Anyway I have this pair of flats that have a sort of hard plastic sole. They work fine everywhere except gravel, on which they tend to skid. Unfortunately I figured this out through a process of trial and error... the error being multiple wipe-out mishaps of varying degrees of height, distance, and grace.
I'm stubborn, so of course when I finally came to terms with the fact that its the shoes and not just many clumsy cooincidences, I continued to wear them anyway. Until... walking down the road I live on, I pulled the most EPIC of tumbles, landing on my ass, scraping up my arms, and calling the attention of a handful of people nearby. Of course, as has happened nearly every single time something unfortunate happens to me in Chile, everybody stared and did nothing to help. I went to work dripping blood from my palms, and cursed the shoes, later throwing them in the closet for a few months.
But putting clothes in the closet for a long time eventually sparks my curiousity and doubt, figuring "it cant really be that bad, can it?" even though I know better deep down. So I ventured out on Saturday, wearing the same flats again, thinking about my major blooper as I passed down my street. But careful baby steps did nothing to lessen the magnitude of a complete reinactment of the origional fall, right at the exact same spot as before. It happened in slow motion, I swear. First my foot skidded foreward off the step and out from under me, extending higher into the air as my body followed, landing with a huge thud a few steps below.
After one second of shock used to realize I was alive and catch my breath, I burst out laughing, because, well... it was funny. And though I didn't land in any of Valparaiso's trademark canine landmines, the situaiton wasn't much better.
Then something entirely unexpected happened: Someone stopped and asked if I was OK. I was, so, again slightly dripping blood from a few points, I got up and continued on my way,this time smiling for the random act of kindness I have found to be so uncommon.