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Hit & Run

Last Sunday night I was walking home and I got hit by a car on a zebra crossing.1 It was pretty late (around 11:30pm) and there was very little traffic. I was on a green light and while I was in the middle of the road, a black car came from behind me (he was making a left turn). I stopped, turned right, and as I was facing the car it hit me on my left leg knocking me down, and then just drove off. Before we get any further, I am happy to assure everyone that I’m perfectly fine, and that I did not sustain any serious injuries. But here are some of my thoughts about the accident.

I remember very vividly how I felt immediately after the accident – I was mad. The guy didn’t stop. In Norway. The best country on earth. I mean, seriously. If this happened in my lovely homeland or anywhere else in the world, I would still be outraged, but perhaps less surprised. But it happened in Norway – someone2 just hit me with a car on a zebra crossing, and then ran away. So yes, my very first feeling when I was lying there in the middle of the street was outrage mixed with bewilderment. This feeling didn’t really pass when another car stopped and called the ambulance – “Call the goddamn cops!” – I yelled – “I don’t need a doctor, I’m fine, just get that guy who nearly ran me over!” Luckily the person who rescued me was a little more lucid and called the ambulance first – “You got blood all over your head man, you need an ambulance.”

Right after the rage came fear. I didn’t realize what happened until 10 minutes after the accident, I didn’t realize how lucky I was and how close to a very serious injury (at best) I was. While sitting in the ambulance and later in the emergency room I kept thinking that it really was a close call – thoughts that the doctor confirmed. And then I also realized that it all felt highly unreal. You know, one of those things that happen to other people. Like cancer, tsunamis or losing your house. Being hit by a car coming out of nowhere is one of those things. And I immediately realized that I wasn’t prepared for it at all. I had medical insurance as anyone who pays taxes in Norway has, but did I have any accident-specific insurance or life insurance? I’m not sure, probably not. I think I have some insurance from my work, but does it cover such cases? Unlikely. I don’t know. And of course I was lucky that it didn’t really cost me much, except for drugs, a cab ride back home and the fact that I need to buy new glasses.3 I had a computer in my bag but it sustained only minor injuries. Then again – what if it sustained some serious damage? I wasn’t prepared for that. I guess it’s like with backups, that there are two categories of people: those that have accident & life insurance, and those that will have it. Now I’m becoming the former.

The police told me there are virtually no chances at finding the driver, because I am uncertain about the car and I haven’t seen the registration plates, but they did say they would look for him and even notified the local paper. It’s been almost a week since the accident now and I haven’t heard from them, so I assume the driver will not be found, but as time passes I am feeling less angry and more grateful for how benign my injuries were.

Finally, I was and still am overwhelmed at how friendly, helpful and supportive everyone around me has been. Huge thanks go to:

  • Hannah, for showing up at my apartment the day after, helping me with the police, cooking chicken zoup for me and leasing Toby;
  • my parents, for calling me twice a day to check how I’m doing (and for my uncle and aunt for calling on their behalf when necessary);
  • Truls & Samia, for providing me with premium quality chocolate;
  • Karolina, for helping me wash my head in such a way that the bandages stay relatively dry;
  • Erik E., for sketching plans of capturing the driver and bringing him to justice (I believe we agreed that the penalty in this case was hanging);
  • my sister and her husband, for reminding me that Rambo had it worse;4
  • Erik P., Maja, Pim, Thomas and Beata for being worried and making sure I was alright.

It’s really sweet of you all. You made being hit by a car a genuine pleasure, almost. I’m not planning on being in a similar accident again, though, and as we know it is unlikely I will have such an accident again. It’s just one more thing I can cross off my bucket list.

  1. For the locals: it was a zebra crossing on the corner of Carl Konows gt and Fyllingsveien. ↩︎

  2. As we agreed with Truls and his father while discussing it, it must have been a driver from Oslo (or Poland, or Lithuania), for it is impossible that this was a local. As pointed out by Hannah, it is also impossible for the driver to be from Kristiansand. ↩︎

  3. This one is actually a potentially big expense, but then again I can buy glasses in Poland with my mom. Me and my mom like going glasses shopping. It’s our thing. ↩︎

  4. I tried finding a clip from “First Blood” of Rambo stitching his own arm, but I couldn’t find it anywhere. The only thing YouTube has to offer is his “Nothing’s over!” speech. ↩︎