Regret in NYC

The AMNH was wonderful except their cafeteria, I reported to Hubbie when I got back to our hotel. ‘What was wrong with them?’ he asked me with his eyes firmly fixed to his MacBook screen. While sipping a cup of tea with much less milk than I normally preferred (the room service never brought us enough milk), I recounted how their tills weren’t well managed so it created confusion and a very long queue with gruntled looking diners, how terrible their coffee and sandwich were, how the fluorescent lighting in their basement cafeteria made the atmosphere clinical and depressing and how tired looking families with trays were circling around the overcrowded dining area like shoals of fish. The only thing to save the situation for me was the staff at the cashier being very smiley and pleasant, and being able to find a table (though sharing with others) with relative ease because I was on my own. No disrespect intended to the AMNH, but I found dining experience at the Natural History Museum London far superior with the quality of foods and atmosphere to the transatlantic counterpart. I appreciate that visitors to the museum are more likely to be mainly families with young children and they may not be necessarily looking for anything too fancy or sophisticated. Still, their exciting day out lunch at the AMNH doesn’t have to be drab and slapdash, I thought.

Blue sky above SOHO…

We were blessed with terrific summery weather during our stay in NYC. Even though poor Hubble was confined to air conditioned rooms in Midtown due to his workload and therefore didn’t taste it much, I was set free into the city which was sweltering under the baking sunshine and the heat emitted from the wall mounted air conditioning units.

One major drawback of being on my own in the Big Apple I found with huge regret was having to eat my lunch alone. As I walked through Little Italy, the populace were enjoying alfresco lunch laid out on the tables with red gingham check tablecloths and I genuinely admired the scenery. It is true that the restaurants wouldn’t have minded if I were solo or not but I found the prospect of having to sit at the table alone too much a venture, especially my mood was still unpredictable after Mr.B’s death. So I had to avert my gaze and to move on. It was so sad that I had to give it a miss to all those amazing restaurants which were jam packed in the city because of Hubbie’s murderous work schedule. He was simply too tired to smarten himself up for a proper dinner service and I didn’t have a heart to insist on it. Beside, we were still mentally fragile about Mr.B and knew in our heart that we wouldn’t be a good dinner companion for each other. So most of our meals, alas, were brought to our room by room service and we ate them on our bed. As we munched on, we also channel-surfed the American TV programmes. The talk of the town then was of course about them…

And also about the Fourth of July and Pokémon Go which was about to be released in NYC.

The holiday was meant to be an antidote to mend my broken heart. However, we learnt it was not a very straightforward affair…

Kaori by Kaori Okumura

 

American Museum of Natural History

Poor Hubbie didn’t see much of NYC. He spent the most of our 6 days in the city holing up in our hotel room, hunching over his MacBook and cursing a slow internet connection. ‘Sorry for not being a very good company for you’, he lamented apologetically. I reassured him that he shouldn’t be concerned about me because I was going to visit American Museum of Natural History after our room service breakfast.

Down a very very slow escalator at Rockefeller Center…

Our time in the Big Apple coincided with a festive period leading up to the Fourth of July weekend. Everywhere in Manhattan was busy with teeming holidaymakers and the museum was no exception. After walking through a security check, I joined another queue for ticketing machines.

Probably the most famous exhibit of the museum, a giant Blue whale…

A fibreglass model of the 94-foot-long female blue whale was suspended from the ceiling of the Hall of Ocean Life. The size of it was awe inspiring.

The way the specimens were exhibited at the museum was somewhat old-fashioned but also magical…

The specimens were skilfully placed in front of amazingly effective trompe l’oeils behind the glazing. They were so lifelike and spine tingling…

The best exhibits for me were these…

So melancholic and poetic. Their life was captured in an old-fashioned wooden cabinet like a message in a bottle.

Life comes in all sizes, colours and shapes…

The museum reminded me that the planet was still full of wonderful creatures and objects. However, we aren’t doing far far little to protect this jewel called Earth, I thought.

Kaori by Kaori Okumura

Big Apple

After Mr.B passed away, Hubbie and I struggled to live with a huge hole in our hearts. Everywhere we looked was just a shadow of the life before Mr.B’s departure. We often found ourselves almost drowning under the sea of our tear and the only way to keep our heads above the water was to cling to each other like a life raft. 

