I seem to fall every now and again. Oh I know, everyone falls but, for some reason, I seem to do it more often than most. At least like 98% more often than Zac. And so it was that I found myself taking a tumble in Beijing.
We got into Beijing in the dark and our hotel was a bit difficult to find. We were staying in a hutong which was accessed from this incredibly narrow street that our taxi would not drive down. A few hand gestures later and we were taking turns around dark corners and came upon our hotel at the end of the alleyway. We were both hungry but I didn't feel like eating, so Zac went out to grab some snacks and bring them back. I just sat in the room staring into space.
The next morning, still jetlagged from our travel, we decided it would be great to start our day at Jingshan Park which was just around the corner from us. We headed out and were walking with purpose. I heard the hollow sound of ping pong balls being smacked back and forth. I turned my head to see that in the park across the street were men playing table tennis and others working out on outdoor fitness equipment. I would have thought that would be fun to go watch or to do sometime but instead my body was busy falling quickly and with great force to the ground. We were not even 15 minutes out the door.
My phone went flying out of my hands and I landed hard on my knee and wrist. Luckily they absorbed the blow and my face came just an inch from the ground. I remember being shocked. I remember Zac springing into action. I remember not hearing much going on around me, no one stopped to help. Zac helped me stand up and I remember flexing my wrists and knees to see if anything was broken. Nope, luckily no breaks, but there was an awful lot of pavement stuck in my skin.
Meanwhile, all I could think about was how lucky I was not to have seriously hurt myself and have to experience a Beijing hospital (I'm sure they're fine) or not be able to go on our Great Wall trek. Outwardly, I was in a bit of shock and was crying and laughing simultaneously.
We decided it was best to head back to the hotel (we were so close after all) so I could ice up and pull myself together. The woman at the front desk spoke enough English to understand Zac's request for a bag of ice. And so we sat while I iced my knee and my wrist. This was when Zac told me that when I hit the ground all play at the park ceased. And all heads turned toward me. I think he also said they started play again quite quickly thereafter. Just another tourist hitting the pavement, I guess. Nothing to see here.
We made it to the park that same day and we're so glad we did. It was the perfect way to start our explorations of Beijing, again.
I have photos of the enormous bruise (that lasted months) but I thought you'd rather see the park that was our destination instead.