On Monday I was riding my bicycle down a side street, because they are safer than main streets, when someone opened their car door at massive speed directly onto my foot. The corner of the blue car door was folded upwards, like a page of a book being marked. I was knocked off my bike, bringing my belongings down with me. A choleric woman came out of her car telling me to look at what I had done. I begged her for a moment to pick up my stuff, my bike and myself before rolling onto the pavement, where I further stated that I had personal insurance and everything will be fine. Two bystanders came up to me, asked if I was alright and made sure to tell me that it was her fault. I was not obliged to pay for her car door. My foot was sore but since I was standing, albeit shaking a bit, figured the injury was not so severe. The driver got on the phone immediately and asked about the nature of her car insurance. The two men who decided to help me, total stangers, told her she was at fault and asked her why she was calling the police. She said she was calling her employer, not the police. Almost like magic a police car drove by, stopped, assesed the situation, confirmed to the driver that it was completely her fault and drove off. She came up to me and apologised profusely and hugged me multiple times, tightly.
She asked me where I was from. I said Cyprus and England. I was sure she was Turkish. She then, with a smile on her face, confirmed this for me. There was no Turkey-Cyprus controversy. Nobody got scared of anyone. In less than ten minutes I was hit, knocked down, shouted at, apologised to and hugged by a confused and emotional Turkish woman in Germany. This is one of the few exchanges I have ever had with a Turkish person. I found it profoud. In a positive way. She asked me if I was alright, told me that she was pregnant, and had come directly from the doctor’s, showing me the small plaster on her arm, a sign that blood was taken from her that day. I wished her all the best with that. She offered to give me her phone number to ‘remain friends’. I felt like that was my cue to exit the scene. Our time was up. The job was done. Anything more would spoil the magic. I thanked her, declined the offer, got back on my bike and rode directly to the doctor.
There I received a basic examination and a tetanus shot because the door broke my skin a miniscule amount. I had not had one in over 12 years. I rode back home, limped my way in, cleaned a bit, defrosted three pieces of fish on my foot, then cooked them for dinner, all the while thinking about how lucky I was that a car was not coming from the other side and that I only had a superficial injury. I was reminded for the second time this year how quickly and suddenly one’s life can change. Change in terms of everything from security to ability to status.
My foot is healing well. The sun is shining. I am vulnerably alive.