Slip Sliding Away in Saskatchewan

Suddenly I was going down fast and the sidewalk was coming up hard. Then I was face down on the cold concrete. Stunned I picked myself up and tried to figure out what had happened. The culprit was a puddle of puke, likely generated by someone from the wedding going on at the Civic Centre across the street. “Mierda,” I snorted, “at least I didn’t fall in it.”

The reason I was walking down Main Street in Watrous (population 2000) at 23:00 – a mere two days after I’d arrived in Canada – was because Mom’s bike doesn’t have a light. People here take such things seriously. I reluctantly agreed to be responsible and walk the ten minutes to the bar — rather than ride —  to meet friends. Ellie offered me a ride home, but I waved my hand and pooh-poohed the idea as I wanted to walk. Fresh air and all that.

Main Street looking south.
Main Street looking south.
Main Street looking  north.
Main Street looking north.

So  much for the nanny state. In Buenos Aires I navigated the streets fraught with dog poo and broken concrete without any trouble. On the chaotic streets of Phnom Penh I scoot around on my bike – complete with a basket and looking like a proverbial Mary Poppins – without anything untoward to date. Riding a bike without a light is the least of the problems in the Kingdom. But on the prim and proper prairies it is an offense..

Consequently, here in safe, secure Saskatchewan I wipe out on a flat sidewalk without any cracks, holes or obstacles.

What you look like  when you live in the developing world.
What you look like when you live in the developing world.

“You’re lucky,” offered my friend Charlene, who is a nurse. “If you had landed on the curb you could have whacked your temple. People die that way.”

What you look  like when  you  slip and slide away  in Sask.
What you look like when you slip and slide away in Sask

Fortunately I was carrying my over-the-body handbag. My arm goes through the handles – as it makes it harder for purse snatchers – so I wasn’t able to pull it out to break my fall. “A friend of ours in Mexico had a similar spill.” continued Charlene, “She broke her wrist and her arm in five places and is still having trouble with all the pins they put it.” Ouch.

Yes, a bit of karma, a puff of ju-ju smoke and an inshallah were with me.

I told the story of how I’d managed to end up looking like a candidate for a domestic violence poster more times than I can remember. Everyone wanted to know what happened. It always started with, “On Saturday night I went to the Town Bar.” Their ears perked as they waited to hear about the brawl and what the other guy looked like. By the time I got to the details of what had really transpired, however, the giggles started. By the time I finished there were rounds of belly laughs. So much for local support.

Saskatchewan Travel Warning: Before you book your next trip to Watrous, make sure you pack your golf cleats – or other appropriate footwear – if you plan on doing any walking. And you might want to tuck in a helmet and elbow pads just to be on the safe side.









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