I learned a lesson the hard way today.
I crashed my motorcycle. (For the second time in history, but that’s another story.) Straight onto the iron bar of the rear bumper of a stopping angkot in the rush of the afternoon rain. Not only that, thanks to my sudden fall from my bike a lady behind me, also on a motorcycle, unable to anticipate the situation, ran onto my poor, wet, fallen bike and fell as well. Some nice people helped us with our bikes as the lady mumbled at me for not concentrating on my riding. The angkot innocently moved forward, not caring and disappearing from view. The lady was fine though. We shook hands afterwards, learning our lessons for the day.
Thinking back, it was a potentially dangerous situation for me. I did scratch my leg and kind of did ruin the front side of my motorcycle (the right blinker’s kind of sticking out), but bad as it was, anything worse could have happened at that moment. When I fell, I fell to my left, towards the empty sidewalk, not to the right, towards the moving traffic. For all I know a sixteen-wheeler carrying tons of freshly cut logs could have ran over my lying, dizzied head at sixty kilometers per hour, crushing it flat on the asphalt.
(Funny story: as I stopped a few meters ahead under the awnings of a row of stores to wait for the rain to subside, I googled for “perbaikan motor nabrak” on my phone to kill time. Instead of getting results on motorcycle repairs, surprise, surprise, the first page of the search was mostly news about a motorcyclist being ran over by a truck.)
Lesson learned: the potential danger of the traffic is no joke. Being arrogant on the streets by overtaking every single vehicle ahead of you is far from wise, regardless of the situation. It’s OK to move slowly and stick to the slow lane, letting impatient, horn-honking assholes overtake you as they throw expletives at you. There are more important things in life other than caring for such kind of people (like my final thesis that is due tomorrow. Argh!), so long as you, your vehicle, and whoever goes with you get to wherever you’re going intact.