I have a very real and very embarrassing habit. It is potentially dangerous to others and certainly dangerous to myself. I have a tendency to fall over in public, often spectacularly and with alarming frequency. I can manage to fall over from standing still; sadly, this is not an exaggeration. The main reason that I cannot roller-skate and the primary cause of both my sister and I falling off our bikes when we were young (she would stop to help me and subsequently also fall off) is my complete and utter inability to balance. Therefore 2010 has had its fair share of slip, trips and falls on my part. However the story below I have picked as my ‘best’ (read: dramatic, painful and embarrassing) fall of 2010, I hope you’ll consider it a worthy winner…
Recently, the boyfriend and I went to meet up with a friend, Laurie, in Kampala, I had only just returned to Uganda and so I had not seen her for some time. Unfortunately around the time we had arranged to get together a storm broke and the heavens opened. Now Ugandans hate the rain, it is to be avoided at all costs. Just the mere hint of drizzle sends people scurrying and pavements are cleared in seconds. Therefore seeing the approach of rain we decided to take shelter and agreed that when the rain stopped we would get a boda boda (motorbike taxi) to meet her.
After around 40 minutes and an encouraging text from Laurie saying that the storm was over her end we decided to flag down a boda and continue our journey. Unfortunately it had just been a brief hiatus in the storm, and almost immediately the heavens opened again. By the time we had arrived at our destination we were drenched much to Denes’ despair, after all Ugandans seriously hate rain.
|Laurie & I on a day when I managed to remain upright.. excellent|
To avoid getting even wetter, although in reality this was a lost cause by this point, we decided to seek refuge on the veranda of some shops. In order to reach these shops we had to cross a makeshift bridge. However due to the rain the banks had become very muddy. As I stepped onto one of the logs to cross the bridge, the muddy bank gave way and the log just slipped into the water below. This meant that my leg was plunged straight into the gap and I was left half sitting/half squatting on the floor, one leg hidden from view, a family leaning out of the window to gawp at the view and Denes telling me to hurry up and get out the rain! Enormously embarrassed I picked myself up and hurriedly hobbled over to a veranda, one I should have sought refuge under in the first place as no bridges were involved, whilst trying to hide my muddy bum from view of all the very interested locals.
When Laurie arrived to meet us she was greeted by this scene, a very embarrassed and muddy me, a wet and slightly grumpy Denes and a semi destroyed bridge – well, there’s nothing like making an entrance is there!