Friday, September 2, 2011

Then and Now 14 - Odds and Ends 1

Then and Now 14 - Odds and Ends 1
Time: Before I got married.

With twelve "full day experience" Then and Now posts on this site, I'm going to introduce a new format. This time, I'm going to take little experiences in my unmarried life that aren't long enough to make an entire post about, and present them in this post. They will be unsorted, and I'll just write about them as they come to me.

It wasn't just entire days of fun that made my unmarried life amazing to live; it was these little experiences that popped up every other day that added to the fun and fulfillment of the best time in my life.


One morning at my apartment, I was playing Silent Hill 4. It was about 8:00 or 9:00 in the morning, and the sun was starting to get pretty bright outside, so I had all the doors and windows closed to make my room as dark and scary as possible.

I was playing it for the second or third time, so I knew what to expect in the game, and I decided to do something a little off the cuff. In the game, you are supposed to call a phone number in your room about halfway through to get a code to unlock a door. But that morning, I decided to call the phone number right as the game started. It rang a couple of times, then the call went through. All of a sudden, a bunch of groaning came through the speaker, like the tortured moans of several zombies. It sounded pretty creepy, and I felt a little tingle go...


When I finally peeled myself off of the ceiling and crawled back into my skin from where I jumped out of it, I realized that the mailman had come, and was buzzing my room to let him in. I laughed pretty hard at myself for a while after that.


Another day during my hostel time, I was walking away from the main bus/train/subway station and by a huge park. For some reason, the park was closed off that day, and when I peeked in, I saw a large crowd of people busy doing some kind of organized exercise or theater rehearsal or something. When I turned back to the sidewalk, I noticed a young man walking towards me, so I quickly sized him up.

His eyes were locked onto mine, which told me he wanted to talk with me. At the same time, his head was angled slightly downward, which told me he felt shy or embarrassed about something. His shoulders were both leaned in and set, which confirmed that he probably wanted to ask me something. Finally, his mouth was curved up in a slight smile, so I felt he was a good person, and not looking to bother me. All of this took less than a second, and right after I got this overall impression of him, I smiled broadly and said, "Hey, howya' doin'?"

The guy asked me, "Excuse me, but do you know where the train station is? I'm lost."

I looked back and said, "Yeah, it's right over there." I pointed in its general direction, but there were several buildings in the way, preventing a physical look of it. I chuckled and shrugged, then beckoned for him to come with me as I turned back towards it. He politely protested and said he could make it on his own, but I insisted to take him over. He finally gave in, and we walked on towards it.

On the way, I asked him where he was from, and was surprised to learn that he came from a neighboring country. I asked him what brought him to the country we were in, and he told me he was visiting some relatives and vacationing. I nodded my head and said, "Cool," then asked how he was liking his stay. He said he loved it here, and I agreed, telling him of the warmth of the locals and the things I had seen.

Only a few minutes passed by before the station came into view, so once I pointed it out to him, he happily waved goodbye and we went our separate ways. Not only had I made an acquaintance, but I had done a little good deed. It felt nice.


On my way to work from my apartment one day, a middle-aged woman was sitting on the sidewalk resting. When she saw me, she stopped me right away by saying, "Hey, handsome guy!" I turned beet red and smiled goofily, then spent the time I had to spare talking with her about when I came to her country, whether I had a girlfriend, what she did for a living and so on. A bit later, I headed off to work.


During my single time in the big city, I went to an underground shopping center near the main station and was just looking around. After a time, I came to a glass case filled with pottery and other artifacts from the country's historic times. I tried my best to read the placards, but mostly was just enjoying the artistry and care that went into those old pieces of history.

After just a minute or so, a cute, young local girl came up next to me and started looking at the pieces with me. Back then, I had a strong ability to sense people's motives and intentions without them saying anything by watching their body language. And the second I glanced at this girl, I sensed she came up next to me so I would notice her and strike up a conversation because she liked me. I smiled, and she turned her head to me, smiling quickly before looking away shyly. Suspicions confirmed.

I decided to play it cool, so I looked the art pieces over for a bit, then saluted goodbye to her and started to walk away, hoping she would come after me, and hopefully, we could start something up. She didn't, though, so I just kept on going. I feel a bit of regret not getting to know her now, but at the time, I had two or three girls scheduled for hang out times that day anyway, so I guess I felt a bit too busy to make it three or four.


Another day, I was at the train station and coming up from a bathroom in the basement. When I got to the top of the stairs, I noticed a very elderly man going down, grasping the handrail tightly as he very, very slowly made his way down. Without hesitation, I reached my hand out to him, and after a look of surprise, he took it. I helped him down the stairs to the bathroom, and he thanked me profusely at the bottom, then insisted that he could make it back up on his own. I smiled broadly and said goodbye, then went on my way.


I think that should about do it for the little memories for now. I'll probably write a dozen or so more full-fledged Then and Now posts before I make another one of these; I haven't even begun to document all the great things I experienced in those six months, not by a long shot.

As for today...

I woke up at 11:30.
I ate lunch.
I played cars with my son.
I started a load of laundry.
I took him to the arcade, then drove him to a construction site to see some diggers, then we got ice cream for him and my wife, then we went home.
I talked with my wife.
I hung up wet laundry.
I went to work.
I taught students.
I ate dinner.
I came home.
I played cars with my son.
I watched internet movies with him.
I cleaned up the floor and table.
I slept.

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