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Misfortune, Pt. 1 [Life in GZ, Ed. 11]

It’s about time I reveal some misfortunes I’ve had in China. No, it’s not all rainbows and sparkles here in Guangzhou! S-H-O-C-K-E-R.

As we all know, life is a fucking rollercoaster. But being a foreigner in China, life suddenly turns into a rollercoaster full of 90-degree falls—HAH, literally, too, suddenly thrusting one into unimaginable depths.

Even more unfortunately, I realized I can’t fit all of them into one post, so here, you’ll get one long one. More to come.


1 — Backward Plank
This happened just last night. It rained nonstop yesterday, and for some reason (i.e., cheap #CHINA problems), it was freezing cold in the studio where I had to record another episode of China Sports Weekly (yeah, WTF am I doing reporting on sports, let alone in China). Literally, I couldn’t stop shivering, and as a result, my performance was entirely too pitiful. I kept messing up my lines, despite reading from the teleprompter. The only redeeming part of this week’s filming was that my hair and makeup looked the best, with my hair styled into a nice bun to match the qipao I wore (qipao on a sports show? Yeah, Chinese New Year is, as you can imagine, quite huge here).

Anyway, that’s not even the misfortune. It was after I left and started heading home that I had to pull out my umbrella to shield myself as I walked literally less than 10 meters to my apartment building from the shopping center next door. In hindsight, I should have just let myself get soaked. But carrying so much shit, I had to go back inside the building to put down my stuff and open my umbrella. The thing is, I always bring an extra pair of shoes to change into after filming, but the ONE time I decided to be lazy was when it’s pouring rain outside. So still in my heels, I rush back inside the building down the slippery slope, solely focused on the table next the shop inside to put down my things. You can imagine what happened next.

Within seconds: I lose my footing, slip, and land FLAT on my back; the green tea latte I had in my hand goes soaring; my left shoe flies off my foot; I hear myself howl in pain, as I lie on the on ground, moaning. Still on my back, I let out several more groans. I see a puddle of green splashed on the ground and on my new red coat (sorry, Mom). The man who had just walked in after me turns around, but noticeably doesn’t start walking toward me until the female shopkeeper—whose products my drink just managed to miss—rushes over. Both ask me if I’m okay, but at this point I’m still in shock over what the fuck just happened, so it was all I could do to not burst out crying or laughing maniacally. Honestly I didn’t know which was more likely, so I remained silent. My body hurts, but I realize my head was miraculously saved from, well, cracking open. I was saved by the bun.

With my silence, the man switches to English, trying again, “Are you OK?”

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Finally, I respond. “Yes, yes. Oh, my God. I-I didn’t think it was so slippery, hah, oh, my God, I-I’m so sorry…” I sputter, looking at the mess on the floor. At this point, the idea of speaking Chinese doesn’t even cross my mind. So other than xie xie, I just keep switching back and forth between, “I’m so sorry” and “Oh, my God.” I put my shoe back on, hesitating slightly considering it was my demise but didn’t want to get even more wet from the floor. I really shouldn’t be so scared of getting wet.

The shopkeeper directs me to the table to sit, but I’m still covered in green tea, so I wait as she rushes to get some tissues for me to clean up.

Minutes later, a security guard appears, and understanding what had just happened, he calls someone on his walkie talkie to come and clean up the wet floor, saying it’s very dangerous. Fuck yeah, it was dangerous! But before I could think more about how this could be a lawsuit waiting to happen, I focus on cleaning myself up and getting the fuck out of there.

Back in my apartment, still in shock and eyes wide in hysteria, I voice message my family on WeChat, updating them on how both unlucky and lucky I had been in that terrifying situation.

My shoulder was starting to hurt, and later that night, I could tell the next morning my body would be sore. And waking up this morning, I was right.

Refusing to rub that smelly Chinese oil over me that my parents insist I do, I asked my cousin for advice on where to get a massage #desperate

Tomorrow at 5 p.m., I’m enjoying a two-hour Thai massage for about $50 USD.

I need it.


Stay tuned for more misfortunes from yours truly.


⇒ Wet Markets & Phone Shops
Renter, Love & Care
Camera, Coffee, Clarity
The Catch-Up
⇒ Holidaze
⇒ Passing By
⇒ The Familiar