Sunday, February 2, 2014

Keeping my "Biker Card"

A     L     O     H     A   !


" - thanks to 

a benevolent arrangement 

the greater part 

of life

 is sunshine. "


Thomas Jefferson


A Fact so obvious
that we easily forget it!








" Cynicism 
is full of 
naive disappointments. "

Mason Cooley 









" Early in life 
I had noticed 
that no event is ever 
correctly reported in 

a newspaper. "


George Orwell


  > <  }  }  ( ° >



People joke that bloggers
blog
about the minutiae of our lives.

Well it's no joke.
Some bloggers DO tell
personal stuff,
or the content of their 
days (including noteworthy
meals, with photos)

But you know what?
I have found that I
really like 
some of the people
who blog (like I do)

In fact, I actually CARE
when they fall on a steep
stair in public transit,
or have a fine drive over
countryside I'll never see,
but that they describe so 
well.

Usually, I stick to my format,
my comfortable niche,
of 3 photos, some chosen
quotes; and if I do add some
point of view, or life experience,
I keeps it short, and as "graspable"
as I can make it
by YOU. Your time
is valuable.
Your visits, gifts I appreciate,
comments, sublime!
We have a real every-day
communion of some sort
Here, in the Comfort Spiral,
and There: at YOUR special
blogsites.

So yesterday on my scooter
I did a needed errand
at JUST the wrong time!  Short version: I got soaking wet, had an adventure, but got home safely, and am feeling SO alive!

I wanted to share with you, and wrote stream of conscious so
here's the ENTIRELY too long version:

Hard to believe that we were a two motorcycle family
 for such a long time. Work, School, social life, groceries.
All on motorcycles.

Looking back, we were the real thing
day in and day out,
particularly after me and a few friends 
started a patch-wearing
women's motorcycle club in Hawaii.

I was a lot younger in the late 80's - 90's,
with more rough edges.

Rain or shine, we got where we had to be,
did what we had to do. On motorcycles.

Yesterday, I learned an important life-lesson
from some ancient Chinese calligraphy
on New Year Red Paper.

For over 20 years, during the New Year Fest,
I have purchased
hand calligraphed lucky red sayings/wishes
from a gentleman at Honolulu's
Chinese Cultural center.
I am always down there multiple times
over the two weekend period of
festival, and this year was no different.

But I dallied in buying my 
red necessities this year!
[They ARE displayed in our home
through the year]

Yesterday was the LAST day of the festival.
Who KNOWS how you contact
these guys the rest of the year!
So I HAD to get that paper 
NOW or Never

(No pre-printed stuff allowed anymore!
we are such NON-Chinese Prima donnas
about this stuff! :)

I had to GET that red paper. 
At LEAST 3 of them
for our purposes.

So on my scooter (motorcycle privileges
and licensing) I set out to Chinatown
confident as always that I would pop
my scoot just into the center where the
local workers park their cycles, scooters, mopeds.

But the rain came.

Soon after I set out.

"Did I used to do this ROUTINELY,
riding in the rain on two wheels?!"

Well of course I did. Why do we feel
invulnerable too far into adulthood?

And of course I needed gas.
In the rain. 
At the gas(petrol) station
local kids with skateboards
wisely waited out the rain
undercover.

But fueled up, I pressed on,
and became what seemed 
at the time:
 "Soaked."

HA!

I used to be a scarcity thinker.
"There's never enough."
But have morphed into an
Abundance Thinker.


" Who knows that 
enough is enough 
will always have 
enough. "
Lao Tzu


I now assume that 
there is a bill or two
larger than a $1 crammed
into my bag.

But when I got parked, and looked
at my cash:
$8 in singles, 
and four Quarters($1 USD)!

 No street food me!

[Street festivals are cash situations,
unlike gas stations/credit cards;
stop waving your gold card around,
jerk]

No trinkets today
appropriate for
the Year of the Wood Horse
(delightfully, my Chinese astrologer
recommends a monkey figurine 
in our bedroom!)

But my calligraphy man was there.
I made it! 

Through wet sunglasses, 
I made my choices from the
tiny print on the list by number:

16, 15, and a number 7.

Two for $5 / $3 Each
which comes to:
yes. $8. 

No street food, no trinkets,
but I would be left
one paper dollar 
to feed any dancing lions
I may encounter!

The lady assisting the calligrapher scholar
accepted my seven single bills, and 4 quarters 
owed.

When I told her how lucky I had enough,
but no jin dui for me,
She,
a Chinese speaking, older woman
(older than me! yay)
in hardscrabble Chinatown
that always reminds me of my own
immigrant grandparents
and small family business, 
and times of hard work 
that frankly most white people 
of my generation know nothing of-

These are my immigrant American
people at heart, and I rarely bargain 
anymore.

(maybe just if the price 
is tourist-outrageous,
or I might do a:

"here's a $10 - 
that item is worth this to me
right now.")

 But I never really haggle
with subsistence capitalists 
at the bottom rung.
It is a privilege
when I can buy something
I need from them.

Anyway, this lady said to me: 
"No money for food?"
And gave me Fifty cents back!

Un-asked and unexpected (!)
but accepted with a 
Gung Hee Fat Choy,
and a She She.

