The sun was blaring out, people were out in their shorts and tanks and children running around playing their shorts and tank tops. This is the normal sight in an afternoon in Philippines-where I used to live. In 2009, my family decided to go back there for a vacation since we settled down here in Scotland. I would never think that one little mistake will make this vacation a memorable one. It was a normal afternoon, when my dad wanted to visit his old colleague.
Then when I asked him what vehicle he was going to use, my face instantly lit up after I heard the word “motorcycle” come out his mouth. I used to adore riding on the back of a motorcycle. The adrenaline rush thrills and wine hitting against my legs and face, are what I enjoy the most when riding motorcycle. So the moment he said he was going to use it, I didn’t waste any more time and jumped at the backseat. Not for long, my family and I are all in one motorcycle-it was dangerous but my dad is good at motorcycles.
From time to time, he would warn me and my mum –who were sitting at the backseats- about the motorcycle’s exhaust because it was very hot and we might burn our feet or legs. An advice I should have taken seriously. Before very long, we arrived to our destination which was my dad’s colleague’s house. I was still feeling the rush and my hair was all messy and tangled-which most teenager girls would have complained and moaned about. Then, we said our “hi”’s and “hello” but since they started to catch up with their adult lives’, I knew it was my queue to go wonder off.
I reached down to my pockets to take out the chewing gum that I brought out earlier in the day; it was the kind of chewing gum that changes the colour of your tongue. Out of boredom, I decided to look at the side mirrors of the motorcycle. I was unaware that I was leaning on the side where the hot exhaust was. Suddenly, I felt a really hot burning sensation on my left leg, which made me instantly jumped away from the motorcycle. That made me realise that I was burned, it was agony. This was where I started to cry, which caused the adults panic and check on what happened.
When they saw that there was really bright red patch in my lower left leg, my dad asked for a chair for me to sit on since I was in hysteria because by the looks of my wound it looks like it was 2nd degree burn and it started to swollen . Bizarrely enough, my dad’s colleagues hand out a tube of toothpaste, saying that it would cool down the hotness of the burn. So my dad applied almost half of it but I would wince whenever it was applied. Effectively, my burn did cool down a bit so did my crying, which then gives my parents a chance to ask what has happened.
Then I told them the whole story, then my dad said “I told you so… ” which proves that I really need to listen more to the things that they say and be more extra careful around motorcycles. When we arrived to the family house of my dad, where we stayed in whenever we are in vacation, my uncles and aunties where saying the same thing that my dad said. It did made me realise how stupid I was to let the small warning about the motorcycle’s exhaust to slipped out of my mind but it was too late, too late to change time and go back and avoided the accident.
Later that night, I found it difficult to fall asleep because I had to watch my leg and make sure that it doesn’t touch the pillows and also because it still quite painful whenever I move it. I have always thought that just because I have never met someone who actually experience this accident, it will never happen to me since motorcycles, for me, usually means that I get to ride in a fast speed and the adrenaline rush it gives.
At those moments, I never thought that ignoring a small caution would have a great impact and leave scar that can be the reminder of consequence. A scar that will be with me for the rest of my life and will always remind me of the mistake for not listening to the warnings. Since 2009, I haven’t really ridden a motorcycle but I might be quite uneasy if ever I get a ride because I don’t want to burn my other leg or anything, I learned my lesson. It’s a memory that I’d rather remember than repeat.