1. It’s 11.30pm again
I have no idea how this happened. One minute I was sleeping off jet lag through the majority of the day, then I woke up, limped around Harlem’s other side for bit and visited my friendly Bodega (yeah, talking like a local, what of it?) where I was unintentionally part of a perfectly friendly (though loud, always LOUD) argument about why a small packet of Oreo cookies (obviously taken from a bigger pack) were the same price as the normal sized pack. There was some sweet language flying around and the lingo was making me smile.
“What you smirking at, girl? I’ll give you something to wipe that off your face.”
My face stopped all movement.
And the sweet, old man behind the counter, he let fly.
“Mind your mouth! You be filthy and telling lies!”
(About my face? I was confused at first, until I realised he was more concerned about the Oreo allegations. And who wouldn’t be?)
But then! He banned her from the store and everyone carried on like normal. I admit feeling very much part of the excitement and also hoping that nobody was waiting for me outside.
2. Then I went to yoga
Bikram yoga! Which I have not attempted for about six years! I have lots of my fab yoga wear with me just not the short shorts and tiny tops needed to sweat it out. Although I was brave and wore a crop top with my leggings.
The owner and other people around the desk swore it was like riding a bike, you know, you never forget. I didn’t like to say I was never that hot on riding a bike either so if I jumped on one now there would be carnage.
I struck gold with a great teacher and I don’t say that just because he continually opened windows and was generous with the fan (every single person who practices Bikram knows the love that brings on). The whole feel of the studio was welcoming and had a great vibe which makes it for me.
What can I say? Maybe I WILL ride a bike again. It was an awesome class, so needed after a lot of walking (SO. MUCH. WALKING.) and all the flying. The heat, the carpet, the postures, the smell – ahh, like going back in time.
And I loved it.
I thought I’d get through it, hopefully tolerate it and obviously sweat like a sweaty thing but not actually really enjoy it. The structure, the formula (some of which I’d completely forgotten) didn’t make me agitated or bored, it was more like a standing meditation (as all my old teachers used to say). Be interesting to see if I feel the same after a few more days.
Little side note for those hard-core Bikramites (I was one once and understand there is nothing else, so shut your face!) BUT the difference in poses I used to find impossible after practicing other styles of yoga was significant. Just a thought.
3. I’m best friends with a family and the janitor likes me
There’s this family with four kids who I noticed my first day here coming up from the subway, then I saw them at Wholefoods which is a fair few blocks away and then I saw them walking down the street today. We smiled at each other and I am obviously accepted and regarded as a native Nu Yorker.
Holding out for a dinner invite.
The janitor of the building has so far seen me heft my suitcase into the glass entrance door (thought it was going to automatically open which doesn’t even make sense as it has a handle), showed me where the rubbish (I mean, garbage) goes and explained how he cleans and makes sure everyone knows the rules for recycling after which I promptly dropped my juice bottles over the side of the bin (from quite a height) where they smashed into a million pieces.
He assured me it was no problem and wouldn’t let me help clean up. In fact, he seemed keen for me to leave. Then this evening, when I went through all the many, many stages of doing my washing IN THE BASEMENT he came down to check on me because he was worried I might need assistance.
Yes, admittedly he might have thought there was a small possibility I would break something but he was so nice and didn’t even want me to touch the machines. He said he’d take care of everything and give me a knock on the door when it was time to empty the dryer.
Not holding out for a dinner invite.
I’m living in a bit of a time warp – the jet lag, Bikram yoga and back in a city I lost my heart to many years ago.
What about you? Been back anywhere lately – literally or not?
Photo by Mohdammed Ali
© The Yoga Connection 2017