Archive | memories RSS feed for this section

Chinese Authorities and Underwear

27 Feb

I’m scrolling through a travel journal and reformatting it. It’s from my trip to India, Nepal, and Tibet in 2008. I came across this:

 

I recall reading that, for whatever reason, China doesn’t allow you to bring more than twenty changes of underwear. When I read about that, I imagined what it could be like when a Chinese authority looks through my suitcase.

“You have too much underwear! You are a member of a splittist faction!”

“No, that’s just a rip in the seam.”

“Why you have Dalai Lama pictures in your underwear?”

“I figured of all the places that would least likely get looked at carefully…”

This is so crazy—I’m in Tibet for real! I’d like to take a picture of a yeti, but I won’t be out in the wild, and I doubt a yeti would be circumambulating the Jokhang Temple.

 

Valentine

14 Feb

When I was an undergraduate, on Valentine’s Day I was once in a little office with two or three other students, and we were all collating papers for something that escapes my memory. We may have, in addition to sorting the papers into a certain order, folding them and slipping them into envelopes and then sealing said envelopes; certainly, I’ve done that kind of volunteer work for nonprofits.

Since it was Valentine’s Day, the other students were sad that they didn’t have dates. Much as I’ve always loved romantic nineteenth-century literature, even back then I was happy to be single, but I kept that to myself.

We agreed that having chocolate would be a great consolation. One, maybe two, of us went to a supermarket and came back with a gallon of the most hedonistic chocolate ice cream they could find, probably Rocky Road.

About twenty-five years later, this month I was at a supermarket and spotted Coconut Bliss non-dairy ice cream for sale and bought myself not one but two pints of Chocolate Fudge Brownie (and finished one pint before Valentine’s Day). Thus, I’m continuing a tradition of pretending to feel lonely on Valentine’s Day, so I can indulge in my chocolate addiction.

Meanwhile, the anniversary of my dad’s birthday is coming up on February 16th. That only occurred to me yesterday. Bereavement anniversaries bring… things… up. “Things” often meaning a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes. Memories are another thing. I shouldn’t suppress grief but should mindfully observe it, or so I tell myself. Still, I might do something self-indulgent that day, such as watch a movie or attend a ghost convention.