road, then waggles back onto the pavement, sending our carriage sliding on the muddy, wet road. I think we came four inches from the bus.

One of Meg's favorite words is "tumped." Like, the glass tumped over. So I thought it was pretty fitting that she (and the rest of us) nearly died in a Third World tuk-tuk tumping.


After three days of tromping over 9th and 10th century temples, we're off to a day at the lake, by the way, followed by a mover from Siem Reap south to Phnom Penh. Internet costs money here, and i-cafe satellite connections are spotty. So I'll be back on when I can... E's still blogging daily, though. Richboy.

1 comment:

Maggie said...

e's blog is about beautiful temples. Yours is about near-death experiences. are you on the ame vacation?