Today, I read an article about AOC, a restaurant in Denmark which produces dishes which are as much aesthetic as culinary delights. Looking at the photos, one can be forgiven for mistaking those dishes for works of art in a museum. I was thinking that if I visit Denmark again and come to this restaurant, I would have a real struggle sticking my fork into the food to mess it up.
I remember a scene in a Garfield cartoon a long time ago, in which Jon looked at the lordly feline who had just done something horrible and said in a resigned way: “Sigh! Why can’t I be angry with you?” (This may not be the exactly wording, but it is something to this effect.)
Today, with Parker having destroyed innumerable objects in the flat for fun in the more than four year’s time he has been with us, including many treasured items we bought during our travels, i.e. items that cannot easily be replaced, I find that it has got to a stage where I feel the same as the hapless Jon. For all the damage done, I have come to accept that Parker is just an extremely playful and curious cat with not an ounce of malice in his muscular body. And so he can always get away with that ever so innocent look, which is like Puss-in-Boots trying to woo, and which seems to be asking: “What’s going on? Anything wrong?”
As a biker, I do pay attention to people who share the same interest. When I see a fellow biker on the street, I would keep an eye on him, maybe to see what type of bicycle he has.
But I was wrong today. It was when I got closer to the “biker” that I realised that what he was pushing wasn’t a folding bike but a wheelchair. Obviously, it was not for this young and healthy guy but someone he was about to help - someone who cannot walk normally like we do. I was thinking, what a big difference between using a bicycle and using a wheelchair!
There will always be some people who simply prefer neither - not doing exercise and expecting to stay healthy. Maybe this does happen, but I would argue that using a bicycle regularly minimises one’s chance of using a wheelchair. Of course, it takes some commitment and determination to develop and then keep up the hobby of bike riding. But once the initial difficulties are overcome, the fun and freedom one can enjoy are simply beyond words. The gain definitely outweighs the pain.
Would I prefer a bicycle or a wheelchair? It's a no brainer.
The sharp pain I have been feeling at an inconvenient spot after biking in Taiwan for three days led me to another piece of life’s little ironic truth.
When I go biking, there are always three layers of clothing over my bottom. Apart from the biking shorts, I also have three layers of garment over my bum – the biking shorts (naturally), the short pants I wear on the outside (because I wouldn’t like to go around looking like a ballet dancer in tight outfit) and the underwear underneath (which, I believe, would give my bum even more protection). But still, after three days of biking, that sensitive spot was badly scraped, leaving me to wince in agony whenever the open wound rubbed against my undergarment. In the midst of the torture, it dawned on me that there was a reason why I’ve been told by fellow bikers, more than once, that they only wear biking shorts but no underwear. Underwear has sharp seams which may cut through the skin if the biker sits on the saddle for a long time, and that was exactly what happened to me during those days in Taiwan.
“You frown while you sleep.”
It is funny how the person who told me this was not the woman who has been sharing a bed with me all these years. Rather, it was a friend who shared a room with me for three nights while we went cycling in Taiwan. It was only after I told this to my wife that she confirmed on the next day: “Yes, you did.”
How many similarly obvious and potentially useful discoveries might have completely escaped our awareness on a daily basis?
Anyway. So I frown while I sleep. Does that make me look like a crumbled piece of paper? What underlying psychological truth does that reveal about me? Does it show that I am by nature a worrier or a pessimist? Does it show that I carry a load of negative thoughts with me to my slumbering world? Does it show that I can’t even relax while resting for the night?