Friday, 18 September 2009

The backwards man

So I promised yesterday that I would tell you my immigrant story and that it wouldn't be like the Daily Mail headline generator which can be found here:

Those of you who know me well will know that I have a habit of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. I am the queen of the disaster, so it came as no surprise last week when I witnessed a nasty accident on the tube.

Minding my own business on the down escalator, I was happily listening to some Dead Mau5 when out of the corner of my eye, I saw something toppling over backwards on the opposite escalator. On closer examination I could see a mans body, out cold, feet first going up towards bank. Very undignified, was my first thought, and thank goodness it wasn't a women in a skirt, was my second. Then I thought- fucks sake, why isn't anyone doing anything! The people behind the collapser were watching in horrified silence as his humilated body hurtled towards the top (well, chuntered).

Realising no-one was reacting in any appropriate way, I shouted out for someone to 'hit the emergency stop button' and 'NOW!'

No joy.

I ran down the escalator, hit the stop button, and pushed my way past the useless gawpers to the collapser- super woman style. It was then I could see why no-one was doing anything- a giant hole in the guys head, which was pissing blood like a hose. Having bitten off much more than I could chew, I started shouting at everyone around me to do something- get an ambulance, help me turn this guy gently around, try and stop the bleeding. After much grunting and pivoting, we managed to get him turned around so his feet were at least pointing downwards- a minor victory. It was then he came too. And he was pissed. Angry AND sozzled. I had wedged myself behind him to stop him slumping forward and in the process got myself covered in blood. He tried a couple of times to stand up, and I shouted at him to stay sitting down and wait for the ambulance. It was about then that I realised that he didn't speak a word of English. Luckily TFL staff appeared and one of them spoke to the chap in Polish. By this time he was properly shouting and waving his arms and she explained to me it was because he did not want to have an ambulance called.

Don't be so silly, I thought- how ridiculous. You have a 4 inch wide, gaping hole in your head. You don't have a choice.

The TFL lady looked at me with a worried expression, "he's not supposed to be here", "he can't go to hospital because they will find out and he might get sent home". Exasperated, I shouted at her, 'we NEED to phone an ambulance, we can't risk not calling one, look at the state of this man's head'. And so they did. I left with a wet wipe, covered in blood (nice handprint on my arm and cheek) and pretty much an entire carriage of the Northern Line to myself. And a horrid feeling of guilt. Had i done the right thing? What if this poor man ended up being seperated from his family? GAH. You can see why some people these days make the swift decision not to get involved. I for one am glad I did, but I'll forever wonder what happened when I left that evening.


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