One peaceful and humid evening on Koh Phangan, I returned to my hostel lobby ready for a beer with my new Dutch roommate and a rest. Little did I know, things were about to be much more eventful.
My roommate was upstairs, so I decided to settle on a bean bag chair downstairs and wait for her. Not moments after putting my bag down in the common area, I heard a loud crash just outside, followed by the hostel owner running upstairs. The next snapshot included him running back down, rummaging around behind the bar, and scurrying back up the stairs with the first aid kit.
After some time he came back and explained that someone cut themselves, and then passionately chatted with his coworker in Thai about what had happened.
Curious, I went upstairs. A nice trail of blood led me straight to my room, where I found my roommate laying on her bunk with a blood-soaked bandaged foot.
“What the heck … happened to you?” I asked.
She sheepishly looked up at me, and after letting out a big sigh, fessed up the deets:
“I was outside on the balcony having a smoke and Skyping my friend at home … Then my phone charger fell off the railing onto the tin roof below, so I jumped over and went to grab it and my foot fell through the roof. When I tried to pull my foot back up out of the hole, I sliced the top.”
Well that explains the blood trail. I looked at her foot that had delicately been patched by the hostel owner, and noted the lack of mobility in her toes.
“Ya,” she said, “it’s so weird right?”
I raised an eyebrow … “Not weird girl, you may have knicked a tendon, you should probably go to the hospital to double check. Let’s see the cut.”
I opened the soaked bandage and the cut was deep enough that I knew she’d probably need stitches, pain killers and antibiotics. After some convincing (why do people in their early 20s think they’re invincible?) she agreed the hospital was a place she should be. She had insurance.
Next thing I know I’m driving a scooter to the hospital. You should first know that I haven’t driven a scooter in 5 years, and also that I didn’t really get the chance to get reacquainted, because instead I was hurriedly trying to keep up to the Thai hostel guy that was showing us the way. He flew down that street at speeds I won’t share, and guess which Germexican monkey followed? Special second bonus, this was my first time driving on the left side of the street … in the dark. But! I couldn’t leave a fellow solo female traveler in the lurch, and felt like I would’ve really wanted someone with me if I had to be hospitalized here. So there I was, zooming down the night streets of Koh Phangan, quietly giggling at the strange turn of events and wondering but how the hell I ended up there.
In the end, she needed 7 stitches, antibiotics and a new dressing/cleaning every day for 7 days. I scootered with her back to the hostel, we had dinner, and then a celebratory beer in honour of the fact that she didn’t die. We ended up traveling together for a week after that.