Easter Eggs on a Christmas Tree

30 Day Writing Challenge

I am ecstatic to be out to play. The calendar with X’s marking down to this glorious, glorious day is lying pitifully in the attic where I am for the rest of the year. I wish I could bring him with me but he prefers to listen to my stories after the fact. So I let him be and make a mental note to tell him about the new trinket on me this year. Every year, there’s a bizarre companion swinging off my branches, adding to my story pile. This is as it has always been and it makes me smile.

The festival of tinsel and magic is finally here.

Family around christmas tree

My humans are singing a song about silver bells as they do me up for 2013. I nudge the li’l ones with their silver bow ties and they jingle back in a soft gurgle. They seem love it as much as I do. The bells, the straw angels, the fairy lights and I have been a constant for many years and like coins in a piggy bank, we feed our wander lust through adventures we collect courtesy the bizarre ones. I love belonging to a family of humans who travel and always bring me back something. They are now singing a sing about a jolly man in a red suit and putting up Easter Eggs.

Yes. Easter Eggs from Germany.

Mr. Big, the elephant from England

Bugs, the rabbit from Austria

Chip, the Koala Bear from Australia

Miles, the saxaphone from the US of A (I’ve been banned from saying ‘murica because it isnt “cool” anymore)

Lance, the cycle from France

Davros, the dalek from Wales

Chugs (the mini pint glass from Ireland) says a tree can’t write a book about family trees and history because a) we don’t have a blood line b) we’re adopted c) I’m too old for tattoos. So I listen to my humans sit around me, cradling their mugs of hot cocoa and reminiscing about how they came by the snow globe, the cup of tea, the sushi platter and the grumpy cat.

Life is good.

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Today is the last day of my 30 day challenge and it has been such an exciting challenge that I think I may do it again sometime soon. For a person who hadn’t blogged since February, you’ve helped me rekindle the writing itch. Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU – for sticking with me, for encouraging me, for always having something nice to say even if I cheated with a photo I nicked off the internet. The one takeaway through the process was that I will aim to write at least once a week in the new year. 

I was thinking of the perfect way to wrap this up and I spent hours looking up ideas on the internet but when I got home, the Christmas Tree was up and I got lost in the tales it holds – it has been the canvas to the adventures my family has had around the world and within this house. 

And so I thought it apt to tell its tale and also, to redecorate. This Labyrinth I Roam has had a makeover. Tell me what you think? 

I love you guys. 

xx

The 100% Perfect Person

30 Day Writing Challenge

This weekend I was wrapped up in a cloud and a book – The Elephant Vanishes and there was one story that transported me to places I didn’t want to come back from. I wanted to share that feeling with you and so I’ve typed up the story for you. It’s slightly long but stick with it and tell me how you reacted. 

Happy Monday my dears. 

One beautiful April morning, on a narrow side street in Tokyo’s fashionable Harujuku neighborhood, I walked past the 100% perfect girl.

Tell you the truth, she’s not that good­looking. She doesn’t stand out in any way. Her clothes are nothing special. The back of her hair is still bent out of shape from sleep. She isn’t young, either ­ must be near thirty, not even close to a “girl,” properly speaking. But still, I know from fifty yards away: She’s the 100% perfect girl for me. The moment I see her, there’s a rumbling in my chest, and my mouth is as dry as a desert. Maybe you have your own particular favourite type of girl one with slim ankles, say, or big eyes, or graceful fingers, or you’re drawn for no good reason to girls who take their time with every meal. I  have my own preferences, of course. Sometimes in a restaurant I’ll catch myself staring at the girl at the next table to mine because I like the shape of her nose.

But no one can insist that his 100% perfect girl correspond to some preconceived type. Much as I like noses, I can’t recall the shape of hers ­ or even if she had one. All I can remember for sure is that she was no great beauty. It’s weird.

“Yesterday on the street I passed the 100% girl,” I tell someone.

“Yeah?” he says. “Good­looking?”  

“Not really.”  

“Your favourite type, then?”  

“I don’t know. I can’t seem to remember anything about her ­ the shape of her eyes or the size of her breasts.”  

“Strange.”  

“Yeah. Strange.”  

“So anyhow,” he says, already bored, “what did you do? Talk to her? Follow her?” 

“Nah. Just passed her on the street.”

She’s walking east to west, and I west to east. It’s a really nice April morning. Wish I could talk to her. Half an hour would be plenty: just ask her about herself, tell her about myself, and ­ what I’d really like to do ­explain to her the complexities of fate that have led to our passing each other on a side street in Harajuku on a beautiful April morning in 1981. This was something sure to be crammed full of warm secrets, like an antique clock build when peace filled the world.After talking, we’d have lunch somewhere, maybe see a Woody Allen movie, stop by a hotel bar for  cocktails. With any kind of luck, we might end up in bed. Potentiality knocks on the door of my heart. Now the distance between us has narrowed to fifteen yards. How can I approach her? What should I say?

