Wednesday, September 05, 2007
No Use Crying Over Spilt Soy Milk
Why was my soy milk spilt, you ask? Because I got into a little bike accident this morning. It was bound to happen sooner or later, and if you would've asked me where it was going to happen, I could've told you it would be the third ring road. Don't worry Mom, I 'm FINE.

The thing I didn't expect, though, was that it wouldn't be my fault. Over the past few months, I've been wavering between being a "polite, law-abiding" bicyclist or going "Chinese-style," for lack of a better descriptive term. Well, most times I now go kung-fu bicycling to work, which can be pretty aggressive, so I would've expected that my first official Beijing bicycle accident would be the fault of yours truly. (I say first "official" accident, because unofficially I was bumped by a car a few months ago, but both the other car and I were barely moving at the time and no words were exchanged. Just a few choice hand gestures. You know what I'm talking about. And apparently in China they mean EXACTLY the same thing that they do in America.)

So I was riding along my merry way on the third ring road, only about 5 minutes from the office, when out of nowhere, one of these three-wheeler, fully enclosed golf cart-type vehicles cuts directly in front of me, forcing me to swerve into the front portion of a parked minibus and throwing me off the bike onto the pavement. Of course, passersby gathered around. There was general concern for my and my bike's well-being. The guy who had cut me off got out of the car and pointed at a taxicab that was speeding away. "It was that guy. That guy cut me off." I had seen the cab cut him off in my peripheral vision, which forced the guy to cut into me. Only by the time I saw it happening, there was nothing I could do about it.

Apparently, the cabbie had already dropped off the woman he was driving and she kept the receipt which had the cab and license number on it. She gave it to the guy who had been forced into me. He had a few choice words for that cab driver, and now he was going to make sure that cab driver heard them. That cabbie is SO screwed.

Hitting someone (especially a foreigner?) = NOT GOOD.

But, all in all, the damage was minimal- a bloody toe, a few scrapes, and a bruised knee. All in all, it could've been a hell of a lot worse. I'm just glad I didn't slam into the parked minivan, but instead aimed ahead of it. I'm also exceedingly glad I chose to wear jeans today instead of the shorts I was going to; my legs would've been scraped up to hell. My bike didn't fare too badly either: one of the handlebar grips shifted a little (I manually shifted it back) and the screw that attaches the basket and headlight to the bike came loose, which I can have fixed this evening. So far no major problems, although the ride home this evening will be the true test of that. And once again: Mom, I'm FINE.

How's that for a little adrenaline kick on the way to work? Certainly got me rolling...
Oh, and the soy milk only spilled a little...still some left for lunch!
posted by Rachel @ 12:05 PM  
THE WILD WILD EAST: Everything you never knew you didn't know about life on the other side.
In China, the people are represented by two separate, yet equally important groups. The Chinese, who call this land "home," and the expats who migrate here. My name is Rachel. I am an expat. These are my stories.
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