The streets were bordered with walls of piled up snow. We had gathered with a group of international exchange students at the foot of the Rocky Mountains in Golden, BC. Quite a few in the group, coming from more exotic countries and being hosted more in the south of the international Canadian/USA Rotary district 5080, had never seen snow before. Needless to say that our well organised trips to Yoho National Park and Lake Louise didn't progress at all: apart from our habit to pile up for yet another group picture every 5 meters, we also had to catch up a life time of snow ball fights. After some hot tub fun we braved outside in our swimsuits to make bold jumps into the piles of snow outside only to race back into the hot tub afterwards and feel the melting snow on our body burn for a few seconds after which the entire process could be repeated with lots of giggles. The local hosting Rotarians watched our snow hysteria with an amazed smile.
These few exchange student weekends were some of the highlights of the exchange student experience: put a group of 17-18 year old students from all over the world and you get a great party. A room full of international diversity, yet all bonded by the experience of settling in in a foreign country far away from home.
That evening the hosting Rotary club had invited a local band to play to us in the gym in which we were camping. Somehow the band didn't really get the party going. With hindsight, we did not really seem in the mood for the offered entertainment in the too big gym while we simply wanted to hang out and create our own party. As soon as the little concert was over, we all digged up our own cassette tapes (gosh where did time fly?) with our own music from home. While in Canada rock , country etc were the common styles (Alanis Morissette yeaaaah), the Europeans and Latin-Americans were desperate for some electronic beats. We had been deprived of our own music and sharing the big hits from our home countries together, got us all on the dance floor instantaneously.
I let the beats invade my body, enjoyed the dancing bodies around me and felt back at a high school party back home. I just jumped around, up and down, eyes closed, to the beat. No silly need here to dance with a 'date' , just me and the music, in circles, on and on, totally taken by the rhythm.
Then all a sudden a flare of pain ran through my body...ouch, stupid me, I had blindly jumped on the lock of the open guitar case from the band that was still cleaning up. Oh well, I did a bit of cursing, and figured some more dancing on one leg would help me forget the painful heel. This time I kept my eyes open: jumping/dancing around on one leg needed more coordination and after all, I didn't want to jump another time one something sharp.
After a while I realised there was blood on the floor. There were blood drups all over....all over the area where I had been making my silly jumps. I had been a bit on the outside of the dancefloor so .....so...I looked down my heel and saw it dripping red. Ouchhh, I immediately became aware of the pain I was suffering.
With some stressed little jumps , I made my way to the fairly young chaperone , showing my bleeding foot. Cautiously we peelled off my bloody sock, revealing the nice big cut through my heel. I could see the panic in her eyes: this is not what she had in mind of chaperoning a group of youngsters in a gym by sleeping over with us. She and her little brother were alone with us this time a night and they could not leave us behind.
"It's ok, it's probably not that bad, maybe we can just put a bandaid on it", I claimed because I really didn't want to leave the group and miss the party. When 2 minutes later the soaked bandaid fell on the floor as well, she started phoning around and looked more and more stressed at me.
Fifteen minutes later her dad showed up at the gym and since I could not put my shoe on, neither could I hop through the piles of snow outside, I got carried out on the man's back to the car and we drove off to the ER of the local small hospital.
When we arrived there, the district Rotary management in a nearby meeting, had already shown up, alarmed that one of the students had been taken to the hospital.
"What happened to you?"
"Euh, nothing, we were just having a good party. It is great fun, can we hurry up please so I can go back?"
They actually laughed, probably relieved I was not seriously ill or injured in a teenage riot or so.
And so after a while I went back, on painkillers and with a glued heel, ready to go back on the dance floor until bedtime. I tiptoed in lose shoes for the next 3 weeks but I had great fun at our improvised gym party.
I remembered this story again a few weeks ago when there was lots of snow in early December. We went to a christmas party from Jan's work, where I had great fun on the dance floor, all drugged up to keep my nasty cold under control ...Aaah getting lost in music is the best cure for anything!