Trusty routines in new times

A friend from primary school paid me a visit recently. He soon found out that at my house, there are a couple of things that are almost set in stone. Meals for example. 

Breakfast’s a peanut-butter sandwich with a tall glass of milk, followed by a cup of coffee. Lunch is a luxury best avoided. Around six though, you can count on a stew with a basis of onion and tomato, with a generic vegetable and a sliver of meat to boot. It’s to be eaten with more bread of course. Monday through Sunday, summer through spring, it’s the same. 

To spare him the ordeal, however, we ate out instead. An East Asian restaurant, at his insistence. To someone with my culinary imagination (or more precisely, the lack thereof), the bowl of soup we settled on was nothing short of an illuminating experience.The first spoonful was all it took for me to realise that I’d been living for months under the dietary equivalent of a large rock.

The next day proved to be just as illuminating. As we walked about exploring the city, he’d often stop and take pictures. Stood next to him waiting, I began to notice how photogenic Old Grunn is. Whether it be the golden-leaved beeches at the Martinikerkhof, or the coloured houses at Rietdiephaven. To think I’d walked by these places for years without having stopped to take a look!

To think I’d walked by these places for years without having stopped to take a look!

If there’s ever been cause to sit up and take notice, it’s been the last year and a half. With the spanner now mostly out of the works, I found myself faced with a choice. Return to the old ways of spending countless hours online, avoiding company when convenient, and studying half-heartedly through the week, just waiting to while away Thursday evening at ‘the kroeg’– or not.

It often takes someone to shine a light before you figure out you’re stuck in a rut. To stay there after you’ve found out though, is a clear sign of madness. Perhaps it’s finally time to step out of the internet, and stretch out the hand to real people. Why not press the most out of the wealth of knowledge and experience that’s ours for the taking?

Visit at an end, I walked him to the station and bade him farewell. I rose late the next morning, savouring being on my own clock again. Instinctively, I reached for the bread and its trusty nutty topping- it’s not all that bad, surely?

HRYDAI SAMPALLY

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