March 17, 2009

Happy St. Patrick's Day

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I wilted into my computer chair after arriving home, willing myself to think of something to write, to post. I'm in the habit now of reading others' posts, enjoying this community of writers (I'll hate to see this end) and feel a responsibility to write something worthwhile.

But try as I did, the headache, the classes, the grading, the fatigue all conspired against me.

So I went to the local shopping center to pick up some analgesic. Who would have thought that on this, St. Patrick's Day, they'd import Scottish bagpipers to liven up the shopping? I felt better immediately watching their kilts swing as the walked back and forth as I listened to the drones. One piper's nimble fingers coaxed out the tune Scotland The Brave (one of my favorites). I thought of my father, who wanted to learn the pipes at a certain point in his life--right about the age I am now. He bought the chanter, took lessons and occasionally would bring out the bag to show us. It's all gone now, that whim traded for serious landscape painting around age 70.

I stopped in for a pedicure, where the Vietnamese lady who runs the shop says "Hi Liz" (she never says my whole name) and who answers her phone, "Super Nail." Tracy, also from Vietnam, is my usual toe-lady and she and her friend Christine break off from conversations with their customers to trade quips back in forth in their quick-talking native tongue.

Next door is the restaurant Miyako, and since my husband's out of town, I stopped in for some sushi. Next to me was a family from somewhere in Eastern Europe--Russia would be my usual guess, but they could have easily been Turkestanian or Georgian. They asked the waitress "What ethnicity are you?" and although I thought of her as American, she answered "Korean."

Most people in the US think of California as something either Hollywood-ish or Mexican, given our movies, Spanish background and immigration numbers. But somehow in the city where the navel orange grows in fields and fields of bushy green trees, we have our own little United Nations.

Happy St. Patrick's Day.

1 comment:

  1. Who knew sushi was such a St. Patrick's tradition! My friend and I had sushi yesterday too.

    I am like you: I will be sorry when the challenge is over. It is certainly a motivator.