That night when I left French class early due to illness and pinkeye (almost completely back to normal, by the way, hooray!) and general misery, I felt a little bit spaced out – as evidenced by the unnecessarily vast array of insect repellent and killer with which I returned to my apartment. It was probably a combination of the antibiotics, fatigue, and a slight fever, but whatever it was, it made me feel decidedly dizzy and woozy as I walked home.
I was shivering as I staggered along the busy nighttime streets in weather that was hot and humid enough to have the usual streams of perspiration trickling down my face and back. Shivering with cold while sweating uncomfortably due to the heat is a very strange and unpleasant feeling, and it added to my sense of disorientation and confusion. Which is why, even though I saw three rather odd sights on that walk back home, I didn’t blog about them, as I thought perhaps it was all a hallucination. Now that I’m fully recovered and back to sanity, I realise that I did in fact see the things I saw, and so I will now share those sightings with you.
So, first of all, this woman was walking towards me, pushing a baby’s buggy (the American English word for buggy currently escapes me, sorry to my non-British-English-speaking readers!). Nothing at all strange about that, of course, except that as she got closer I noticed that her baby was a tad on the small and hairy side. Oh, goodness, you may be thinking, she was taking her dog for a walk in the buggy, how ridiculous! But no. No, she wasn’t. She was in fact taking her hamster for a walk in the buggy. Strapped in with a little harness and everything, it was, I’m being completely serious here.
Well, that’s a little strange, I thought to myself as I kept walking with a befuddled shake of my woozy head. Some middle-aged men staggered tipsily out of a restaurant, landing in front of me in a slow-moving and hilarity-filled group. I couldn’t get past, until they stopped to chat very earnestly with the guys who stand outside a BBQ pork restaurant and dance to k-pop music every evening. Sorry, maybe that one needs a photo to show you what was odd about the businessmen in suits stopping to converse with these dancing guys:
And yes, those are mechanical as opposed to actual people in pig suits. I squeezed past as the men entered into very expressive introductions complete with bowing and handshaking and then some hugging for good measure. I would probably have laughed in amusement had I not been feeling ill, but as it was they were doing nothing to help me maintain my tenuous grasp on reality. And that’s when a man cycled past on one of those bikes that are really just one huge wheel with an apparently pointless tiny little wheel at the back. He was not in costume, he was not some kind of street performer – he was an ordinary man in an ordinary shirt and shorts, and he was riding this bizarre bicycle, attached to which was a tiny little trailer at the back, with a child of about 3 years old sitting in it, about 4 or 5 feet below where her father sat perched on his giant wheel. They just cycled past as if it was the most normal thing in the world, even though it looked extremely strange – not to mention dangerous! – to me.
I thought that maybe it would all seem perfectly run-of-the-mill to me when I came off the mind-altering drugs, but no. Still weird, guys. Still weird.