By morning, the pain had subsided a bit, although I had what could only be described as an epic bruise, about the size of a saucer (if anything, I am under-exaggerating here), in shades of purple, pink and red that would have done justice to a Los Angeles sunset. Sorry, no pictures. Although I had planned to leave the island within the following couple of days, I decided to postpone my return to Bangkok until I felt a bit more up for an overnight bus trip, which is not something my posterior would welcome even at the best of times. In the event, I wound up securing a place on a luxo-bus with seats which reclined almost flat, so the trip was really pretty gentle, all things considered, and I arrived in Bangkok, if not in total comfort, at least not in screaming pain. Now, two weeks on, the bruise is still there, although only a shadow of its former self, its initial aubergine hue having faded to the muted chartreuse of, say, pea soup, with small bits of ham strewn here and there throughout. I can still feel a bit of tenderness from time to time, but I am basically back to about 98%, for which I am inordinately thankful. It could have been exponentially worse.
I wasn’t wearing a helmet, although it must be said that a helmet would not have helped much in this case; also, I have yet to see a helmet sized to fit my butt. Still, the down time has given me the opportunity to reconsider my long-held anti-helmet stance; while I still would not support a law requiring the use of a helmet, I will wear one from this point forward when riding a motorcycle. Close calls can often have that sort of “wake-up call” effect. Surprisingly, I had no other injuries, no dents, no dings, no road rash. Even my camera made it through intact. Remo, who was riding barefoot, suffered a few small scratches on his feet and ankles, but was otherwise unscathed. The bike was fine too, save for a few remnants of roadside vegetation poking out from fenders and wheels. So, all’s well that ends well, I guess, but next time I think I will stick to my guns in opting out of riding a motorbike in SE Asia.