Tuesday, January 3, 2006

oh jubilant day

It is a truly lovely sunny day here, so even though I arose sniffling and feeling sick, and also because my contents of the fridge amounted to a container of old oatmeal and some really gone orange juice, I went downtown for groceries. I took the bus, and about halfway down the route the bus driver at the front yelled back to an old man in the middle of the bus.

"The band was a half hour late starting New Year's, Fred!"

Fred couldn't really hear him, so the driver repeated himself. Then he said,

"I couldn't start til you got there, Fred!" Fred said something in an Italian accent and raised his hands a little.

Once I got downtown, I walked to Aura Whole Foods and bought some things. The wooden floors and tall windows of that store were glorious in the sunshine. As I shopped in the bulk aisles I eavesdropped on the nutritionist and his conversation with a tall, grey-haired man. They were discussing vitamins, and how we get nutrients from fresh vegetables. The nutritionist is a short man with a curly grey ponytail who is often heard expounding on the virtues of a certain vitamin from his desk at the back of Aura. Listening to the two men converse as I bagged my raisins and sunflower seeds gave me a small piece of joy.

From there I made my way on the ice and salt-encrusted sidewalk to Victory Meat Market, and asked the butcher what cut of chicken would be best for making soup. "Come with me," he said, leading me over to the case where he poked a bag of chicken bones and breast meat. "This is what you want, that's the best right there." "Thank you very much," I said, only it must have come out "Dank you berry much," because as he briskly walked away he said, "And good luck with that cold."

Waiting for the bus, a friend from school wandered by. I shouted his name as I usually do from across the cafeteria and he came over. "I didn't recognize you in your new hat," he said. I proudly patted the felt hat atop my head and sniffled. Shortly after he went on his way and I on mine.

So now I'm back in my house, making chicken soup from scratch. Tomorrow's the first day back, and between now and then I'm going to continue relaxing and enjoying Fredericton's sun. It is a lovely little city, even if it's not Cape Breton (which I'm trying hard not to miss, and failing). At least now I have groceries, and my warm apartment to enjoy them in.

Sniffle, sniffle.

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