UPDATE: I do not, DO NOT have dengue fever. In fact, I have almost completely recovered, except for a few sniffles and coughs here and there. Thanks everyone for your concern and good tips! 🙂
It’s Thursday. When I was growing up , that meant going to the mall (big ups to the Glendale Galleria!), eating dinner there, reading the newspaper with my parents and opening mail. Yes, we opened our mail at the mall. We also people-watched, played “guess who’s the tourist” and exercised (read: a lazy wandering that somehow always ended with a free sample at See’s Candy store).
We always sat in the exact same spot: at a table for four by a pillar on the raised inner court. I mean always. If others had the impudence to be sitting there on Thursday night, my dad would make us sit at a nearby table from which he would mildly, but blatantly, stare at the offenders until they got up and left.
It got to be such a tradition that years later, even when I wasn’t at home, conversations like this one were not unique:
“Hey, I saw your parents on Thursday,” a friend would say.
“Oh, where?” I would ask foolishly.
“It was Thursday, so at the mall obviously. You know, sitting at their table in the food court.”
Because we were there so frequently, we began to recognize the other mall regulars: purple lady (she dressed head-to-toe in said color); small man in the black suit and fedora; and my favorite mall maintenance worker, Sam, an elderly Chinese man who never smiled or said a word to us, but would sweep under our table and clean it when he saw us coming.
I loosely carried on that tradition even when I moved to Northern California. On my dinner break, my husband and I could be found most evenings walking around the Chico Mall (read: a lazy wandering that usually ended with a stop in the food court).
And now, halfway across the world, in Bangkok, Thailand, I am sitting in a food court. In the Mega Banga mall. On Thursday.
The more things change, the more they stay the same.
I wonder if that’s a human thing. I’m sure nostalgia plays a part in my pursuance of certain behavior patterns, but I bet the need for routine is in there somewhere, too. The desire to make the unfamiliar a little more familiar.
My husband showed me a great post on Vishnu’s Virtues in which the author speaks of the need to embrace change. I heartily agree. I believe there is no better catalyst for growth and character development than change.
But sitting here, in a mall, on Thursday, makes me happy.