“Good morning, miss. Do you think you could spare half an hour for a little conversation?”

Ridiculous. I’d sound like an insurance salesman.

“Pardon me, but would you happen to know if there is an all­night cleaners in the neighborhood?”

No, this is just as ridiculous. I’m not carrying any laundry, for one thing. Who’s going to buy a line like that? Maybe the simple truth would do.

“Good morning. You are the 100% perfect girl for me.”

No, she wouldn’t believe it. Or even if she did, she might not want to talk to me. Sorry, she could say, I might be the 100% perfect girl for you, but you’re not the 100% boy for me. It could happen. And if I found myself in that situation, I’d probably go to pieces. I’d never recover from the shock.

I’m thirty­two, and that’s what growing older is all about. We pass in front of a flower shop. A small, warm air mass touches myskin. The asphalt is damp, and I catch the scent of roses. I can’t bring myself to speak to her. She wears a white sweater, and in her right hand she holds a crisp white envelope lacking only a stamp. So: She’s written somebody a letter, maybe spent the whole night writing, to judge from the sleepy look in her eyes. The envelope could contain every secret she’s ever had. I take a few more strides and turn: She’s lost in the crowd. Now, of course, I know exactly what I should have said to her. It would have been a long speech, though, far too long for me to have delivered it properly. The ideas I come up with are never very practical.

Oh, well. It would have started “Once upon a time” and ended “A sad story, don’t you think?”

Once upon a time, there lived a boy and a girl. The boy was eighteen and the girl sixteen. He was  not unusually handsome, and she was not especially beautiful. They were just an ordinary lonely

boy and an ordinary lonely girl, like all the others. But they believed with their whole hearts that somewhere in the world there lived the 100% perfect boy and the 100% perfect girl for them. Yes,

they believed in a miracle. And that miracle actually happened.

One day the two came upon each other on the corner of a street. “This is amazing,” he said. “I’ve been looking for you all my life. You may not believe this, but you’re the 100% perfect girl for me.” “And you,” she said to him, “are the 100% perfect boy for me, exactly as I’d pictured you in every detail. It’s like a dream.”They sat on a park bench, held hands, and told each other their stories hour after hour. They were not lonely anymore. They had found and been found by their 100% perfect other. What a wonderful  thing it is to find and be found by your 100% perfect other. It’s a miracle, a cosmic miracle.

As they sat and talked, however, a tiny, tiny sliver of doubt took root in their hearts: Was it really all right for one’s dreams to come true so easily? And so, when there came a momentary lull in their conversation, the boy said to the girl, “Let’s test ourselves ­ just once. If we really are each other’s 100% perfect lovers, then sometime, somewhere, we will meet again without fail. And when that happens, and we know that we are the 100% perfect ones, we’ll marry then and there. What do you think?”

“Yes,” she said, “that is exactly what we should do.”

And so they parted, she to the east, and he to the west. The test they had agreed upon, however, was utterly unnecessary. They should never have undertaken it, because they really and truly were each other’s 100% perfect lovers, and it was a miracle that they had ever met. But it was impossible for them to know this, young as they were. The cold, indifferent waves of fate proceeded to toss them unmercifully.

One winter, both the boy and the girl came down with the season’s terrible influenza, and after drifting for weeks between life and death they lost all memory of their earlier years. When they

awoke, their heads were as empty as the young D. H. Lawrence’s piggybank. They were two bright, determined young people, however, and through their unremitting efforts they were able to acquire once again the knowledge and feeling that qualified them to return as full­ fledged members of society. Heaven be praised, they became truly upstanding citizens who knew how to transfer from one subway line to another, who were fully capable of sending a special­  delivery letter at the post office. Indeed, they even experienced love again, sometimes as much as  75% or even 85% love.

Time passed with shocking swiftness, and soon the boy was thirty­two, the girl thirty. One beautiful April morning, in search of a cup of coffee to start the day, the boy was walking from

west to east, while the girl, intending to send a special­delivery letter, was walking from east to west, but along the same narrow street in the Harajuku neighborhood of Tokyo. They passed each

other in the very center of the street. The faintest gleam of their lost memories glimmered for the briefest moment in their hearts. Each felt a rumbling in their chest. And they knew:

She is the 100% perfect girl for me.

He is the 100% perfect boy for me.

But the glow of their memories was far too weak, and their thoughts no longer had the clarity of fourteen years earlier. Without a word, they passed each other, disappearing into the crowd.  Forever.

A sad story, don’t you think?

