I will think of a better name for this blog one of these days.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

A Cry for Help (Suicide Attempt @ 大蹈程)

Everyday, as long as it's not raining, I commute to work by bicycle. I take this beautiful scenic bicycle route following the Danshui River along the east side of Taipei City. I highly recommend it, riding in the morning makes me feel much more awake when i start the day, and it mellows me out after work in the evening. It's even more beautiful when the sun goes down.

This morning's ride was a bit different than my usual ride though. The weather was great, a bit hot, but nice clear blue skies. . . similar weather to the last time something like this happened. I'm almost at my office, waiting for a traffic light to turn green when an older lady comes up to me and tells me something in Taiwanese and points towards the river. I don't understand Taiwanese so I ask her to speak in Mandarin. Then when she started speaking in Mandarin I realized, my mandarin sucks, i can only understand half of what she's saying. . . but it doesn't matter because when she points again, I finally noticed what she's talking about.

There's a person covered in mud at the ledge holding onto the railing, . Honestly, from a small distance away the person looked like a drunk homeless guy, so I was hesitant to do anything. I was thinking to myself, I was already late for work. Someone else will help that guy. But then I slowly walked closer to the mud covered homeless guy and realized that he was actually a young girl. . . i'm guessing maybe 20 years old. Difficult to tell since her muddy hair was covering her face. Another older guy was also walking towards her and he started trying to talk to her, asking her if she's okay and holding onto her arm so she wouldn't fall/jump in again. She didn't respond, she only started to quietly cry.

I'm not sure what my plan was at that moment but I climbed over the railing and jumped down onto a large flat rock sticking out above the mud. The ledge was probably a little less than one meter above the muddy bank of the river, the only danger of falling would be getting my shoes and pants dirty. I think my plan was to push her so she'd be more safely on the ledge because at that time half her body was hanging off the side. But another older guy followed me over the rail and while standing on the ledge he tried to pull her up but he could only get her halfway up before I helped out and pushed from below. The original older guy then pulled from behind the railing and we got the girl over the railing and back on dry land.

By that time there was 5-6 people surrounding her and someone called the authorities. So I went to the nearest water fountain and tried to clean off the foul smelling mud from my hands. Just so happens to be an small empty bucket next to the fountain so filled it up and put it front of the mud covered girl who still didn't say a word, just quietly crying. And a lady watching the scene told me I was really nice and thoughtful. . . i wanted to reply with "I know!" but instead I thought it'd be better if I just nodded. After that I got on my bike and went to work smelling like smelly river water but feeling pretty good that I helped someone a tiny bit. . . someone that maybe didn't really care for the help but hey, probably better than doing nothing.