Sunday, May 20, 2012

Then and Now 37 - Edge of Town

Then and Now 37 - Edge of Town
Time: Late 2007, single and at my apartment.

I was in my apartment one weekend, trying to decide where to go in the big city that day. I checked my map, and saw a lot of check marks all over the stops and sites that I had been to, but most of the places I went to were in the north, west, south, and center of the big city. The only reason I had ever gone to the east side of town was to go to Tim and Jessie's house to have class or hang out at their place. There wasn't a whole lot labeled on my subway map for that side of the city, but I knew that not having a museum or a national park at a subway stop was no indication of how interesting it would be, so I went out to take a look over there.

I took the subway to the center-east part of town, and instead of getting off at one of the few interesting places that were labeled there, I instead got off at an early stop and took a several mile walk through this new area. The walk was very nice. There weren't many people around and the day was a bit overcast and keeping the sun from beating down too hard, so I took a leisurely stroll past numerous tall buildings on my left, and an outdoor sports park to my right. Down there, there were some skaters messing around on the cement partitions surrounding some bushes and trees, and there were a couple of playgrounds where some kids were sliding and swinging with their parents looking on.

As I kept on, the buildings to my left got shorter and more spaced out, until I could see the mountains behind them covered with the green of lush trees. I thought at that point that I might walk straight home to America if I kept on going, because as civilization thins out, the ocean tends to make an appearance. But it wasn't long before I saw a large collection of buildings to my right, and throngs of people walking around between them, so I went down to take a look.

The buildings were two stories high. On the ground level were a ton of independent shops, one right next to the other. Some sold clothes, others makeup, snacks, drinks, shoes, posters and other assorted items. The second levels had a few other shops, but were mostly offices. On my way down the street and through the crowds, I saw a gathering of people around a statue. I got closer to see who it was, and was surprised when the statue suddenly came to life. The man in total body brown makeup posed for a second, looked around, then returned to looking regal again. I smiled and looked around a bit, and watched the people around me laughing and clapping at the performer. As I looked around, I noticed he wasn't alone. There were a few more living statues around that area: one brown, another whitish-grey, and both carrying on in the same manner as the first one: staying still for a few minutes, then suddenly coming to life to surprise everyone around them, then returning to motionlessness to "get" the next group of unwary visitors.

I went a little farther into the shopping area, and soon found a place of the arts. There were a few movie theaters there playing some flicks, some new and some old, but I was more interested in the theater play area. It was square-shaped, but it had a circle cut in the ceiling in the middle, and a small garden with a few plants and a little waterfall there. On a wall, I saw a poster for a play that was going to start very soon, and saw that a foreign actor troupe had come to the country to perform it.

I don't quite remember what the play was (I'm pretty sure it was something Greek or Shakespearean). I did remember that by that time, I had only been to four plays in my life: two awesome Christmas plays, a fun high school play that a friend of mine starred in, and a boring college play that took three hours to say, "Stop to smell the roses before you die." Three out of four wasn't bad at all, and I thought that if these actors were good enough to be playing internationally, then I would be more than happy to see some of their work.

At that moment, a foreign woman dressed up in an amazing Elizabethan dress came out. She was talking to a local woman, who by her conservative business attire, looked like someone who was producing or directing the play. I watched the two of them walk through the beautiful garden in the middle and towards the shopping center, but since they didn't look my way, I didn't have a chance to say hello. I made a note to come back there to see a movie and a play on the same day in the future, then went to the nearest subway stop to get home; I was pretty beat, so I didn't have the energy to make it back home on foot.

I never got the chance to go back there before my wife got pregnant, but just like the art museum from Then and Now 18, I hope that day comes in the future.

As for today...

I woke up at 7:00.
I played video games.
I went out to tutor a student.
I came home.
I ate lunch.
I played video games with my son.
I watched TV.
I did the dishes.
I played cars with my son.
I watched DVDs with my wife.
I watched TV.
I ate dinner.
I did the dishes again.
I watched DVDs with my wife.
I cleaned up the floor and table.
I folded and put away dry clothes.
I slept.

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