My Favourite, Animated Alex

My family is pretty superstitious, like ‘don’t book a flight or do anything major on the 19th’ kind of superstitious. My Dad’s unlucky number is ’19’. He has suffered broken bones, almost boarded a flight which ended up crashing (all passengers and crew members died), had his family’s barn burn down in flames, signed contracts which ended up failing… The list goes on. The frequency of unfortunate events on the 19th of any month made it clear to us that these weren’t just ‘coincidences’.

We woke up as a family on the 19th of August, slightly wary and nervous of the day to come. Breakfast was slightly tense, but I was unusually calm — I had plans to meet Alex that afternoon.

Time with Alex was hilarious and at the same time heartwarming, as usual, but what caught me off guard, though, was how amazing the rest of the day continued to be for me, even after we parted ways. Has the ‘curse/ jinx’ been lifted?

Over delicious lunch (and dessert for Alex), we drowned ourselves in updates of each other — my Europe gallivanting with Miriam, her 2-month exchange in UC Berkeley (thank You for the ‘how to survive dorm life’ tips!), exciting yet nerve-wracking changes going to happen in my schooling life 😧, Alex’s revelation that wearing yoga pants/ exercise tights ALL THE TIME feels pretty darn incredible (I believe harem pants would be a valid alternative), and that both of us desperately needed to treat our severely sun-scorched hair (update: we’ve taken care of that).

“Also Nat, I got a few things for you. I know you’re into sustainable living so I’ve bought you a MODGY (Modern Edgy Design) collapsible vase, some Sprout herb pencils which by the way You have to plant within a year… yeah they told me that after I bought them… a postcard of San Francisco I found quirky and thought You might love, and a wooden laser-carved keychain of the state of California.”

Thank You for everything, my dear friend who is ever thoughtful.

Leaving Project Acai, Alex’s dessert location, ‘clang, bang bang!’, Alex’s chair toppled over as she got up from it and landed on her foot! We could barely control our giggles. Oh Alex! 😀

Before we parted, we tried to take normal selfies, but decided we loved the goofier one featured above more.

I went to Star Vista to get my hair treated while she went to Woodlands to do the same — we promised to send each other the ‘After’ results.

The hair treatment included a neck and shoulder massage. I was given 7 A6-sized flash cards, each one of them bearing the colour and symbol of a chakra. “Choose the colour and symbol you feel most comfortable with at this point in your life,” I was instructed. I chose ‘7’, the Crown Chakra, Sahasrara.

The card read: ‘Chakra 7 is the center of connecting to something greater than oneself and expressing wisdom and enlightenment. When the crown chakra is balanced, one feels strong, unclouded and joy for life.’

“What does this mean? That my 7th chakra is unbalanced?” I asked. She nodded, smiling meekly. With all the changes going on right now, I thought it seemed appropriate that I wasn’t feeling strong, unclouded or infinitely joyful. Hmm.

She proceeded to take the 7th Chakra scent spray and spritz it around me as she told me to inhale and exhale slowly, and intentionally. A neck and shoulder massage followed, my most relaxed moments from the past month.

I walked out of the salon with lighter, bouncier, straighter hair. Not a frizzy strand in sight and I felt confident. I passed by a little pushcart with Indian clothing for display and laid my eyes on a beautiful pink, swirly patterned and intricately embroidered long-sleeved shirt, but it was sized M. What started as ‘Do You have it in size S?’ ended up becoming a conversation about how I could pass off as a North Indian (really?), how ‘Dads are good, husbands are not’ (I’m still unsure about what she meant), how she doesn’t have children but has an adorable corgi, and how she pays S$2000/ month rent for her pushcart. She told me she’d be back the next day with S (she had one back at home). ‘I’ll be here from 11.30am tomorrow, but no no let’s just say 12pm because I usually am a little late!’ (Update: I went back the next day. ‘”Hi!” I chirped, unknowingly waking her up from a nap she reasons to have taken because it was too humid to even stay awake to read her book! I introduced her to Mum and she said, “You’re as excited and sweet-hearted as your daughter, so nice meeting you!” Mum ended up buying 2 shirts for herself too.) :’)

I walked into Cold Storage and ended my day in the best possible way: I met ‘the banana uncle’ and he gave me a bunch of ripe bananas at 50%. If that wasn’t enough, I saw dehydrated banana chewies on the ‘Reduced for sale’ rack and snagged both packets off the shelves.

Bliss.

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