a funny thing happened on the way to the hospital

Maybe not so funny that day...and perhaps it will never be funny to my mom...or my husband for that matter.

BUT for those of you that have been to China know how traffic can be crazy and you find yourself either accepting it and closing your eyes or shaking you head in disbelief that you never see any accidents?

Well, despite closing my eyes in traffic on the way to the hospital to pray for baby Wayne, I am no longer in disbelief about accidents.

Because they do happen.

I know, trust me, I know.

The morning started off rather predictably.  Amy said that she'd meet me outside the guest house at 7:30 and at 7:29 as I was running from the common area kitchen with my instant coffee in hand ~ important detail, the coffee will reappear later ~ to grab my backpack in my room, I heard a knock at the door.

I quickly checked to make sure I had several snacks, my bible and journal and slipped on my shoes.  We greeted the driver and after Amy gave a short introduction to tell the driver that I was Daniel's mom (my heart was warmed that even the driver knew exactly who Daniel was, and smiled when I handed him my album so he could see how much he's grown), I settled back and soaked in the rural scenery near the village as we moved along.

We ambled along the quiet, tree lined roads which gave way to busier ones and suddenly we were on a six lane highway with a grassy, bush filled median separating the three lanes of traffic going each way. Amy and the driver were chatting as I sipped my coffee and suddenly the vehicle in front of us locked its breaks and began to fishtail in the lane, immediately in our path to avoid a tiny Smart-size car that had merged before the lane was clear.  Our driver expertly applied brakes and we all held our breath and then sighed with relief as things before us did not fall apart and we began to resume full highway speed.

I was just wondering if putting on my seat belt (that are there, but never used) would be offensive to the driver and starting to take another sip of my coffee when the loudest popping sound I've ever heard made my ears ring and the lid to my coffee cup flew off.

It took a few seconds for me to realize where the cold draft was coming from and then it dawned on me that we had been rear-ended ~ by a Volvo sized truck no less ~ and the back window of the van was gone.  While the experience was startling to say the least, an immediate sweep across the van revealed that there were no injuries and I was immediately thankful for that.  (and thankful that no children were being transported that day!)

Very quickly our driver hopped out of the van and ran back to the driver of the truck and a pretty heated exchange began.  Keep in mind that I don't speak or comprehend much Mandarin, but body language implied that there was a blame game going on.

Suddenly the driver of the truck took off down the road on foot, I guess to talk to the police officer that had pulled up...apparently that Smart-size car caused another commotion about a quarter-mile in front of us and there was a fender bender, and Amy and our driver were carrying on hurried conversation in Mandarin.

Meanwhile, I'm trying to wipe up all the coffee that had flown upon impact.  Let's just say that the van will be smelling a bit of cafe au lait for some time to come.  Then I stared to wonder exactly what the plan was to get to the hospital and sweet baby Wayne.  And I started to rue the decision not to wear my heavy coat, thinking that if the van were drivable that it would be rather drafty...

Next thing I know, Amy peeks her head back in the side door, looks and me and says, "Come on.  We take a bus to the hospital."

Not having any idea what was coming next, I grabbed my backpack and what was left of my coffee and jumped out behind her, only to start following her on a very narrow shoulder on foot down the side of the highway.

Then I notice that she keeps looking over her shoulder at the traffic coming up behind us.  I find myself wondering where the bus stop is and then begin thinking to myself, "Oh my goodness, we're about to cross this road that is reminding me of Interstate 40 at rush hour..."  Thoughts of Frogger getting creamed by a semi are floating in my mind.

Imagine my relief when Amy sees a taxi, hails it, and it veers across several lanes of traffic to stop and pick us up.

Amy then chats with the driver for a few minutes, making sure he understood which hospital we were headed to and that they agreed on the best route there at this time of day.

And then, after leaving me in the van for ten or so minutes while she was on her phone figuring out what to do, after telling me to follow her, after walking down the side of a busy highway, after climbing into a taxi and negotiating our route, then she turns to me and says, "Are you okay?"

Clearly I was all along or I'm sure that we wouldn't have gotten so far into our trek, but the delay in formally asking me gave me the giggles (which I kept silent to myself).

Thankfully despite the delay of getting rear-ended, we arrived at the hospital with time to spare.  So much time that we walked across the street to enjoy breakfast (two kinds of bing ~ oh bing how I miss thee ~ and wonton soup).  And while we were crossing the street back to the hospital, I made an aggressive crossing and Amy said after we were safely on the other side, "You scared me crossing the street like that!"

I had to laugh as I recalled walking down the highway, thinking that was what was scary, so then I told her about the game Frogger and explained that's how I always feel crossing the streets there.

The important part of our day was accomplished though, we had ample time to visit with Wayne before his surgery, prayed for him before, during and after, and got to see the sweet dumpling safely back in his nanny's arms before making the 1 1/2 hour long ride back to New Day.  It's just we had a little difficulty getting there...and next time I'm in country I may give seat belts a more serious consideration.

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