• About Julie

    NJ native without the accent or the big hair. Currently residing in Beijing. Teaching English. Absorbing all things China. Exploring SE Asia.

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Misadventures in the US of A on Independence Day

I accidentally fell asleep on the couch yesterday in the middle of a Prison Break episode. My family tells me that I slept through dinner, my Mom’s birthday cake, the timer going off in the kitchen, and Caleb playing Marble Works in the next room. Needless to say, I was pretty disoriented when I woke up alone in the dark in the family room at 1:00 AM! Now that it’s pushing 4pm I really want to sleep. I found a Sichuan restaurant in the next town over that we’re going to try tonight, and I’m determined to stay awake for that and to not go to bed until 9 tonight. We’ll see!

Here’s the part about the misadventure. Caleb really wanted to go for a bike ride so the four of us who were home (Jenny was at work, Caitlin’s in PA for the day) decided to go on a family bike ride. My Dad was on my Mongoose so I got Jenny’s bike out of the garage.

Now, if there’s going to be a bike accident, it’s going to be in Beijing. Biking around that city is like driving in NYC, and maybe worse. I’ve got hit from behind by a taxi, someone opened their car door into me, I’ve been squished between two buses, and I’ve lost track of how many head-on collisions have been averted with pedestrians and other bikers. Maybe the fact that the only accident I’ve had during my ten months in China was a running into an inanimate object is telling.

So we’re getting on our bikes. I was turning around in the cul-de-sac at the end of our street when the next thing I know I’m sailing over the handlebars and landing on the ground… on the same wrist I busted in March by running into a pole. And all I did was slightly use the brakes!

But I forgot one very important thing: the left hand brake controls the back wheel and the right hand brake controls the front wheel in China. In the United States it’s the OPPOSITE. Since my last literal run-in I typically grip the left brake harder because my right wrist is still sore. So that’s what I did this afternoon and I can already feel some of the worst bruises of my life coming on. :-/

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3 Responses

  1. My dad says in China the right hand break is for the back wheel, so it should be the same as in America… Are you sure it’s the opposite?

  2. It’s opposite on Giant bikes, which all the foreign teachers have. Some of the guys have gotten their hand brakes switched so it’s normal. I don’t know about Chinese bikes.

  3. Oh Julie, You sound so a mess from being gone for not even a full year. haha. I would think even if it is made in china. . they make the american ones the way america wants it and the chinese bikes the way china likes them. .
    anyway I hope you get your sleeping schedule in order somehow and that you’ll be able to feel more “normal” while back in the states. Happy Independence Day (weekend).

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