Random Musings – Part 1 – People watching at the Plaza

So I am a writer. Jeff Goins the author from my writing course said that I can call myself that. Which feels weird having not yet published my book. The very fact that I felt the need to explain why I was calling myself a writer shows how insecure I feel about saying that out loud.

We digress.

As a writer, there are times when you feel a certain constipation.

Not one which can be rectified with a satisfying visit to the toilet, but the type of blockage that can only be unplugged with a break and a fresh breath of inspiration.

I am writing on a topic at the moment which involves a lot of self-reflection and deep contemplation, which is rather exhausting. After three hours of writing, I needed a mental break and some stimulation from the outside world. So I headed out, clad in my Asian fake Gucci fur shoes, my oversized $5 white blouse from the op shop down the road and my stripy hippy pants.

Glancing in the mirror I decided I either looked ridiculously wealthy and eccentric, or unemployed and mentally unstable.

Never the less I feel justified in my new found identity as a writer, which makes me a creative which entitles me to wear whatever I want to and call it art.

The shopping Plaza is walking distance from the house so I set off on my little outing

The Plaza

I don’t know if you have ever gone out to the local shopping mall at 11 15 on a Tuesday morning. I hadn’t before today. But I can tell you right now, it is prime, and I mean prime people watching time!!

As I wondered down the hill of my house towards the shop I come across an older lady waiting with two high kitchen stools. It seems she has just purchased them from the salvation army a few metres back.

I came to the conclusion that this was an impromptu decision as she was waiting by the side of her the road with her two stools.

As I came near to where she was standing her husband pulled up in the car, looking mighty unimpressed. Poor man, it seemed from the conversation she went out for a little stroll, like I did, and here he was lugging what was clearly unwanted furniture into the boot of his car. The expression on his face showed he would not have cared what kind of bargain his wife got, or how much money he saved. All he cared about was the fact that he had to pick his wife up on the side of the road, load two large kitchen stools into the boot which now wouldn’t close and drive home illegally with ugly unwanted furniture. Quite an amusing display to watch unfold.

I reach the carpark of the mall, and come across two Asian ladies in their sixties. They look like sisters and are loading their car with groceries. Well one of the sisters are. The other is leaning on the boot of her car eating an almond and chocolate coated magnum. The whole scenario was fascinating for a number of reasons. Firstly because she was so excited about eating her magnum that she couldn’t wait until the groceries were packed into the car. She had to eat it immediately. Secondly she couldn’t eat the ice-cream and help her sister unload the groceries at the same time.

She had to eat with single minded concentration on the chocolatey goodness of the magnum.

Thirdly you will rarely see an Asian eating a Magnum. That is out of character. So I can only conclude that this was probably on special. In fact it was most definitely on special. How do I know this? Because they are Asian and will buy things opportunistically if it is a bargain. How can I say this? Because I too am Asian, and that is how we roll. On special? Let’s buy two. Never used it or eaten it in my life, but who cares? We are saving a 99 cents!

My final observation and the one that warmed my heart the most was the other sister was graciously unpacking on her own while her sibling ate an ice-cream leaning against the car watching her. Her sister doing all the work didnt appear in the least bit bothered. Like it happened all the time. Cute. There is always one dreamer in the family who likes to stare into the sky enjoying life and eating ice-cream while the others work. Every family has one.

Meeting the Prime Minister?

As I start to cross the crossing into the shops, a car, clearly not impressed with my pace speeds ahead as I walk half a metre or so onto the crossing. He was in a hurry. Perhaps he had to catch a flight to meet the Prime Minister. That’s why he was in such a hurry. He couldn’t possibly wait the 1 minutes longer it would have taken for me to cross the crossing. When you are very busy and important you simply do not have time to wait at a crossing for people to cross like everyone else.

Heading into the shops to the little Asian nail place I settle in the chair, and my cute little Vietnamese nail technician deftly removes my nail polish with single minded attention and care.

Five times she asked me if she is hurting me. She is so gentle I feel like I am getting a massage. She counsels me in her broken English that my nails are in poor condition and are uneven. She expertly applies new nail polish for my French manicure with such precision and care that I think to myself she would make an excellent surgeon. I am reminded once again of the incredible opportunity that we have in this country to become whoever we want to be. I wonder had she been giving the same opportunities presented to us Australians everyday what she would have chosen to be. I am inspired once again as I watch her complete my nails with more care than I have seen from surgeons in the operating theatre. She is a great example of doing all things with a spirit of excellence. She was adorable.

I paid for my nails making sure to heap praise on my new Vietnamese friend who tells me I pronounced her name ‘perfectly.’ She had a huge smile from ear to ear at my obvious delight at the outcome of my nails. As I step outside it is clearly now lunch time and the smells of the various cuisines meet my nostrils. People around were all purchasing their lunch for the day I made a mental observation of what different kinds of people ate.

Food Fiesta

A very fit looking 40 year old man sat on one of the benches in the middle of the shopping aisle. He was clad in his business attire talking on the phone. In his arm he had a big bag of frozen broccoli and a block of dark 70% cocoa chocolate. Was he literally going to heat up some broccoli and than eat chocolate? SO random.

I wandered by brumbies to see if they had any free samples for me to try (I love free samples, again… Asian). A very large lady was buying four various types of pull apart cheesy loaves and stuffing them into her bag. Even if that was a few days worth it was a lot of refined flour right there. Brumbies has a lot to answer for in my opinion. However I do feel a bit hypocritical even writing that as I was walking past only to help myself to the free samples.

Not very Christian of me.

As I go past the bakery I walk past an Indian man purchasing four bags full of what looked like some sort of meat on the bone. It looked a lot like goat actually. Yeah he knows what’s up. If you are a true cook you would know the best kind of curry comes from meat cooked on the bone. It adds so much flavour to the curry. And also Indians always buy in bulk. Hence the four bags full. They are incredibly hospitable people and cook enough to feed the entire neighbourhood and beyond. Trust me. My family are a prime example. Always catering for 100 instead of the 10 people coming for dinner.

The final shrimp

On my way out of the shop I pass the seafood store and they have fresh seafood on one side and deep fried assortment of things on the other. There are various people purchasing large pieces of deep fried fish, weird looking elongated shaped morsels dipped in batter and deep fried. I can assure you that the customers did not look young and fit. This may sound judgemental; however I am a doctor, and I have seen enough heart disease for fish and chips to make me angry on the inside. Come on Australia, we can do better.

Okay I need to calm down. Now I look like an angry brown, eccentric/weirdly dressed small child who is staring at the people in the fish and chip line. Enough. Walking out of the store and climbing up the hill to my house I can safely say that my writers block is over. It would be impossible for a writer to have writers block after being exposed to such a melting pot of interesting people each on their own fascinating journey at the Mt Gravatt Plaza!

Who would have thought. Mt Gravatt plaza at a lunch time on a Tuesday.

Where writers block ends and inspiration springs again.

Until next time,

You are deeply loved and richly cherished, (unless you are eating fish and chips, then I am angry with you.)

Christine Greenwood

The Healthy Hiccup

4 thoughts on “Random Musings – Part 1 – People watching at the Plaza

  1. Krystal Turner says:

    You are amazing!
    I absolutely love how you write and see the world x

    1. Christine says:

      I love YOU Krystal! XO

  2. Shennie says:

    Now I’m angry with myself for eating fish and chips at the beach yesterday! 😉

  3. Chantelle says:

    Laughed out loud x

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