I’m sure most of us have escaped death at least once. It could be that you left for work late and avoided a traffic accident or decided not go to the bank and found out later that it was robbed. I’ve had those times.
I almost drowned while swimming in the ocean a few times as a teenager and was chased by gang members in a car once with my friends. But, what makes me reflect the most is the time I escaped death or serious injury when I was in Denmark.
When I was living in France, I had a friend and neighbor named Janne who was from Denmark. She was going home to Denmark a week before I was to leave France. We decided that I would visit her in Denmark, so she booked me a seat on a Danish bus leaving Paris. It was the cheapest route.
Our original plan was for me to meet her in Copenhagen even though she was from Århus. Plans changed. She was going to be busy moving into her new apartment in
Århus, so we ditched the Copenhagen idea.
I still remember the name of the bus I was on. It was called Der Grinster Reiser. I was the only Asian and American on the bus. One non-blonde. Lol
While still in Paris, the bus stopped along the way to pick up other passengers heading to Denmark. I remember a very old lady getting on the bus. She walked slow and was not yet seated before the bus started to move again. She made a sort of loud, “aaaagh!” sound like a baby crying as she tried not to fall down.
Janne was supposed to meet me in Århus at 12:00 noon. Before the bus got to Copenhagen, I got off the Der Grinster Reiser bus and switched to another one going to Århus. The Der Grinster Reiser bus went on to Copenhagen where I was originally supposed to go.
When Janne came to pick me up, she was a bit freaked out. She told me that just before she left, she heard on the news that the Der Grinster Reiser bus was in an accident. She thought I was in it. Then she remembered that I was supposed to switch buses.
I was thinking it was a minor accident like a fender bender of some sort. She said it crashed into a “military vehicle.” She couldn’t think of the right word in English. I thought she was talking about one of those black cars with the flags on the front that accompany the president or something like here in the States.
When she showed me the picture in the newspaper the next day, I was like, “Holy sh*t! That’s a tank!” Then I thought, what the heck is a tank doing sharing the road with a bus? Apparently, they crashed into each other. Anyway, the front of the bus was destroyed. Caved in. I later heard that the driver died. He was the guy that drove me to Denmark. There are 2 drivers on those buses. One drives while the other sleeps below. Then they switch off later. I think he was sleeping below when the accident happened.
Unfortunately, the old woman died as well. She sat diagonal from me about 2 rows over. Other people were injured. I wondered how badly I would’ve been hurt if I had stayed on the bus to meet Janne in Copenhagen like we planned. Maybe I would’ve died, too. I had no medical insurance at the time, as well. I imagine that would’ve been a major headache if I ended up in the hospital there.
Janne told me that they were the only two that died. Strange how I remember the old woman because she made that sound. I vaguely remember the driver, too.
Fate is a strange thing. Instances like this make me think of how different life would be if we made different decisions.