Our first impression of Portland, Maine as we flew in at 11pm was, “What a bunch of friendly and welcoming people live here”. Even on the (small) plane strangers were chatting across aisles and offering advice and help. When we landed and one bag didn’t arrive someone came up to us and asked if we had a luggage problem, showed us to the luggage counter and we were reunited with it immediately. Somehow travelled solo on an earlier flight and they had put it into storeage. So we were feeling very buoyant when we were able to get a cab quickly with only a short drive into town ahead.
We were half a block away from our Air BnB apartment and checking addresses when “Whack”! A car appeared out of nowhere, did a U-Turn in the middle of the street and accelerated straight into the passenger side of our car. We were both sitting in the back and I was on the passenger side. My head ricocheted off the door and cracked into RGB’s head. Our driver was pretty shaken but unharmed.
We pulled over and very quickly (under 10 minutes) had police, fire engines and ambulance on the spot. Most impressive and never experienced in NZ! Everyone was very kind and helpful to us, but other than feeling a bit sore we really couldn’t identify any injury to justify the ambulance. Those involved were dead keen to get us off to hospital for CAT scans etc but at 12.30 am we just wanted to go home and sleep it off! Fortunately one of the service men had spent time in Christchurch helping out during the earthquake, and recognised our stoic state as reflecting a national characteristic rather than a deep concussion and let us go home armed with directions on how to access the trauma unit at the hospital nearby if needed. He was also undoubtedly aware of our non-litigious society!
The car was pretty munted along the side, but in hind sight we are impressed by how well the Honda we were in stood up to the impact of a large Volvo ramming it. No glass broken to cause human damage and internally the car kept its shape.
This morning we have woken feeling very grateful to answered prayers for protection while we travel. We thought we had got through the worst of it when we returned the hire car in Sicily, but clearly we need to keep praying! We have a few aches and bruises and I've discovered that the side of my head that collided with RGB is more tender than the side that whacked the door. All our gear was undamaged and my MacBook Air which was against the car door on the floor in my backpack fired up fine this morning.
Keep praying for us people. And buy cars with those side door safety impact features if you can.
Photo is from our walk along the Portland waterfront this morning before heading out to work. Glorious sunshine to clear our heads and walk off the aches.