Flying Food

As I stroll down the crowded supermarket aisle revisiting my detailed shopping list written in my head.

apples

quinoa

beer

yoghurt

“AHHHHHHHHHH! Bang, Crash, Bang, Crash!”

A boy comes roaring down the aisle, weaving between customers with two large umbrellas in hand, banging the floor and shelves around him.

I take a deep breath and think ‘I am sure his parents will deal with that momentarily.’ I watch him as he waves his umbrella swords at the shelved tofu victims. My jaw drops and the boxes of tofu begin to fly. I looked around searching for embarrassed parents coming down the aisle. None were in sight. I wheeled my cart right up to the boy and his swords and said firmly, “Pick those up right now!” His eyes shoot to the floor and he freezes. I wait and wait. I try again, slightly louder, “You will pick those up right now!” Still no movement. He may not have understood English but there was no mistaking my tone.

He slowly began moving the tofu on the shelf back into a neater position, still leaving boxes on the floor. I point to the boxes on the floor and say harshly, “And those ones!” With a frown on his face he begins to pick up the containers, slowly, unbelievably slowly. I am sure he figured I wouldn’t wait this long for him to sort out his mess. He soon found out that he was terribly mistaken. I have patience, especially when it comes to waiting for children to make the right choice.

Flight Announcements

“Good evening passengers, this is your captain speaking. We want to take the time to sincerely apologize for the delay but we have been busy stowing your many bags for this direct flight to Kathmandu. Since each of you has brought 5 giant bags each, we have been arranging them into the cargo hold for the past 2 hours. Unfortunately, we could not make every bag fit.

Do not worry, dear customers, your precious remote control helicopters, packaged candies and  copious amounts of make up will make it to their destination. We have safely strapped the additional luggage to the bottom of the plane. You might notice a bumpier ride than usual as the landing gear is unable to be adjusted, thanks to your unnecessary luggage. We do hope that you enjoy your flight. Our flight attendants will be circulating shortly with water bottles, have your cups ready to be filled. Please excuse the lip stick marks around the edges of the bottles, our wonderful flight attendants were quite thirsty after helping you stow your large carry-on luggage. They understand how important it is for you to bring a buffet dinner in your hand bag and they hope you will understand that they were too tired to find a cup to pour water into for themselves. Instead they have been sipping directly out of the water that they are currently serving you. We hope that you have a pleasant journey with us here at Nepal Airlines. If we require any assistance throughout the flight please try not to disturb our flight attendants as they will be resting behind the curtain.”

*An imagined announcement on my flight to Nepal*

Mountains of life

Mountains                                                                                        Life

Ups                                                                                                  ups

Then                                                                                                 then

Downs                                                                                              downs

sometimes changing                                                                        always changing

sometimes ending                                                                            never ending

ups                                                                                                    ups

then                                                                                                   then

downs                                                                                               downs

inescapable                                                                                      inescapable

step                                                                                                  step

by                                                                                                     by

step                                                                                                  step

crumbling                                                                                         learning

being shaped                                                                                   being shaped

by you                                                                                              by you

your footstep                                                                                   those around you

ups                                                                                                  ups

then                                                                                                 then

downs                                                                                             downs

until the end.                                                                                                                                    OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Bicycle Sightings

I am not fond of the blaring chinese classics attached to your bicycle.

I don’t enjoy the English pop pounding from your pocket.

I can’t stand the dogs dressed in the silliest outfits sitting in your strollers.

I hate your loud screeching voice screaming into the telephone speaker.

I do on the other hand enjoy watching you run backwards with your arms rotating round and round.

I like seeing you struggle with seven dogs running between your feet while you push three more in a stroller.

I love seeing you clap your hands above, below, behind and side to side as you walk down the path.

I can’t get enough of watching you throw yourself at top speed into various tree trunks

But most of all I truly love seeing you get chased by a stranger’s teeny tiny yappy dog in your outrageous exercise outfit as you continue to complete your backwards running paired with ridiculous arm circling while shrieking.

That I will take any day!

 

 

 

The Power of Silence

I need silence. Everyday.

Not for long.
Not always alone.
Not always crossed legged.
Not just while sleeping.

 

I need silence.

Anywhere.
Any time.
On the floor.
In a chair.
On the subway.
At the table.
On the couch.
In the bath.
On the bus.

I need silence.

Silence my mind.
Silence my body.
Silence my thoughts.
Silence my worries.
Silence my excitements.

I need silence.

You need silence.

Be silent.

 

The Inspiration for this Piece

 

 

Rest in Peace Friends

I am sorry friends,

I didn’t recognize your calls for help,

I was not aware of your nightmare

becoming a reality in the comfort of your home.

Your mass exodus should have made me think twice,

your lifeless bodies on my floor should have made me realize.

I tried to change your food,

I moved your home to a warmer place,

but I didn’t realize that there were intruders in your home.

I am sorry that you had to watch your friends and family disappear,

One by one, torn apart by the ruthless monster in your room.

With all of you gone, my days will cease to be the same.

I will miss sharing my dinner with you,

I will miss bathing you each night,

I will miss tossing and turning you,

I will miss sharing you with my children,

I will miss each and every one of you.

I am sorry worms

I failed you.

Travel Now, Not Later, Now!

I sat in the hard plastic chair eating my breakfast

at the long table filled with strangers

who transformed into friends

thirty days of adventure through China

the end coming near

attempting to swallow that hour-old fried egg

travellers milling around the buffet room

sharing experiences

making plans

offering suggestions

crunching that cold crusty bread

taking it all in.

One more day

twenty-four short hours

ticking away

too quickly

washing it all down with the far too sweet orange juice

tuning into the conversations surrounding me

focusing on the elderly Alaskan man

having travelled  to hundreds of countries

offering advice to our group of new-found travellers

stopping

pausing

pointing

at me

me, taking my last bite of juicy pineapple

looking around

confirming his intention

me, he is talking to me

“You need to travel now. Not later, now!”

confused

lost

my perfectly paved future plans

shattering

slowly

then

quickly

as those words encircled me

TRAVEL

NOW

NOT LATER

NOW

How does he know

the questions running through my head

repeating

throughout this trip

He has given me the answers

Travel

Now!

A nod

acknowledging

his advice

Travel now, not later, now!

I wish I could speak to that Alaskan Man one more time. Two months after our brief interaction, I signed a contract to work in Vietnam. Six years later, I am still living overseas and travelling as he recommended.

He was right; travel now, not later.