It is out of whack when you get up one morning, look outside your window, than look at your calendar, walk up to the window again and look outside your window and you saw 95% of the leaves on the trees outside your window are still green.
There is a wide courtyard between a building I live and the next building. Three big and tall oak trees grow in this courtyard. On heavy snow days, I love to sit near the window with a cup of hot chocolat in my hand and watch the branches collecting the snow. Very soon, the dark gray branches turned into all white.
When it rains, if I sit still and listen carefully I could hear the rain water fall on the branches and leaves. During the warm weather, the kids from the opposite building always leave their toys out in the yard when it rains. The green and red tricyle lay upside down with one of the trainng wheels missing, a doll stroller, a plastic samurai hat, and bits and odds scatter under the trees.
When the rain stops and the sun comes out, and nobody comes out to claim the toys after a couple of days , the development custodians collect the toys when they clean the yard and dump the toys in dumpster.
A few days later the same kids have the new toys in the yard.
At the beginning of summer I notice oak trees have the luscious and greenest leaves compare to other times. And on breezy day the leaves move gently between them that creates familiar sound that reminds of my childhood times. The long gone times.
On a breazy days, I like to stroll under the trees and let the earth, leaves and wood scents wash all my senses as I head to the subway station. It is a good feeling to have when I walk pass the oak tree perimeter.
It wasn't funny at all when it happened, but now when I think about it and look back at my behavior as the minutes unfolded layer by layer, it was pretty funny.
Last Friday evening, Prisca called me to confirm the time for our first workout. We planned to meet the next morning at the track at 6:00 a.m. We planned to spend 30 minutes for core and legs work, and 15 minutes for quick dash on the track. After the workout I'd run for four or five miles and Prisca would stay at the track to work on her martial art moves. Both of us were excited to get back to our weekly workout routine. I stopped for a month because of the fasting and Prisca hadn't been well and not to mention the woman is workaholic.
By 5:30 a.m I was ready in running short, Langkawi t-shirt and sipping a fresh brewed coffee and munched on a slice of lightly buttered pumpernickel toast. After I rinsed the coffee mug, I went back to a living room to get my ID and health insurance card from my backpack. When I reached the inside pocket of backpack where I usually kept my purse, the pocket was empty. My heart skipped a beat. I had everything in that ole worn-out purse. My new bank card, student ID, Boston Public Library card, $24 worth of first class stamps, 2 USB flash drives and a couple of receipts.
I sat on the couch and went through the backpack inside out, not once, not twice but three times. Even on the third time, I knew I was not going to find it, but I went through it anyway. I looked under the couch, under the books on the couch and on sewing table. I moved and turned upside down the fabrics on the working table. Nothing.
After fifteen minutes I called Prisca to let her know that I wouldn't be joining her at the track.
"Kak, I'll pray that you'll find your purse."
"Thank you Prisca. I'll let you know when I find it."
One thing that I was sure that my purse was in my apartment because I remembered I removed my ID and bank card from the back pocket of my short and placed them back in the purse. I remembered I was standing next to the coffee table and my eyes were on tv screen watching the last 10 minutes of Chopped.
After 30 minutes of searching, I decided to take a break, even though I was pissed off at myself for spoiling my plan.
Oh well, let me make myself an omelet. I opened the refrigerator door and took three eggs from the egg carton and grated Monterey Jack cheese and placed them on kitchen counter-top. As I cracking the eggs into a bowl, I remembered I still have a half a bag of baby spinach. I turned around and opened the refrigerator door and pulled the vegetables drawer. Lo and behold!!! There was my ole worn out purse. Sitting cute and pretty on a bag of yellow onions. How did my purse get into a refrigerator?
Amazing, in that moment, I saw every step I took after I found the purse. It was like a rewind DVD.
I leaned the bike against the wall, , removed the plastic bag from bike's handle and walked into a living room. I grabbed the remote control with my right hand while holding the plastic bag in my left hand. I turned the tv on food network channel.
I put the plastic bag down on the floor and removed the backpack from my back. I took out the purse from the backpack while my eyes were glued on tv screen, reached out my ID and bank card from my bag pocket and put them in the purse. When the commercial came on, I picked up the plastic bag off the floor and went to the kitchen. I opened the refrigerator and took out bag of onions from a plastic bag and put it in vegetable section. Then I heard Ted Allen's voice to announce who was going to get chopped.
In a hurry, I must have had put the purse in vegetable drawer and closed refrigerator door and went back to watch the Chopped.
When I ride my bicycle in the city, I'm not sure which one makes me nervous, a mother crossing the street while texting, and pushing a baby stroller (with a baby in it!!!) without looking to her left and right, or a cluster of tourists cross the street while looking at the map and stop in the middle of the street to figure out which way to go, or a person fidgetting at the cross section and decides to cross the street when the light turns green to motorists.
Except on weekend, I prefer to ride on open road than riding in the city because in the city at every traffic light stops, no, no, scratch that, along any busy streets, people just simply cross the street with they eyes glued to the gadget in their hands. Why do we become more and more irresponsible for our own lives?
