Sunday, March 13, 2011

A Saturday Afternoon

I had the hardest time getting myself down to the library to get some solid work done. I was in a certain mood. If I was in Cornwall I could have asked a friend to go to the Art Gallery and then The Grind for coffee. If I had been in Toronto I would have visited The ROM and strolled through Yorkville. If I was in Montreal I would have gone to Old Port by the water. But I was in London, and I didn't know what to do with myself because I am in school and I have lots of work to do, so I shouldn't be doing anything, but reading or writing an essay. So I pushed away these thoughts and walked outside intending to take the bus downtown.

But it was such a nice day- both mild and sunny, that I had to walk downtown. Besides I now have some snappy red rubber boots! Walking through slush and puddles is now a joy, reminiscent of the simple pleasures of childhood play- and what confidence I now have! That is, I don't hop from the shallowest part of the puddle to another, nor do I avoid the mud! I just trudge on through!
During my jolly walk I listened to a podcast of CBC's featuring the band Hey Rosetta! I've heard about Hey Rosetta a lot over the last few years, but I've never given them a listen, which is honestly rather appalling because they are a fairly popular Canadian band. They are quite good! With Jian's (the host of Q) mirthful banter with his various guests I found myself walking with a little more bounce than I started out with, smiling at every person I passed, and laughing outloud at times.

After about 20 minutes I came to Richmond and Oxford, the north end of downtown. It had been quite some time since I had walked down Richmond. (Oh what the winter does to me, keeping me from my explorative adventures). I hadn't eaten lunch, which was another indicator of my uncommitted, wandering mood. I ended up at India Spice Express, a small sort of deli- except that it was Indian food. As I walked in I was greeted by a girl, a few years younger than me. I guessed she was probably the daughter of this likely family-owned and operated business. The choices were numerous. I didn't even know where to begin, so I told the girl I was overwhelmed and asked for her suggestion. She inquired about my hunger level- was this to be a snack? A full meal? I told her I wanted a meal, but I was not too hungry. She suggested some naan bread and a curry. Of the five vegetarian options; I chose the lentil curry. She told me to have a seat and she would bring it out to me.

A few minutes later I had a small bowl of curry and one piece of naan in front of me. I continued listening to my podcast as I ate the sweet, fluffy, yet crispy on the bottom naan dipped in the flavourful and perfectly spiced curry (not too spicy).


As I ate, I observed this small restaurant. The atmosphere was very open with it's high-ceilings, yet bright and comfortable. The walls were a calm blue-grey colour and the floor tiles were yellow and red. Looking up, the exposed ducts were painted a light purple and pipes in the ceiling were painted a bright red. There were 7 tables of four, the kitchen was partially visible, and I noticed that this restaurant also doubled at a bit of an Indian grocer. Finishing my meal I went up to the counter to pay. The girl asked how I liked the meal, especially if it was the right size. She was genuinely concerned with it being the right size. She was very sweet. I will certainly go back there.

Upon walking out of the restaurant, I noticed a new flower shop across the street. I wondered if mini daffodils were available yet. It is my tradition to buy a female friend a pot of mini daffodils at this time of year. I crossed the street and saw on the outside stand that they did indeed have mini-daffodils, though none were in bloom. Since they were to be a gift, I wanted to have just one beginning to bloom. I walked inside the shop to see if there were any in bloom yet. The shopkeeper said hello to me, even though she was with another customer. Then the customer told me to "look" and pointed upwards to some signs with clever sayings that mothers love to put in their homes, like "the house was clean yesterday, sorry you missed it". I didn't know which one this woman wanted me to pay attention to. Then she commented about how easy it really is to change the toilet paper; there was a sign assuring just that. I laughed a little, to show her I understood her. Then the woman left the shop. I approached the middle-aged Asian shopkeeper and asked if she had any mini daffodils in bloom. Very apologetically in a strong foreign accent, she told me she didn't. I said it was fine, that I would take one of the ones she had anyway and walked outside to pick one out. She followed me and advised me on the ones that would bloom first. I picked one of the ones she suggested and followed her back in to pay. Knowing the store was new, I asked how long the shop had been open for. She told me it was just a week since she opened and asked if it was my first time in. I said yes, so she gave me a small gift of cinnamon scented cranberries in a star-shaped mesh frame. Sincerely, she thanked me for coming in and told me to have a good day. I liked her. She was the type that was so eager to please her customer. I hope she doesn't lose that over time.

As I walked out the door I saw a customer from the pub I work at. The last time we spoke we had a good conversation about music and art, so I said hello and asked where he was walking to. He was a bit aimless, but he was going downtown, so I said we should be walking buddies since I was headed to the library, which is right downtown. On the way we discussed the closing camera shop he had just visited, his upcoming art projects, and the celebration birthday of a regular customer, who is also our bartender's girlfriend. We parted ways at another camera shop and I walked to the library. I found a comfy chair and, satisfied, I began to read Adam Smith's The Wealth of Nations

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