Thursday, August 23, 2012

Then and Now 44 - Bean Walk

Then and Now 44 - Bean Walk
Time: Late 2007, dating my wife.

For the sake of this Then and Now, I'm going to refer to my wife as my girlfriend.

A few weeks after I first moved into my apartment, my mom sent me a care package from America. Usually she sent things like candy, cookies and other assorted goodies, but this time, she only sent me five things: a dozen cans of Rosarita beans, a bag full of packets of my favorite salsa, a small bag of flour, a can of salt and a tortilla maker. I smiled when I got it. My mom knows very well what my favorite food in the whole world is, so I bought cheese from the supermarket, learned how to make the tortillas and feasted on burritos that night. I made sure to send her a very happy thank you email later, too.

I started dating my girlfriend a little after I got that package, and by the time she started regularly coming over to my apartment to stay the night, I still had plenty of bean cans left. She had never eaten bean and cheese burritos before, much less with my favorite salsa on top, and when she first tried one, she looked like she was in heaven. I felt a bit bad that all I could make were homemade ones and that my favorite ones were back home, but she didn't mind at all. I promised to take her back to America and try the real thing someday.

We ate them almost every weekend she came over, until I was finally just about out of beans. Luckily, this was also shortly after the time I had already found out where I could buy more in Then and Now 20, so after we ate the last can of beans and slept together that Saturday night, I took her to the main city to refuel. We took the usual bus/subway trip on over to the main city, and when we got to the stop, she found a shuttle that went up the street to a bus that led straight to the shop.

I had a great time inside showing her some of my favorite foods, and she encouraged me to buy a bunch of things so I could enjoy myself (and so she could try a bit, too). I paid, then lugged the pair of heavy bags outside and towards the subway stop. My girlfriend insisted that she hold one of them, but I said I was fine, and wanted her to enjoy a nice walk outside.

We crossed the street towards a large, grassy field, and as we headed back to the subway, we came across a bus stop. She insisted that we wait for a bus and take it easy on the way back, but I said that there were some great sights we could see if we walked. She seemed concerned that I wouldn't be able to handle the walk back with the heavy bags, and that she might not be able to make it on foot, either. But after very little convincing, she agreed with me, put a bright smile on her face, and followed me on our path back to my apartment. I can only imagine the shouts, insults, silence, death glares, sex withholding and condescension that would have resulted if she were my wife then.

We walked past a lot of other stores on the way back, and a couple of foreigners, too. They were just as fat, bald and middle-aged as when I saw them last, and just as cold, too. I told my girl about the usual responses I got from foreigners that I walked by, and she wondered why they were acting so rude. I told her it was because I was handsome, young and friendly, but that they only saw me as competition for their jobs and girls. She laughed, until I put the idea to the test.

Me: Hi!
Foreigner 1: (Turned his head 90 degrees to the left, pretended to look at something, looked straight ahead once more when he was safely past us)

Me: Hi!
Foreigner 2: (Stared straight ahead with eyebrows knit in irritation, said nothing)

Me: Hi!
Foreigner 3: (Stared straight ahead, mumbled something incoherently, scurried away)

Me: Hi!
Foreigner 4: (Aped Foreigner 1)

It was a parade of pitiful men, and not a one greeted me in any way resembling a man. My girlfriend was stunned, and I smiled warmly at her. "I'll never treat ya like that!" I proclaimed, and she jokingly thanked me.

After almost an hour of walking, my girl looked pretty ragged out. I was doing fine because I had spent the weekends at my bud's aunt's place, the hostel and my apartment walking around the city for five to ten hours a day, but I was starting to feel bad for her. I asked if she wanted to wait for a bus, but she pumped her fist up and said that she could do it. I felt inspired and happy about the choice I had made in such a great girlfriend.

We eventually reached an underpass with cars zooming on it, and I took her from the pedestrian walkway over to the side of the road, where it sloped down to a fence overlooking a river. I took pity on her, and rested with her above the waters so we could watch some fish darting about beneath the waters, and the grass swaying in the wind. After a bit, I congratulated her on her coming this far with me. She replied by thanking me for believing in her, then in no time, we were back at the subway station and on our way back to my apartment, goodies in tow.

As for today...

I woke up at 6:30.
I played video games.
I went to work by train, and played video games on the way.
I taught students.
I came home by train, and played video games on the way.
I ate lunch.
I watched TV.
I went to work.
I taught students.
I came home.
I started a load of laundry.
I cleaned up the floor and table.
I roughhoused with my son and played in his fort.
I watched internet movies with him.
I hung up wet laundry.
I slept.

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