The good parts of life are important to note. We live in a tiny, walkable neighborhood with food, with community, with street life and diversity. There are noodle shops, half a dozen local breakfast places, ramen shops, car repair spots, a vet, two pet shops, a plant store, two grocery stores, and two fruit stands. On a Saturday morning, after coffee, while Tara sleeps, I pull on flip flops and walk down to get fresh bagels from the French bakery. The coffee shop downstairs is full, early morning runners and cyclists just starting to yield to the families and friend groups that will dominate the rest of the day. I chat with our Singaporean neighbor as we cross the street, each headed out for light errands.
The bakery has a small line, two people waiting for entry into the tiny storefront that supports the bakery behind. The smell of fresh baked goods is strong and the bagels, ten minutes from the oven, are still warm as I carry them back towards home. I hand over our metal cups to the outdoor stand for iced milk tea, the staff familiar with this ritual and happy to see me. I’m happy too, part of this neighborhood and relaxed. Weekends can be wonderful. Free from work and free from destinations my mind finally relaxes, able to appreciate the small buildings and narrow streets, able to listen to the birds as they swoop in for crumbs and cackle on wires overhead. It’s a beautiful morning here in Tai Hang, the air clear despite the humidity in late May. Between the buildings the hills are lush and green, and the world feels alive.
It’s good to remember the better days.