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Published: December 12th 2019
I read about a trip around one of the Indian states called Karnataka, the trip starting and ending in Goa.
I asked my sons if they were game and when there was chance of dad footing the bill, they were game.
We arrived in Goa after a, as usual, boring flight but to Qatar’s credit leg room was almost like in the old days.
We get picked up by the hotel’s driver and general go to guy.
Rather worse for wear we got up later the same day and went into Calangute for SIM cards and the odd beer.
Surprise surprise the rental companies , a few didn’t exist, some did but did not have bikes, all of them would not rent out bikes to ride outside of Goa.
Fancy web pages and all, and they could not be arsed to answer when I wrote them before we left.
Anyway we get back to our place that’s a bit out in the sticks and start talking to the Go to Guy, from now on known as the Hustler.
The hustler, and that’s not Mr Hustler sir, got on the blower with his friends
and manages to find 3 bikes all well and good with papers and all.
He does not tell us that we can’t take these bikes out of Goa either,
Next morning we load up and have a nice run inland into some mountains , swerving for cows and having fun.
Due to a late start and not knowing really where we are we stop for non alcoholic liquid refreshments and talk about where to make the first stop, Google tells us that the Shangri la jungle resort is just up the road.
So we go there a gigantic complex out in the forest with three guests, us.
The dinner is ok and the breakfast so so, we get on the bikes again and ride on.
Whammo, fuck shit etc, I, for some reason, get over on the wrong side of the rad and crash with three Indians on a motorbike.
The Big Bang yet again, i find myself on my back on the road and then I don’t remember much but an ambulance ride wit the back doors open as its too short for me.
Raul goes with me in the ambulance
and when we get to the first hospital and change ambulances hes surrounded by a mob , how many I don’’t know ,who forces him to hand over my passport.
Off to the next hospital in another ambulance and into the trauma unit.
Some rays on my leg shows a fracture, shit,
Lots of pain as I get shifted back and firth, and lots of people coming and going.
Raul is smitten by the lovely doctors, the female ones.
They want to do a CT scanned they’ve got a nice modern looking Siemens thingy.
The scanner is in another building and you have to go outside and cross the yard with lots of coarse gravel, bump, rattle shake, when no pain menas no gain i earned a lot on the trips back and forth.
They put me up in the deluxe room which has a serious humidity and mold problem.
The surgeon comes along and he’s also the owner of the place and I ask hime if they don’t have a better room, we get bumped to an ICU ward.
Loads and loads of people swarm into the room to watch
the big pale giant
Victor at the same time has called the hustler and SOS alarm and the Swedish embassy to report my passport stolen.
The hustler and his mates come to pick up the bikes and take them back to Goa and Victor tells him to make a deal with people that were hurt, everybody was saying, no police no police, their reputation for honesty is not 200 proof. Victor tells him to make a deal with these guys, and he says that he’ ll fix it.
But somehow he does not and the next evening we get hustled away with another ambulance to a hospital down in Goa.
I feel badly leaving and not having settled with the victims of the crash, but at least we’ve got a phone number, Victor has been extremely busy on the phone.
A hospital in Old Goa that looks like a hospital, nice and clean.
It’s quite late so they just stick us in a room and then there’s only the long night between now and tomorrow.
To morrow does come and so does the surgen and and the aenesthesiologist and tell me
that I’ll have to wait until Monday morning as they need some stuff, screws and bits and bobs.
Thank God for e-book readers.
On Sunday evening , among several unmentionable shit they do to prepare me for the is to shave of my pubic hair, WTF!
They give me only a spinal, and that sucks, I feel very cold and they build a little tent over the upper part of my body and use something like a hairdryer to keep me from shivering and moaning too much.
The 1.5 hour op takes 4 hours and I feel like death warmed over, I can hear the screws going into my femur.
All of the docs wear flipflops or sandals, one even has a cell in his back pocket, not really the super ultra hygiene I’m used to from Sweden.
I hope that there’s not a whole load of strange Indian bacteria skating around in my wound
Finally it’s over and they ship me down to the ICU.
I’m doped to the gills with Fentanyl and feel rather smooth.
On the second day they find that my red blood cell count is low
and that my heart is racing, they want to give me a unit of blood and after having read horror stories about tainted blood I’m not all that keen.
