Monday, February 15, 2010

When a bowl of Phở becomes out of the ordinary

Routine is comforting. It's presence reassures, and is both salve and detriment of human nature. At its best, it presents us with security, a feeling that things are in their place and we are where we belong, at least within a certain time frame.

A less favorable but important analysis of routine is that it can be considerably debilitating.

Today is the second day of the year of the Tiger. In that spirit, I decided to try to break out of my frame of comfort, staying in and having something home cooked as is my usual. I have to be sad to say that by simply going out to eat on my own I managed to break my usual routine for weekends.

Nevertheless, it was a good thing that I hope to continue, slowly expanding my comfort zone. As I walked to the phở restaurant from my apartment I felt, more a part of the real world. Walking past the kindergarten, neighborhood park, and the assorted neighborhood stores (often with bars on the windows) I couldn't help but feel a bit more alive and active, a piece of the painting that is Hawthorne (that's the city I live in).

When I finally got to the restaurant, I had a lovely chat with and older French Canadian lady across two tables, who attempted to guess my occupation, quite unsuccessfully I might add. Guesses included artist, actor, accountant and doctor. I have to say many of the guesses flattered me.

I felt like I was a part of a slice of life fiction, the polite young man humoring the older lady with willing conversation. It was nice. It also makes me wonder what other experiences I have prevented myself from having, by cloistering myself in my apartment on weekends.

I hope this avoidance of routine, becomes more routine.

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