I knew it was the end when my foot dropped out from in front of me and I tumbled into the intersection. Not the end of my life, but the end of an era. I have this strange tendency to hurt my feet right before I leave somewhere. If I were more superstitious and less klutzy, I would probably consider it a sign that I shouldn’t leave.
My move to South Korea occurred after tripping over a cinder block at work. On the journey from Korea to New Zealand I angrily ran away from a taxi driver that was trying to add fees onto the metered rate. In my haste, I was thrown off balance by the weight of my backpack and skinned my knee and foot. Barret insisted on scrubbing the black gravel out of my wound and dousing the whole thing with hydrogen peroxide.
New Zealand was left with a flurry of blisters and Vanuatu was too. The only difference being the blisters from Vanuatu became infected and made my veins feel like glass tubes under my skin.
And so, during my last night in Sydney, I stepped right into a missing chunk of the sidewalk curb. My ankle twisted and the top of my foot scraped down the rough side of the concrete. I caught myself as I fell into the intersection and stumbled across the road just in time to catch the same train my friend was on.
By the time my friend and exited at St James Station, blood had begun pooling inside my shoe. I hobbled over to the station master’s office and took a seat while the first aid responder was called. It took about ten minutes to determine the best method for cleaning the wound. Then, while the benefits of Bandaids vs bandages were discussed, I began laughing because the situation was so ridiculous.
“It’s funny because I’m on my way to my goodbye dinner,” I explained to the employee who had won the most recent debate and was wrapping my foot with an entire bandage roll.
He smiled without knowing the recurrent connection between the two events and then asked, “Where are you going?”
“I’m moving to Colombia to teach English.”
“Oh.” He replied. “Hey, next time your back I’ll be better at this first aid thing.”
“No worries,” I smiled. “I hope someday to be back in Sydney and when I hurt my foot, I’ll know which station to go to.”