Raul and Victor take a cab down to the blood bank to see if maybe their blood matches mine, luckily enough it does so Victor donates a pint.
They come back with the red stuff and they use a normal iv canola to pour it in, 4.5 hours to get it done.
After that the next day comes I go back to the ward, I’m soon bored out of my tiny mind.
The boys get hold of some taxi driver with some kind of connections and located the victims of the crash, so they use the taxi and two of the taxi drivers hefty friends as muscle men in case the whole thing goes pear shaped, there are quite a lot of unscrupulous people about.
They close the deal with a 100 000 rupees and every body sign paper that we’re fair and square and the services of the body guards is not needed.
The do tell however that the hustler offered them 50000 rupees
and Victor told them that he told us that the victims wanted 200 000 rupees whilst exaggerating their injuries and that we did not want to settle.
He’s now on the shit list of the locals and in for a good beating should he ever venture up into that part of the woods again.
So now the only thing that remains to do is to wait for the exit visa.
The food is basically dhal and rice three times a day, and it sucks big time the only merriments is the staff.
They’re very nice and friendly.
After having moaned enough about my diet, suddenly I can choose between various plates, fried rice, fried noodles and it tastes like manna.
When R&V have supper they buy a takeaway for med, I have a bit of it for supper and the rest for lunch.
So noonish I ask for my food, half an hour later I ask again and fifteen minutes later one of the orderlies bring me my cold food directly from the fridge, so I ask him if it wouldn’t be a good idea to heat up the food.
He looked at me with empty dark eyes and suddenly there was a bit of light in them and trotted of to get it heated, he did forget cutlery though.
Millions of little things like that, not turning off all the lamps when they came in at night or turning off all the lamps and the fan.
Every day i got a sponge bath and clean gear and fresh linen.
The girl who gave me my daily dose of anti coagulant was very good with the needle, no damage done.
The last day, which finally came, I cried out with pain and hammered my arms on the plastic covered mattress as in terrible pain, she looked a bit shocked but laughed with me when she realised that I was pulling her leg.
I always said please and thank you what ever I wanted and whatever they did.
Everything that they’d done as written down in long hand and it ended up as quite a file.
They even told me that I'd been a good and cooperative patient!
One of the female orderlies told me that she’d miss me, how about that?
Finally the ambulance came and off we went to Goa international aerodrome.
By the way, my insurance covers all of this so I did not pay for anything.
But as all insurance companies they try to get it as cheaply as possible and the ambulance aeroplane reflected this, an old dilapidated twin prop that looked as if it would fall apart.
They had to belt me to a stretcher , one of those that you can split lengthwise and push in from the side, this then had to be manhandled and twisted to get it through the door, you can’t do shit but pray that they won’t drop you.
The insurance agent went with me from Goa to Mumbai, telling horror stories about various patients and nefarious Indians, the ones with the dot.
The hospital in Mumbai was a nice one as well, vey security conscientious, they went through my bags and down to the last speck of dust.
And the next morning it was time to go home, 3 am, the airport was a nightmare India is not only the worlds biggest democracy but also the biggest bureaucracy, every one had to look at the paper work and , from the brahmins to the lowest cast, it took forever, the insurance company had sent a woman down from Sweden to accompany me.
I was laying outside the terminal in the ambulance, just waiting.
The plane was delayed due to the fact that it took the dotted indians forever to rig the stretcher in the pane.
The two flights home can best be described as an advanced study in extreme discomfort..
Out of the plane of the narrow stretcher, stop and change of flights in Istanbul, more extreme manhandling of the stretcher.
Finally we landed in Gothenburg, the ambulance people looked at me and asked if I could get my good leg down to the floor which I could with some help, they put me in a minimal wheelchair and got me out out the plane, comfortably, in two seconds flat.
They shipped me down to Varberg, the closest hospital to where we live.
Maria had brought food and some wine and real coffee so I had a feast in the emergency unit room, I might not eat curries for a few weeks….
The hospital people were a bit apprehensive about all the bacteria that I might have in me and on me, so I got a room for myself.
The indians are not much for physio therapy and you getting up and about te very same day that they cut you, so now I’m a bloke with a very stiff and weak leg and generally the whole body has gone into hibernation.
I’t will be a lot of hard work and some pain before I’m fit for fight again.
No pain no gain.
The very end.
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