Then, Hubbie had to visit New York late June for a quick project which he couldn’t say no and he was very concerned about me being left on my own in London. ‘Come with me. A change of scenery will do good for both of us’. 

So here I was, in the middle of Midtown, NYC…

Cacophony of honking horns! An inimitable noise of the streets of New York. Initially, I was a little taken aback by the way it was administered liberally by the drivers. A little too blatant and provocative, I thought. Then, I got used to it very quickly and started to jaywalk between the traffic like the rest of New Yorkers…

Kaori by Kaori Okumura

Growning pain

Bella is doing really well. She is growing fast and as she grows older, her power of destruction multiplies!


Bella is like a magpie. She carries off all sort of things, some of them are larger than her to a sofa. By the way, the steps by the sofa used to belong to Mr.B. One of the few items we kept for the memory of him. I still get very upset when I see his photographes. Bella is a great help when comes to cheer me up though.

We have started her house training since all the vaccinations have been completed. I take her out every 2 hours but she hasn’t grasped the concept just yet…

In her mind, hitting a pavement means meeting her adoring public and sunbathing. I wish if I could explain to her that it also involves doing her business and WALKING…

Kaori by Kaori Okumura

Costly lesson

I talked to Bella as I placed a plate of breakfast in front of her, ‘I look forward to checking what kind of No.2 you produce this morning, Bella’. Yes, she was having a bit of tummy problem since Tuesday night because of my carelessness. 

Ok, let me explain what happened.

Last Tuesday night was Bella’s second puppy class and we were there to practice basic commands, such as “sit” and “down”. During the previous class, she didn’t show much interest in her treat (or bribe) because she was a bit overwhelmed by the cacophony created by a pair of very raucous Shiba pups. However this time, she was more confident and was eating through a small amount of treats I brought very quickly. Then, she gobbled the last morsel halfway through the lesson and I had nothing to entice her anymore. Like any normal puppy, she got bored very quickly and started to distract other puppies, who were practicing the commands, by hopping around them and inviting them to truant! ‘She can have our treat if you like’, a couple who were working with their pup next to us gave me a small handful of kibbles. Bella seemed to be liking the treat very much and therefore I resumed her training and she ended up eating them all. If I had a crystal ball and foresaw what would happen in a few hours time, I would never have fed the treat which was for a puppy who was a lot bigger than Bella and 2 weeks older than her…

During our journey home on a bus, Bella was extra fidgety and vocal. She was whining loudly all the way which was embarrassing to say the least. I kept my back towards the rest of the passengers and praying for the bus to speed up or for Bella to shut up. Eventually, we alighted at Angel station and I walked to another bus stop on City Road while clutching wriggly Bella under my arm. The way she threw her tiny body time to time was so ferocious, I nearly dropped her which made my heartbeat skip! There were a few people waiting for a bus and they were very much amused by the sight of me trying to calm Bella down. ‘How old is your pup?’ A girl with funky glasses asked me. I told her that Bella had just passed an 11 weeks mark. The time was well passed 9:30pm and the buses we were waiting for were nowhere to be seen. So we chatted away to kill our time. Then, I smelt a distinctive odour of No.2. Oh no, don’t tell me she has done it. I looked down and I saw a long piece of poo on my Repetto! As I scrambled for a piece of kitchen roll in my bag to clean up the mess, the girl blurted out, ‘Oh my god, your shirt!’ Ugh, the poo was also deposited on my shirt. Poor Bella was desperate for poo. She was telling me how urgent it was all the way while I wrongly assumed she was being tired and cranky. Sure enough, Bella went very quiet after relieving herself and I felt really bad for her.

Bella: ‘I was trying to tell you but you didn’t listen’…

I am so sorry, Bella.

The repercussions of feeding her unsuitable treat surfaced as soon as we arrived home. She produced very loose stool all over the floor and ended up being taken to a vet next morning. I was told to feed her special tinned dog food for upset tummy and to administer medication twice a day. Thankfully, her appetite seemed to be unaffected by the condition and she was scoffing delicious diet of chicken and rice. However for me, having to be vigilant all day and night against loose poo attacks was pretty stressful. Rubber gloves, a disinfectant spray and kitchen rolls were never far away. 

Then, she yielded an almost ok looking No.2 this morning and Hubbie and I were overjoyed. We were never this happy to see a piece of doggie poo.

I swear I will feed Bella what I know for sure ONLY…

Kaori by Kaori Okumura

 

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