I was just leafing through some of my old receipts when I came across a parking fine from about a week ago. The offence? “Parking against traffic flow”.
I was with Lix that day, and we had just finished our business with our bridal photography studio, picking out the photos that were to go into our pre-wedding photo album (recall that I wrote we went to Taiwan for our pre-wedding photo shoot?).
Feeling not particularly hungry, but wanting to “get lunch out of the way” (we are very practical people), we decided to lunch around that area, though I remember telling her that parking was hard to find and that we’d only lunch in that area if we managed to find one.
Lo and behold, (to my utter regret later on,) we found one.
(Before I fast-forward to the main point of this true story, let me add that lunch was terrible. I had some kway teow soup that tasted like the processed “instant” variety, without the seasoning.)
So, as I was saying, we found a parking space, and with the recklessness excitement of a two-year-old ADHD child I swerved right in. As I was adjusting my car, the car behind me was getting out (the significance of this event would only appear to me later on). Illustrations follow:
So bla bla bla, went for lunch and returned to find a parking ticket. F***.
Expecting it to be a fine for, say, stating the time for 20 minutes after I’d actually parked or for exceeding my time limit, I wasn’t too worried at first.
So when Lix told me how much it cost, fifty–might-as-well-be-a-gazillion–bucks, my heart dropped. And when I asked what it was for, and she told me parking against the traffic flow, the heart of my heart dropped and rolled on the floor dying of wtfness. (I didn’t even know it was a two-way street.)
Well friends, you’ve been warned.
(The significance of the woman behind me was that she, too, was parking against the traffic flow. Only thing was she didn’t meet the traffic-warden of death.)
In case you’re wondering, this happened at Ann Siang Road, near Maxwell Market (the Chinatown/Outram area).
This incident reminded me of an incident (incidents really) that Zixuan had told me about, that this “parking against the traffic flow” was a regular thing happening at his office carpark, and where tickets for “parking against the traffic flow” were just as regular. He, too, understands the wtfness of it all.
After a tremendous lot of running for the past 90 days (I’ve been surprisingly focused in my training this time round), I’ve been forced to take a break due to an illness.
Feels like flu, probably is. Maybe it’s my body telling me that I’d been running too much too soon. It hurts quite a bit to have it happen so close to the IPPT itself (it’s in a little over two weeks), but in a way it’s quite liberating.
I think I’d been wanting to have this break for so long, but never really knew how I could do it. My training schedule had been planned, and like a tough disciplinary master it forced me through runs I wouldn’t have otherwise.
But with this illness, it’s probably time my legs got some much needed respite.
I just read about Zeno‘s paradox of the arrow about how if an the flight of an arrow is made up of many distinct points at which the arrow is at rest. Imagine if you could freeze time when the arrow was moving, then restart time and freeze it again a split second later. The arrow would appear to have moved forward by a small amount, though at all of these “frozen” moments the arrow’s really at rest. So is the arrow not at rest, even when it’s moving?
But perhaps what’s wrong with this argument is that life is never at rest, and that though theoretically if you could stop time at discrete points it’d be true the arrow would be at rest, the very fact that time could be stopped could just be an illusion we humans have in our heads? Thinking that life flows like film?
Much like an echoey scream in its third or fourth reverb, you couldn’t tell where the thought came from: I’m going to run a marathon this year in my best time yet (not too hard, considering my previous best was over five hours) and I’m going to get my IPPT gold this July (a little harder, considering it’s been almost five years since my last).
And though at that time I must admit I was thinking yeah right, I surprised myself by actually doing something about it. I started reading running literature, got myself some new shoes (the army standard NB and my trusty ‘ol Asics), and a GPS watch that I absolutely adore. With a get-up-at-dawn-on-Sunday for a long run attitude and a get-up-at-god-forsaken-5am-on-workday for interval training madness, I think that perhaps I might just be able to pull it off this year.
Just the other day on my way home I happened to look up at the sky and saw this beautiful orange hue. I stopped and looked at it for a while, reminded of the great expanses of unadulterated horizons I used to see so often in Perth.
A gentle breeze flew by me; and though at first I thought nothing of it, a second later I was hit by the realisation I’d never felt this breeze before even though I’d walked this route for years. I’d always hurried home, perhaps hungry, almost always tired, looking for respite from wherever I’d been. It’s almost as if life itself offends me in some small little way no matter what it does.
But this, this beautiful sky, gave me pause. Perhaps life wasn’t worth living, but this very moment, as I stared out into the vast emptiness at stars I couldn’t yet see, it certainly was. And, I suppose, that’s all that really mattered.