There is nothing strange at all about sudden climate shifting. But, I still felt strange when I left my work place earlier this afternoon. The cloudless sky spread as far as my eyes could see, bright and clear, but the sun was invisible. Where was it? How could I not see the sun when there was no a patch of cloud in the sky? 67 degree in the middle of summer that made me feel strange.
Whatever it was, I am grateful that the heavy rain the weather man forecasted earlier this morning had shifted somewhere else.
I had whined and complained a few times here of bad and rude drivers on the road. I should share my fortunate experience with fine, sensitive and kind hearted drivers too because there are many of them on the streets.
I'm grateful that everyday I come across these drivers on my way to work. Many of them make an effort slow down when they pass me on a narrow road where there is no bike path. thank you, thank you, thank you.
Summer this year is not that bad as the Bostonians had predicted earlier. It is hot and humid on some days, but the previous years the summers were hot and humid too. The first day of summer this year the temp. was 97, the next day the mercury climbed a little higher to 99 and on the third and fourth day it slipped two notches down.
The interesting part I discovered was, almost everyone that I talked to-strangers on the subway, in the line at supermarkets or at the bank, friends, and colleagues at work, they weren't apprehensive at all. The way they talked about it reminded me of the excitement we had when we were children. Remember how excited we were the night before family trip? That kind of excitement that I am talking about.
Bostonians love to talk about our unpredictable weather. Come winter, spring, summer and fal, there is always interesting topic to talk, complain, whine and bitch about. This is the part that intrigues me because we never get tired of talking about weather.
Not a very long time ago, someone said to me, "you like to talk about your childhood........" I wasn't sure if she said it because she got tired of listening to my endless childhood adventures, or because she thought I have nothing else to talk about because my present grown-up life isas plain dull. Well, she was right aboutthe latter. I work with homeless men and women in recovery and in domestic violence situation. How dull can you get?
I have to admit, advocating, counseling, listening, assisting, supporting, assessing and all that come with this line of work is far from boring to individuals who are really into social work. I met people at parties, summer cook-outs and gatherings who firmly believed that the undesireable compensation in social work is the main factor that throw them off if they were ever considering another career. Well, they are absolutely right. Unless they happen to be part of Doctor Drew's team in Celebrity Rehab or some private super expensive rehabilitation centers for the rich and famous people, the compensation is probably half of they are taking home.
Some people do not want to hear about other people unfortunate life, especially when they are homeless, relapse, poor, sick, overdose, have their children removed from the home by social worker from (DCF) Department of Children and Family because of child abuse and neglect. I no longer surprise when I meet women who blame women in abusive relationships.
It is easy to talk, to pass a judgment and blame the victims when we sit outside the lines.
You know when you read a book that you do not want to end and your heart goes, thump, thump, thump every time a character you cherish is about to mess her/his life again. You cheer the antagonist all the way until the end. And when you get to the last page, you wish her well even you know she is only a fictional.
For the past two days I went through all ups and downs of Madeline, a main character in South of Superior by Ellen Airgood. I didn't plan to pick up this book when I went to return the DVDs a few days ago at BPL I was already in the middle of two books, but as usual I couldn't help myself to browse New Fiction section every time I go to BPL which is quite often. The title, South of Superior caught my four eyes because lately, Rohana and I have been talking about someone we know who has an unusual overload superiority complex. The interesting part, the book has nothing to do with superiority complex at all. Loved the book. thank you Ellen for writing such a lovely book.
As a bicycle lover, I was really pleased and a little surprise to see a long bicycle lanes and greenway in NYC on my trip to the city last month. After we checked in at our hotel on E. 28th. Street in Midtown, we freshened up a bit and left the hotel around 5;00 PM.
We walked and window-shopped along E28th. Street until we got to a junction where E28th. Street meets Broadway. And I think strolling along Broadway was the fun part. We stopped a few times, snapped some photos, got us a cup of coffee in green-way space where the cyclists, runners, strollers and walkers are safe from motorists.
Another part that surprised me was the visible presence of Bangladeshi. Once we got to Uptown around Broadway, almost every store we passed by or we walked into employed or managed by Bangladeshi.
On Saturday morning after we had breakfast, we stopped at Taz Aroma on Broadway. I wanted to get some body oils fragrance and Rohana was looking for a sport watch. Standing on the sidewalk outside the stores, it seemed Taz Aroma had both items we were looking for. Three of six sales clerks greeted us as we stepped into the store, even they were serving the customers. Two of them seated cash registers.
The ones behind the cash registers were older than the rest. Those two behind the cash registers reminded me of the "taukeh" figures in any Indian stores in Malaysia. When you see them, you know right away they either own or manager the store. They way they dress, they way they carry themselves - full of confident. The air of authority air float around them you can almost smell it.
One of the sales person asked Rohana where she came from.
As soon as they heard Malaysia, I heard the word, "Selamat Datang." I spun around, "Who said that?" Without us asking him, the man told us he was in Kuala Lumpur for about a year. Small world. Back int Pokok Asam, my niece and Adik teased me when I said I missed riding my bicycle.
They said, "Kat sini Bangla dengan orang tua saja naik basikal." Hah.....
And in Manhattan, they are visible in many electronic stores, fabric stores and what surprised me most when they are about a dozen stores in Canal Street (Chinatown) that used to be strictly owned by Chinese are now run by Bangladeshis.