pleasant surprise

Today’s lunch was unplanned, though I had been wanting to tuck into some Thai tom yum noodles for some time. This particular brand from Thailand is the best of the instant ones that I’ve tried thus far, and it is available only at Asian grocery shops around here. Coles, Woolworths and IGA don’t stock this brand. Right, so you may well ask me, “Why don’t you just go and get it then?” The answer may be strange, but it is a regular feature in my thought life. I needed processing time – to strategise, plan and concretise the act. Especially because of the unique situation presented to me in this case, trying to juggle the internal juxtapositional projections of Self and Other.

OK, about Self: I am autistic. I usually dislike surprises. I prefer to plan ahead of time, mull through and chew on ideas, concepts and the what-have-you thingummies associated with every single event in the day, week, month etc. This, of course, is called “over thinking” in neurotypical-speak. Yes, I am not unaware that many autistic people do become mired in the bog of their own looping thoughts, but so do some neurotypicals. From my own personal thought-experiences, it is really largely about channeling one’s energies and mental efforts. Easier said than done, of course, and the battle can be fiercer than any fairytale struggle with evil dragons.

Then there are things to think about where it comes to Other:Β There is an Asian grocery shop nearby that I have been buying my Asian foodstuff from. The lady behind the counter is a stroppy, grouchy middle aged Chinese woman with big hair and a snarly voice. She is the reason I have been thinking through and hesitating at the idea of bringing Lucy to the shop. I didn’t want a confrontation, even though I know I have the legal rights to bring my service dog to most public establishments, so long as I comply with the regulations regarding service animals, of course.

Today’s final resolution? Well, this morning, we were once again walking past that area (as we have done countless times already), and I decided I should take the proverbial bull by the horns and just go inside! Even then, it wasn’t completely an act of impulse. I must admit I spent a couple of minutes going through the movements in my mind and planning the script for the impromptu scenario.

In we stepped, across the haloed threshold, flanked by large bags of rice on the left and toilet paper on the right. I greeted the lady, and told her I have my service dog with me, I know she is allowed to shop with me inside, but I will tie her to the railing just by the counter today, out of consideration and in case she is afraid of big dogs. What happened next took me completely by surprise.

The lady let out a loud squeal, jumped out from behind the counter, and rushed towards Lucy, making high pitched gushing goo-goo-ga-ga sounds, declaring in Chinese (putonghua / mandarin) how much she adores doggy-woggies! I was almost embarrassed after I got over the shock of it all, I had never seen this lady smile before today and it somehow seemed surreal! πŸ˜€

Anyhow, it was lovely to meet with a positive response when I was expecting to have to fight my way through the ordeal. I did end up picking up more than I had intended.

Being met with positivity, albeit unexpected, made my morning. We trotted home with bouncy steps, I was most energised and raring to attack the day with vim and vigour. I even managed to do some sowing and pottering in the balcony, and baked a batch of parmesan cheese okra slices for teatime snacking (with olive oil, garlic powder, chilli powder and some sambal chilli paste).

Once again, Lucy has opened doors that I never thought existed. And yes, we will be back!

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2 thoughts on “pleasant surprise

  1. I could absolutely FEEL your mental anxiety and preparation and delay… WHAT an exhilerating outcome!! I have to say I am proud of you for leaping at that bull!
    Now I know that a negative experience (like the one for you and the doctor, with dear Lucy) looms so large, way larger than is even abnormally NT reasonable – well it would for me – in terms of forthcoming events, so I HOPE this positive one will go a long way towrads balancing that out!

    By the way, your foodie adventures have prodded my very dormant sensory foodie self into some action again πŸ™‚
    Yesterday I wanted to use sweet potato, steamed, leftover chicken that had absorbed the flavour of Chinese 5 Spice, and leftover sauerkraut (yep German hubby) so how on earth was I going to do that so that it would blend? And what did I have that was green?

    So, the green? Young leek, fried lightly in a touch of olive oil, to which I added the shredded chicken, and dark green fresh parsley, the latter rocked fine under a double blade.
    The binder for all? Double thick Greek yoghurt, YUM! I mixed a good few dollops into the chicken mixture (and some more into the mouth) just before serving, and plopped it on to the steaming sweet potatoes, sauerkraut at the side.
    I have to say it was delicious!
    Hubby? Not sure if he really liked it or not. I am never sure, but his plate was clean. It’s always clean… πŸ™‚

    • Awww, your hubby is a hero! I actually do love Greek yoghurt, it seems to go well with so many things. Glad my foodie adventures have set off a few of your own too. And yes, I am quite chuffed and that shop has won our loyalty for sure! πŸ˜€

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