Easily Distracted by Bright Sparklies
There is something completely different about hurting yourself in a foriegn country.
Before I get a bunch of concerned phone calls from home, I'm fine. No bones are broken, and I didn't hit my head.
I had skipped supper tonight because I wasn't hungry, and then got hungry around 7:30. I decided to go out for a walk, maybe try the KFC that just opened up, or just buy something at the store. However, when I got to the KFC, it was packed, and I'm bored of the stuff at the grocery store, so I decided to keep walking.
Something I've found strange about China is the lighting. The streetlights back home are bright enough you could read by them. Here, everything feels like it's lit in gaslight. Little globes just barely bright enough to allow you to see the street underneath them.
However, the buildings are always lit up. Neon lights flash everywhere, signs are always glowing, and there are led lights running along the edges of buildings. Everywhere I look when walking downtown I see these bright lights. I find it very distracting sometimes, and I wonder whether the lights back home are as bright. The streets of Edmonton are so well lit that the lights on the buildings are washed out. The lights here look like the lights are supposed to in Las Vegas, all bright and flashy and neon and strange.
I walked along, chasing after bright lights, trying to find something that would satisfy my cravings for sweet. I turned down various streets, looking into windows and doorways, trying to decide what it was that I wanted.
Eventually I went into a store that sold gloves and scarves, and bought the cutest pair of gloves, with ducks on them. They're perfect for the not-cold that we're having here. As a Canadian, I know how to dress for cold weather. I have problems dressing for the not-cold weather, though.
Anyway, I walked down to the end of the street, and still couldn't find what I was looking for. I was beginning to get tired, and decided I'd had enough of chasing neon lights for one night, and started to head back. I walked along the street, keeping an eye out for traffic.
Sadly, not keeping an eye on the actual street.
I fell into a hole.
I took a step, and there was nothing below me, and I fell, hard, onto my tummy. I was so shocked I just lay there for a moment, trying to figure out what was happening to me. Several people were suddenly next to me, and helped me up, talking to me in very fast Chinese. They all looked very concerned, and very friendly, which I greatly appreciated, because I had just fell into a hole. (I'm still having troubles with this. I fell into a hole. On the street. Who does that?)
I was quickly pushed into a chair, and more concerned Chinese people came to me and asked me questions. All I could say was "I can't understand you, I'm sorry. I just fell into a hole." This was not very effective, and one of them went back outside. I didn't know where he was going, but I frankly didn't care that much. I just kept saying "ow" a lot, and poking at my leg to make sure it was okay.
Through pantomime a woman asked if I had hit my head, and I shook it quickly. I was also asked (I assume) if I had broken anything, but I hadn't.
The man who had disappeared came back and I was gently led to a waiting rickshaw. I pointed in the direction that I wanted to go, and leaned back, waving good-bye and saying "Thank you!" to all the nice people who had helped me. Then I closed my eyes, and wished that I had my mother with me.
I actually had to fight back tears on the way home. It's not that I was that badly hurt, but I fell into a hole! In China! And there wasn't going to be anyone at home when I got there to fret over me and tell me that everything was going to be okay! I was very upset about this. I fell into a hole!
Then I realized that I had fallen into a hole on the street. And realized how incredibly funny that was, and started chuckling to myself. I mean, really, who falls into a hole, right?
I got back to the school, tested my leg and confirmed that I could walk back to my apartment. I walked into the supermarket on campus, because I still hadn't had anything to eat, and that's when I realized how dirty I was. A woman pointed at my jacket and said something, and I replied, "I fell down." She looked at me blankly for a moment, and then pantomimed falling, and I nodded. She laughed, I laughed, several other people laughed, and I bought something sweet and walked back to my room.
I called Paul, who loves "Anna Fell Down" stories. I told him what happened, and when he was done laughing (momentarily), he said, "Well, at least you have something funny to write in your blog."
I said, "Yup. I even have the first line already figured out."