Today is a perfect example of how weird, wacky, wonderful and exhausting my days often are, so I thought I’d share it with you.
It’s Saturday. I slept in, then spent most of the day deeply absorbed in my new pet project (uniting bellydancers around the world to raise money for Syrian refugees). By late afternoon, I remembered that I had rescheduled last night’s street food tour for tonight and needed to figure out how to get to the meeting point.
Google Maps said my destination was an hour away on foot. I figured I’d start walking and pick up a taxi when I got into the city, which is only 20 minutes away on foot.
So I walked and walked. Here’s what most of the streets look like where I was walking. I’ve rented a bike for the month but I cannot figure out how to ride it safely!
While I walked, I has this dialogue in my head.
Inner Parent (I like to call her Mum): So, Lauren. You worked until 3am on that new project. This can’t continue.
Inner Child: I know, I know.
Inner Mum: You are already committed to more creative and charity work than you can keep up with, and none of it is making any money. Why would you launch yet another major project?
Inner Child: Because…it gives…meaning…to my existence?
Inner Mum: (rolling eyes) Welllllll, that’s just great then. We’ll have a meaningful existence in a cardboard box. Who do you think is going to pay the bills while you’re doing all this?
Inner Child: (looking hopeful and adoring) I was hoping YOU would!
Is that normal? Or have I been alone too long?
I’d been walking half an hour and still hadn’t seen a cab. Maybe I could walk the rest of the way? I stepped it up.
When I peeked at my GPS again, I saw that the road had veered north and I was headed in the wrong direction. I still hadn’t seen a cab — and it was starting to rain. I threw my scarf over my head and made a course correction. That’s when it dawned on me that I had rescheduled the food tour for NEXT weekend — not tonight.
Well, damn. I’d been walking for 45 minutes at that point. I was in a part of the city that I haven’t seen yet. Might as well explore! I pulled out my TripAdvisor app and asked it for nearby attractions What’s good, TripAdvisor?
It said I wasn’t far from something called Nagore Square and promised me great street art. Game on! You have to be flexible when you travel.
I’ll let Nagore Square and its street art speak for itself. Words would only detract.
I was now an hour’s walk from home, and getting worried about making my way back after dark in a downpour. But I wanted to eat in this new neighborhood, where there are real, indoor restaurants! My neighborhood only has street stalls. I had passed a place called Naughty Nuri’s just a block before Nagore Square and I had to try it. It seems to be a chain out of Bali. Touristy, but fun.
I ordered the Bali-style nasi goreng (fried rice) and a lychee martini. If you order a Lychee Martini at Naughty Nuri’s, this happens:
The martini was yummy. I kind of wanted a second one, but didn’t want to go through the hoopla again.
Soon the food arrived, and it was gorgeous. I stuck my fork in the fried rice and pulled out an entire baby octopus! It was kind of bouncy, like a cat toy. I was not expecting that.
Tip: Octopi should not lurk in one’s rice and jump out at one. It’s unseemly.
After dinner, I started walking home again. That’s when my phone battery died and I lost my GPS. No worries, I thought. I know my way home from the tallest building in the city. I’ll use it as a beacon. My feet were hurting though, and a familiar twinge came into my hip. I wasn’t sure I had another 45 minutes of walking left in me.
I was grateful when I finally encountered a taxi. I jumped in happily but then realized that my address is stored in my dead cell phone. I gave him the name of the main road nearest me, Jalan Sungai Pinang, and the nearest landmark, the Sungai Food Court, which is about a mile from my house.
I don’t know where that cab took me. He took roads I’ve never seen and drove forever. I started thinking he’d misunderstood me, and wondered where we would wind up. I also wondered how much it was going to cost, since he hadn’t turned on the meter. (Usually I negotiate with cabs before I get in if there’s no meter). I was too tired to care. I was so happy to be sitting down, in a dry place with a hint of air conditioning. We could drive around for hours and it could cost $50 and that would be great.
We did, in fact, end up at the food court though. “Just a little further up this road” I pointed straight ahead.
“Food court.” he said.
“Yes, my home is a kilometer or two further. That way.”
“Food court.” he said, pulling over.
Fine. I paid him (about $3) and had to walk another mile or so. It hurt. I made it home, though. I’m aching, and my feet have that familiar “been beaten with a board” feeling, but it was a fun night.
I wouldn’t trade my weird, wacky, exhausting life for anything, but sometimes I’m just happy to lie down and put my feet up!