Escaping the Shelter

I’ve waxed poetic to whoever will listen about the return of the electric blue bird with neon orange beak and feet. He disappeared several years ago. And the clever jumping squirrel is back. He, too, has been gone for a long while. Butterflies are mating in my garden once more doing their tandem spiral dance. And dragonflies, by the hundreds it seems, flit about like mini helicopters.

It’s because of this:

No tourists and no traffic. Just a construction worker pushing a wheelbarrow and a dog lazing on the sidewalk.

How did I acquire these photos when I’m supposed to be sheltering in place?

Once in a blue moon I allow myself to walk to the end of the long gang that takes me to the Delta convenience store that is – well – convenient. It’s located on Monkey Forest Road right at the end of my path. I’ve walked that trail a total of three times in the past three weeks and I’ve never met another soul coming or going. It’s an adventure of mammoth proportions and I linger, chatting with the young man behind the counter, asking him whatever I can dream up to make conversation.

“Oh! You have two different kinds of batteries. Will you check the price for me please?” (Nothing in this shop has a price on it.)

He does my bidding and tells me very respectfully that the black package is ninety thousand rupiah and the red is only sixty thousand. I thank him and tell him I’ll take the red.

He sees me eyeing two brands of peanut butter. “I will check the price, Ibu.” (Ibu is a sweet form of respect loosely translated as ma’am, or mother.)

“Thank you.” Their difference is only a few rupiah and this time I take the more expensive one. “It’s very quiet on the street,” I say as I return the unwanted jar to the shelf. “How many people come in the shop in one day?”

“Maybe two or three,” he says. “Until at night. Then it gets a little busy.”

“They come in after work?”

“Not many people working, Ibu.”

He was right. I shook my head. “I know. Very hard times for Bali.” As he was ringing up my items I asked if I could take his photo for Facebook.

“Yes, of course.”

“And the shop, too?” Again he gave me a thumbs-up.

This was a SOCIAL EVENT the equivalent of a masquerade ball. It felt so special. I wore a mask, of course, and stayed a good distance from my cashier friend. Then I walked home.

The path to the Delta shop and Monkey Forest Road

Once inside, hands and purchases washed, I ripped open the bag of Zananas. The yellow packaging had caught my eye – a new item in the shop – and anything that says spicy these days is on my radar. While munching on a handful of the chili-coated banana chips I flipped to the back to read the nutritional info and nearly choked.

  • Two servings per package.
  • One serving = 1000 calories.

That’s like 9/10ths of of my daily food intake. I could have one serving of Zananas and a bowl of sprouts to fulfill my sedentary lifestyle limit.

I didn’t spit them out but I made a note to self that unless I wanted to double my size in a New York minute, this bag of treats should last a month.

In my old life – walking, walking, walking – I never counted calories. I ate healthy food and maintained my weight. But in this new life – resting, napping, dozing – a bit of vigilance is required.

Preparing and eating a meal has become one of the high points of every day. I’m grateful for anything that provides entertainment. The Delta convenience store. The cute cashier. My tropical garden. Thunderstorms. The walk-able path. Monkeys in the morning. Rats in the attic at night… The rats have actually provided a week of comic relief. But that’s another story!

It stands to reason if the desirable animals are staging a comeback, the undesirables aren’t far behind.

Hmmm. It just occurred to me. Forget the sprouts. Zananas and a glass of wine, that’s close enough to the calorie quota, and it must be 5:00 somewhere…

6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. stevecastley
    Apr 17, 2020 @ 18:26:01

    Great summary of how it is at present. Enjoy those micro outings.Viral hugs to you from Steve and Bayu.

    Liked by 1 person


  2. writingforselfdiscovery
    Apr 17, 2020 @ 18:42:49

    I hope you meant VIRTUAL hugs!!! Those Freudian slips…hahaha!



  3. sageblessings
    Apr 17, 2020 @ 22:04:32

    Delightful read. I’m definitely not “eating clean” as some wellness folks say. It’s scalloped potatoes/ham, beef stroganoff, chicken curry salad and wild rice chicken soup. Anything that takes an afternoon to make…including chocolate chip cookies. It’s my therapy and helps fill the freezer. Warm days are approaching so walking will take cooking’s place. I say “whatever helps us manage these strange times is to be done guilt free.” 😀. Enjoy the small things…like Zananas and 🍷. The rats not so much.

    Liked by 1 person


  4. writingforselfdiscovery
    Apr 20, 2020 @ 19:31:18

    The rats, not so much, and the snakes even less! Spring should be coming to Minnesota any day now, right? Sounds like it better come soon so you can walk off all that comfort food!!! HAHAHA!



  5. Anonymous
    Oct 04, 2020 @ 15:10:02

    I enjoyed the walk! Very nice!



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