The couple of weeks haven't been too taxing for me. My designers in the office slogged day and night currently though (it was their turn after mine hahaha I am the evil boss from hell lah), I had a much more paced out working schedule. In light of that, I found myself slowing down to enjoy some very simple happenings lately.
1) The Physiotherapist
Peter is about twice my shoulder width, add another 2 heads above mine, and factor in that biceps that could probably cover my face, you get one menacing trainer from Finland. Peter is my physiotherapist. My slipped discs brought me to him. 2 unhealthy discs from the spine and an arthritic knee plus a 8 kg daughter is too much for me to bear. So I undergo a back strengthening program.
Peter is a nice guy. Because he jokes with you.
“Okay, you do 3 minutes. Pull forward and let go, lengthen your spine as you bring your back down” He said in his Finnish English accent and then pressed the 3 min timer button.
“Huh? I just finished 10 of those,” I protested.
“That was a warm up”, he grinned.
I could have cursed but it made me laughed. It was a short moment, but it was a light hearted moment. It took the tension out of me. Of course there were many jokes he would cracked. Because this was the first one when I met him, I thought it made an impression.
2) The “Sian Tao Uncle”
I was reading a book, “Dark Alchemy”. The title suggest a dark tale adventure with intense battles and wizardry. It is a fantasy book. I was immersed, almost.
“All succshessfoo women hadth the soopport ofth a man behindth her”
Where did that come from? My eavesdropping ear searching for a soundwave direction.
“Why?” returned a female voice.
“Becoth I amth behindth you mah...”
Then some giggles...
I turned around and saw an uncle holding his swollen jaw with his left hand, and with his right hand, supporting a woman, the woman was leaning on his body. They looked past 45 years of age.
And then more giggles...
I almost dropped my book. All of us were patients in the dental clinic waiting for our turn. It was a mild joke, but it was funny one to me. The uneasiness heightened by the fact that the sweet talk came from an elderly uncle. Even at his age, he was clearly a sweet talker. The women, whom I am not sure would it be his wife or mistress, glued to him like chewing gum.
Wah lao eh, I was almost electrified after hearing that. He is one big “Sian Tao” lor! (Sweet Talker in hokkien)
3) The Daily Jogger
Despite my screwed up back and knee, I still jog regularly. I jogged much lesser now though, but added swimming to my routine to make up for it. My evening runs around the sport stadium a stone's throw away from my house exposed me to some very unique characters. There was this uncle, whom I deem almost 70 years of age or perhaps more, who would be running at the stadium whenever I was there. That concluded to me he ran everyday.
But he is no fit uncle. The way he walked, twisting his neck and limping on every step as his roamed every 400m around the stadium suggested I would be the future him, a old skinny man with a crushed knee and back. My prospective future looked bleak. But on a positive note, he still manages to keep up with his activity despite his physical shortfall. It was most commendable. Regulars in the stadium knew him, waving at him whenever they see him. So you can say he was never alone, although he came alone.
I bumped onto him again after an evening swim. On my way back to the car my eyes met him in a distance. He was twisting his neck and swaying his arms back and forth walking with a limp. He became my instant idol. I would have left myself to rot in a condition like his. But none of those deterred him, he was walking towards the stadium for his regular jog.
It warmed me, and naturally I smiled at him, giving him an assured nod in the event of it.
His returned smile made my day. It was fantastic and I realized I had forgotten to smile in recent years. I had re-explored the magic of smiling, it brings people closer, it is so simple yet it is magic.
I guess I'll see him again on the tracks on the next running session, perhaps a chat to top it off.
These are the simple things in life that had made some days seem a breeze through.
Dear friends, as the weekend draws near, relax, unwind, and smile.
Ken & Family