Yes, that’s it, that is what I should have said to her.

200 – It’s like 300 but cooler!

30 Day Writing Challenge

I was going to say “Why cooler? Cause you can type it on a calculator and flip it and it would read ZOO” and then I was going to post some cat photos, because who doesn’t love cats? Then I remembered this story our Science teacher used to tell us in school –

Three Greek philosophers and an Arab were all staying at the same inn. At dinner the philosophers were debating the number of teeth in the head of a horse. Each philosopher mustered his arguments and debated the subject endlessly. The first philosopher insisted that horses have 32 teeth; the second was convinced that horses have 40 teeth; the third insisted on 48.

The philosophers called upon the Arab to act as judge of their debate. After listening to all of the arguments the Arab asked for permission to leave the room. After a brief hiatus the Arab returned and solemnly pronounced in favour of the second philosopher. All of the philosophers sprang to their feet and demanded to know which of his arguments had swayed him. The Arab responded “Arguments? I went back into the stable and counted”.

Anyway, I digress. But since this is the internet, there’s no reason why I can’t make a 300 reference AND put up a cat photo. So here –

There truly is nothing you can't find on the internet!
There truly is nothing you can’t find on the internet!

And all this to say, this is my 200th post and I’m going to celebrate it with a nap. Happy weekend my dear wordpress family! See you tomorrow! 😀

Photo I stole off the internet while looking for something cool to celebrate.
Photo I stole off the internet while looking for something cool to celebrate.

10 Lies Parents Tell You

30 Day Writing Challenge

We’ve all been told little white lies growing up. It’s not just a cultural thing, I find. Some of the lies are so universal. And inevitable – you’ll realise this when you start using them yourself. Before we begin though, I HAVE to share this Indian parent meme I found online. Go ahead, laugh!

Indian Parents

1. Change your appearance – Make a silly face and it will get stuck that way. I tried for so long all these “poses” Calvin is so good at and failed miserably. Led me to the conclusion that I must not be doing it right. Damn my lack of play dough consistency face.

Making Faces
2. Every ache has a reason – My mum was our resident doctor. Whenever I was ill, I’d hear her say “Oh, you have a headache in the middle of your forehead? It means you’re dehydrated. Drink water” “Oh, your little finger hurts? It means you aren’t eating enough vegetables”
3. Pet Adventures – I used to idolize my pets because they would always “run away” and go off on adventures. Usually for love. My parents once showed me a newspaper clipping of a cat that looked like ours our cat who had just been married to the love of her life. They had garlands around them. A proper Indian wedding!

Cat Marriage
4. Parents know everything – They are the true all knowing superheroes who not only manage to provide you with everything you need, they also know EVERYTHING. Where we came from, where we’re going, what is our purpose, why Mr. Neighbour was yelling at his wife (he was practicing for a play).
5. Chewing Gum Trees – Mum used to say that if you swallowed gum, it would stay in your system for 7 years. And in that 7 years, if you swallow a seed and god forbid it gets stuck in gum, you could grow a tree. I feel like I have many bonsai’s in me right now. I’m my own environmentalist.

Stomach Trees

6. Beauty Tips – These aren’t what my parents have said. On a list of priorities, appearance was the last thing. But these are lines I have heard other parents use “If you eat meat, you’ll become dark”, “If you eat too much chocolate, your hair will fall out”, “If you drink coffee, you’ll get pimples”. If you want to be fair, with luscious hair and flawless skin, STAY AWAY from meat, chocolate and coffee. Don’t tell me I didn’t warn you.
7. Saving the world – Every time we fussed about food (which was fairly rare in comparison considering aid worker parents) we’d get the standard “Do you know how many people are starving?” Before we were old enough to understand the true lesson, we assumed that if you ate without wasting anything, those starving multitudes would be hungry no more!

Superhero
Totally legit selfie of me saving the world!

8. Yummy in the Tummy – Noodles Worms, Pasta Intestines , Chicken Wings Frog Legs were the TASTIEST meals we’ve ever had in our lives. The more disgusting, the better tasting.
9. Distance – We’re always “almost there” whenever we were on a road trip. They’re make us start singing countdown songs like those green bottles, 12 days of Christmas and local equivalents. Then we’d start counting backwards from 10,000. Then we’d start counting red cars. No matter how long the destination, we would almost always just be 5 minutes away.
10 The Afterlife – Tales of the afterlife always changed based on my favourite story. As far as I’ve figured out, the afterlife is a place on the moon that is paved in gold and buildings are made out of candy. The hills are made out of chocolate and the snowcaps are vanilla icecream. Everything is free and you never have to work a day in your life. You can read all the books you want, watch all the tv you want.

P.S. Santa is a real person and I don’t care what you say.