In Which I am like Fanny Price

Well today’s the last day before I head back to Wheaton College.  It started with a lazy wake-up from a dream that ended like this:

After some events which I forgot immediately after I woke up, I was walking up a staircase to the second floor of someones house. I look up to see a bird perched on a wall lamp. I reach the top of the stairs and walk down a narrow hallway balcony. I’m about to open the door when a white raven flies in front of me. It turns it’s head to me and it’s head is no longer a bird’s but humanesque, fringed by feathers. I extend my arm hoping it’ll land there. Instead, it gives me a talon to shake. It feels suspiciously like a human hand, firm and thick.

Then I hear my grandma’s voice and I wake up to the 10th of January.

Around noon my grandma and I finally left the house to walk to a ‘Hong Kong’ grocery market, or so it was labeled. Icicles were dripping and gutters gurgling outside. The streets are clear enough but only parts of the sidewalks have been made slush and snow-free by residential snow shoveling. We trekked and sloshed and crunched over these perilous pathways. At one point we were walking under train tracks and edges of the sidewalks were splattered with mounds of droppings from birds that roosted in the metal beams overhead.

The market was new experience. I’m not sure if I expected a clean-cut grocery store or a dingy shop with everything labeled in sharpie markers and in non-english. It was much larger than the four or five aisle chinese grocery store I’d been in the day before yesterday but nearly as big any H-marts I’d been in. The high walls were covered in two types of wallpaper, white clouds on sky blue and white bricks with ivy patches. I could not help almost gagging at times because of the rigorous and some unfamiliar scents. I forget sometimes how pungent asian supermarkets can be especially in the variety of alive and fresh to frozen sea foods available. The dried roots, fungus, and herbs all have their own strong aromas. The vegetables, fruits, and countless types of grains were not smelly but they weren’t always the most attractively displayed merchandise either.

I started getting a migraine after that olfactory overload -the dried licorice really knocked me up, making me walk a little woozily through aisles while trying to soak in all my surroundings. I was glad to get back out into the fresh air, albeit it was a bit cold. After trudging around some more and failing to find a nearby place for coffee we headed back home. I was feeling tired even though it had only been about an hour of exploring. My headache and weak legs reminded me of Fanny Price from Mansfield Park. Indeed, I have become quite the weakling these past few weeks.

On our way home, when we walked under the train track again, this time in the opposite side of the street, we passed by a dead bird. It was too dark to tell what kind it was but it looked like a dirty sparrow or some other songbird. I asked my grandma, “Do you think it died from old age?” to which my grandma said(in Korean), “It might’ve freezed to death. If people can freeze then of course birds could also die from freezing.”

Back home, aside from much eating, we watched Moulin Rouge and the latest episode of Agents of SHIELD. We also played Phase 10, one of my grandma’s favorite family card games. Although I’d practically creamed everyone in that game all but one of the times before, today was not that day of victory (but who really cares about winning that kind of card game?)

Now I am even more weak and tired. I must go to sleep for as I mentioned before, I currently feel as though I have the fitness of Fanny Price. Also, it’s late and the rest of the house slumbers. Tomorrow my brother and I head back to school and my dear grandma flies back to New York. Goodbye lazy days and hello planner.


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