Stress, frustrations, anger.
There has been a growing appearance that tempers are short, confusion has heightened, fear is everywhere.
Conversations that begin with, “Have you noticed lately…?”
It doesn’t seem to take much, as there is much that is happening.
Friday July 8th Rogers experiences an outage and you know the rest. A day of inconvenience. For some slight and for others far greater.
I tend to continue on and allow for the experience of the day. Ran an errand and paid cash. Chose to postpone getting gas as no internet meant I’d forfeit points. Points means a lot these days when it either provides a discount in gas or money towards groceries.
Saturday life had returned to being able to connect and communicate for the most part.
Depositing an E-Transfer remained a problem, so off I went for gas. Of course the price had jumped from $1.76 to $1.82.
But I have a CAA membership which gives a discount at Shell stations. I pump my gas, go inside and the attendant informs me that although it is Shell gas, they are not a Shell gas station. Translates into, no discount.
I pay, knowing better for the next time.
I think how all of these situations can test ones ability to remain in a good space.
Now I head for the Kitchener Market and the annoyance begins to subside, as on route the man who dresses as Elvis and walks the streets of the city passed in front of me while I waited for the light to change. He’s still here. I smile for him.
I park my car, walk a few blocks and I”m inside and all is well. I smell fresh bread and the sweetness of strawberries. I have a conversation with a vender about mushrooms, watch little boys munch on raw peppers, and children pass in wagons.
A girl runs by in a purple bohemian skirt. “Love your skirt,” I call out. Over her shoulder she yells back, “Thank you,” and disappears into the crowd.
I enjoy a chat with Nancy at her stand, “Organic Pantry,” where we share, learn and laugh. I had enjoyed her dried mangos, this time I treat myself to prunes. Our visit is a tonic in itself.
I am happy and I head for home.
As I round the corner close to my street I see the price of gas, $1.79. I just paid $1.82! Rats!!
I return to my thoughts of the market.
Two days later I choose the “Passport Experience.”
6:30 am with chair, water, half a bagel and (of course) cream cheese is needed for this occasion and a brief case of entertainment, laptop to write, book to read and phone to play scrabble or solitaire. I take my place in line, outside at the corner of a busy city street.
Fifty people ahead of me and in half an hour fifty people behind me.
It’s summer, but the sun is in hiding and the wind is whipping around the building. I huddle in my chair, pull the hood up on my sweater, wrap my pashmina around me, pull out my book and nestle in for the long haul.
I share conversation with a young woman beside me. We joke about life and this current situation, we take care of each other for bathroom breaks and hold another’s place in line who chooses to head out for coffee.
Four hours later, I’m done. I take the time to thank the associate who provided me with the service and the security staff.
The spirit of the market and the good things in life and humankind takes me through the moments that close up can appear to be absurd and downright annoying.
I award my choice to be happy with a trip to the bakery for a treat and home I go.
I remain human though.
Still not impressed with the Shell gas station that isn’t “really” Shell and the discount I didn’t receive.
But as long as there are markets and strangers who watch out for you and laugh with you, we’ll make it through the Rogers, Gas and Passport experiences.
Humankind is still human and still kind when you remain open to it.
Photos: Internet Articles