Friday, July 29, 2011

This is the story of how I [almost] died...

Movie reference! Ten points if you can name the movie. Twenty if you are the first. You might be thinking "Pft, 20 points? Who cares?" Well, I'm just saying that you should care. See, I am going to have some pretty cool stuff by the time I croak. And probably I'll be rich too, so you might want to get in on my will, right? Welllll...I might have a nifty little notebook. And in this nifty little notebook I might have my favorite people listed. And I might just keep track of how pleased I am with those people by using a points system. You know, that just might be how the booty is divvied up when I kick the bucket. A little something for you to ponder. But, I digress. Back to what this post was meant to be on:

^ my bike                                              

When you look at these you may think of environmentally friendly transportation, or a good work out, a leisurely Sunday ride, or perhaps even Lance Armstrong. There was a time when the sight of a bicycle conjured up these same magical images in my own mind. But those days have come to an end. I am here to tell you that these...these...things, are really instruments of death.
You may be laughing at me right now, but I assure you that I bring this subject up in all seriousness. I'm pretty sure the Fates have decided that I will suffer death-by-bicycle. I have stared death in the face approximately 62 times in the last week. If you are wondering, it's a little less scary after the 11th time, and after the  23rd time it just becomes downright hilarious.
Okay, so maybe that is a gross exaggeration, but I really do think danger follows me when I am on a bike. Have I told you about the Tunnel of Death? Well, there is a Tunnel of Death here. I think that most of us here in the teacher dorms at Berhan find this tunnel to be appropriately named. To get to the other side of the train tracks you must ride your bike through the Tunnel of Death. This tunnel is very narrow. There is part of this tunnel where you are temporarily unable to see very well at all. And best of all, you often must ride your bike through this skinny, dark tunnel with a line of scooters in front of and behind you. And the noise from the scooters echos. And you really do have the feeling that you might die at any second. There is a separate tunnel for cars and yet another tunnel for foot traffic. So obviously you do not walk through the actual Tunnel of Death, right? RIGHT? I would say it is pretty obvious. Well, there seems to be at least one suicidal/homicidal person in Feng Yuan who does not seem to understand this, because she happened to be walking through the Tunnel of Death when Rachel, Kaylee and I  were riding through on our bikes. And then, in the darkest part of the tunnel, she decided to stop in front of my bike. Really? REALLY?! Who is that stupid? Well, unfortunately no one got hurt. It would have been more exciting. But I did hit my brakes hard and the back of my bike slid forward so it was horizontal and blocking the tunnel. And it made a really cool screeching sound. It kind of made me feel like a stunt woman. Fortunately for me, and Miss Airhead (who just kept walking and acted like nothing even happened), there were no scooters this time.
The same night we were riding through on the way home. This time I had a cake roll...thing in my basket. It had been a lovely evening and I had nearly forgotten about my previous tunnel experience. Kendra and Rachel entered the Tunnel of Death before me. I saw a scooter coming so I stopped and let it go in first, but then I had to hurry so that I could catch up to the other girls at the other end. So, I was speeding and bouncing along (I forgot to mention previously that The Tunnel is also poorly paved) and the cake roll thing was bouncing around violently in my basket, and I kept thinking, "it's going to fall out, it's going to fall out" but I couldn't do anything about it because I was bouncing and speeding enough that I needed to have both of my hands on the handlebars and you DO NOT slow down in the Tunnel of Death. If you do that the name automatically changes to the Tunnel of Certain and Inescapable Death. I was nearly to the intersection on the other side of the deathly tunnel and just as I thought, "maybe it won't fall out" I hit a really uneven piece of pavement and the beautiful, yellow cake roll thing flew like a kamikaze angel right into the middle of the street. At the intersection (what is it with me and intersections?). I was going so fast that, even though it flew forward, I passed it before it hit the ground. And then I screamed. Really loudly. It's a reflex. It's just what I do. And it's ridiculous. Anyway, it got Kendra and Rachel's attention. I slammed on the breaks again, half flew, half leaped off my bike, dropped it, and sprinted to the cake before the light changed. Like saving that cake was the most important thing I would ever do. I sustained minor my pride. Also my hand was bleeding. Okay, so it was just an itty bitty scratch.
Anyway it was all rather exciting. And I feel that I have adequately proved my point about the dangers of bicycles, even though those are only two of my many bike stories.


  1. Yep gotta love the bikes. I have already been clipped by a scooter and had a car almost run into me. Haha, traffic in Taiwan is the best.

  2. Cake rolls of the world, be of good cheer--Christina is here to save you!

  3. Haha This is great! I feel this way every time I ride to work. It's a death trap.

  4. I want 20 points for not making a cake roll joke;)