I carefully placed the partially protected
Red Paper Treasures
that will bless our home
for the year,
under the seat of my scoot.

(Now to get safely home)

On the ride home,
the entire ride,
the Heavens Opened Up
For-Reals 
Hawaiian Style!

Silly me, thinking I had been
wet before.

Now I just wanted to get home
in one piece,
so this former taxi driver-

(READ MY BOOK _ YOU'LL
LOVE IT! - too pushy?)

-took to the uncrowded backstreets
away from the crazy people in cars,
and trucks and SUVs.

I was doing good until the
legendary (but forgotten)
"Queen Street Ponds"
that form on the eponymous
street when it RAINS.

 Parts of Queen street are
REALLY, pre-code, OLD- 
Hawaiian Kingdom days, OLD!

So all the fools safe and dry in 
cars (and trucks) splashed about
like water was just the thing
to introduce to your car's engine
compartment!

And it occurred to few of them
that I might not enjoy
well, you get the idea.

I was thoroughly and royally soaked
by street runoff,
in addition to pure Hawaiian rain.

Soaked through. 
"To the skin" as they say,
but it seemed deeper than
that - yuck.

I squeezed my fists
stopped at a red light
and laughed at the water running
out of my gloves!

Good times.

All I could think was:
"I've been a licensed biker
for (mumble) decades now,
but I'm too old (or smart?) 
for THIS crap!"

I'm just
So GRATEFUL that
my trusty scooter
did not stall
in the depths of 
Lake Queen Street
as the squalls lashed
my face;

Grateful that
I am here
safe, Showered,
and dry
sharing the 
Blog-0-Sphere
with YOU!

So the lesson of the scrolls?
"Don't leave things easily done
til the LAST POSSIBLE
moment!"

And the cherry on top
is that the sun came out
after I got home,
and the rest of the day
was dry and lovely.

I just crapped out,
and
burned some Karma
one hopes.


That's my story, and I'm sticking to it.
Tomorrow: back to the spare,
Zen format, campers.               Love, Cloudi





19 comments:

Carol said...

Wow! Between witnessing your diversion from path and being the first commenter, I am on rare ground. Good to hear (all of) you!

Anonymous said...

Hey, thanks for the ride! What an adventure to absorb the history and the weather. Hope it was warm rain. (Note to self: reconsider scooter ride idea on next trip to the Islands.)
Reminded me: The town knew we were in love when we walked from an errand to home (carless)in a long rainstorm with lots of streaming water, not caring at all.
Surely you have more scooter adventures to place in a second book!? DrumMajor

Brian Miller said...

oy i am glad that you made it home, and only soaked through---probably a good learning not to leave it to the last moment...i love street festivals...but you are right, you need money...sometimes people are generous though....

aloha from va

Giga said...

Cytat Mason Cooley podoba mi się, a i pierwsze zdjęcie jest świetne. Pozdrawiam.
Quote from Mason Cooley I like, and even the first picture is great. Yours.

The Weaver of Grass said...

you sure see life over there Cloudia!

TexWisGirl said...

you are an adventurous soul. glad you made it safely and soggily. :)

eViL pOp TaRt said...

Glad that everything turned out well except for the dampness.
\
Sometimes benevolence misses a day.

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

"All's well that ends well."
~

Charles Gramlich said...

I've ridden a motorcycle through the rain. It certainly lets you know you're part of nature and not separate.

Myrna R. said...

It's so nice to hear of your escapade. Nice too that you extract a gratitude lesson from what some may call a crappy experience. I too like hearing details about the lives of my blog friends. Glad you shared yours.

Kay said...

My photographer friend, Dave gave me a video to watch of Dewitt Jones. One of the main things I loved was when he said, "Make life your art." That's what bloggers do. We make our lives our art.

It sure was a super rainy day yesterday. I'm hoping it will be dry on Tuesday when Dennis has to come again on his motorcycle.

Teresa said...

Glad you dried out and had fun, but you never told us if the lucky red paper with calligraphy got damaged in the rain or if you have your chun lien to maintain your luck for the year??? In Taiwan, I kept a poncho in the seat compartment for unexpected downpours, but there's not much you can do against the backspray (upspray?) from the small lakes that form in the roads... Glad you didn't stall out, blogger biker babe ;)

Adam said...

I can imagine Orwell saying that

Karen S. said...

Oh my, am I silly to say, "sounds like another day in paradise to me!" I just knew you'd make it back, (yes my fingers were crossed) rains and all! Of course, I enjoyed your long version, expertly told (although, I kind of feel I might need a towel too) Hehehe. Remember we adore rainy photos too!

Mike said...

One thing I remember Hawaii was the rain sun rain sun rain sun.

Mike said...

about

Cloudia said...

I LOVE YOUR COMMENTS, here!!!!!!
Giggling delightedly reading them

Lisa RedWillow said...

Extraordinary story telling. I was on the edge of my seat. I can not even tell you how much I enjoy each word .It was my pleasure and thank you. I feel honored you shared this.

and rain. I have seen it rain in Hawaii.. maybe thats what it takes sometimes. Beautiful

magiceye said...

:)))) Thank you so much for the ridein the rain and a day in the sun!! C'est la vie!!

Namaste /\ from Mumbai
Aloha!!