There are few things that are constant in this world. It is always changing and evolving, and we are always trying to destroy improve the earth around us. But in each place that we live or travel to there are constants. In Santa Rosa, California, my home town, there will always be beautiful vineyards and inflated home prices. In Taipei, Taiwan there will always be a chance of rain and slick marble sidewalks and entryways.
I was reminded of these Taipei constants again yesterday. Chad, Zoë, and I were on our way to the local big box store called RT Mart (the Walmart of Taipei). There was a typhoon forecasted for the next day and we needed to stock up on food items in case we were unable to leave the house for a couple of days.
Typhoons often hit Taiwan this time of year, it is called typhoon season for a reason, but very rarely are they much to worry about in the actual city of Taipei. Usually the coastal towns, such as Hualien, are hit hard and then the typhoon fizzles out before reaching the valley that is Taipei.
It was raining here in Taipei, as we made our way to the abysmal but necessary RT Mart, and I had dressed accordingly in black skirt, dark shirt and flip-flops. Or so I thought. Chad and I dashed from the taxi that dropped us off into the entryway of the store. Chad was pushing Zoë in the stroller and made it down a ramp to the basement entry without issue. I followed, going slowly because I started slipping and sliding in my flip-flops on the marble sidewalk well before the I had gotten to the stairs.
It is common place for businesses to “dress-up” their entryway with marble or slick tile despite the possible accidents that could happen because of the constant possibility of rain. It is something that my foreigner friends and I used to discuss often about the lack of common sense that sometimes abounds in Taipei. The marble tiles are not new to me, I know that this is a thing here in Taipei and I thought I was prepared.
I was not prepared. Chad and Zoë (thank God) made it down the stairs safely. I did not fare so well.
As I stepped on the top stair, I felt my foot slip out from under me. I was so careful, but obviously my flip-flops were the wrong shoes to wear that day. I think I yelped as I landed on my tailbone and proceeded to fall down the flight of dirty, nasty, wet stairs in front of about five locals and Chad and Zoë. It was not my most graceful entrance, and I definitely felt that flight of stairs more than any other in my life (this was my first time falling down stairs).
I laid on the stairs for a moment while Chad asked me questions, making sure that I was ok enough to move. I slowly moved all my limbs and joints, trying to ascertain if I had broken a leg, arm, or my back. The locals didn’t move to help, but tried not to stare, which I appreciated. I was ok, I was still alive!
As I slowly got back on my feet, I felt intense pain in my tailbone. I must have bruised it. Chad and Zoë asked me if I was ok. I held back tears as best I could because I didnt want to scare Z and said I was fine, just a little sore.
I have bruised my tailbone once before in a scooter accident. I also bruised it when giving birth to Zoë, so I am not unfamiliar with the pain, or how to take care of it. I guess I am pretty lucky.
I hobbled around while we did our shopping and since then have been doing the best I can to be normal with a bruised rear end, unable to sit or bend over without some pretty excruciating pain.
In all of this though I am thankful. I am so thankful that Zoë was in the stroller and not in my arms when I fell down the stairs. I am thankful that the typhoon did actually hit Taipei and I have had an excuse to sit (or stand awkwardly) around the house. Mostly I am thankful that I made it through a fall down cement stairs without breaking my neck or dying. I am thankful to be here, with Chad and Zoë, in this wonderful rainy city with marble sidewalks.
I am going to go ice my bum now and listen to the sound of heavy rain falling on our tin roof (there really isn’t a more soothing sound). What are the constants in your area? I love to hear from you, leave a comment and let me know!