Saturday, October 11, 2008

Bye, Bye Baltimore

The picture, taken by John, is the Pride of Baltimore -- a modern re-creation of the famous Baltimore clipper, aka topsail schooner. These speedy ships were used to run blockades during the Revolutionary War, as well as during the Late Unpleasantness (aka the Civil War.)

John and I had hoped to visit Baltimore's Aquarium today, but on hearing that the crowds would be major on this holiday weekend, we decided to head home a day early. So I put in my hour as 'hostess' in the Bouchercon Hospitality Room, setting out granola bars , yoghurt, bottled water, and juice. The food was free (part of the Bcon package) and Sisters in Crime volunteers were the organizers and helpers for this much-appreciated amenity

We're somewhere in Virginia tonight and will be home tomorrow. I'm ready.

One more thing. Tonight we ate at a Chinese restaurant in some anonymous mall. I spent most of my time watching a little scene going on at a two nearby tables

At a little table at the back, two Chinese boys -- one around six, the other maybe ten -- were playing with some electronic game. Next to them was a Caucasian family -- Mom, Dad, blond baby girl in a highchair, and a very chubby boy -- probably also around ten. This boy was struggling to eat with chopsticks.

As the rest of his family chowed down with the aid of forks and fingers, the chubby boy struggled to make the fiendish Oriental implements do his bidding. I held my breath when, after several fumbled attempts, the boy actually brought a piece of what looked like General Tso's chicken almost to his lips. Victory in reach, he opened his mouth and the food fell. Undaunted, he tried again and again.

By now, the two Chinese youngsters were stealing covert glances at this little drama and exchanging quiet looks of self-satisfaction.

Pretty quickly the older boy lost interest and went back to his game but the younger one was fascinated and openly staring. The baby girl noticed him and started waving. And then the younger Chinese boy began to make silly faces that made her laugh and wave all the more.

Meanwhile, Mom was on her cell phone, talking as she ate; Dad was eating steadily; and the chubby boy was still using the chopsticks. He had discovered that he could stab the bits of chicken and was doing so, a chopstick in each hand.

I would have loved to take pictures of all this . . .
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Nora D said...

Vicky, I just found your blog. So beautiful and so wonderul to see what you're up to.

Vicki Lane said...

Nora! As I told Joanne in an email last night, isn't the Internet amazing!

I plan to do a post soon on your work with a link to the article and the beautiful website. I'm sure the folks who read my blog will feel, as I did, an immediate connection with their sisters in Africa.

Tammy said...

There is so much 'drama' all around us, if we only open our eyes. What a fun observation. Your trip sounds so wonderful, but I can understand the 'ready to be home'. I took a little day trip the other day, and now, I think I've 'heard it all'! I was waiting for a stall in the bathroom of a fastfood place, and some lady got a call on her cell phone...and proceeded to ,er, sit in her stall and conduct an entire, long conversation, with toilets flushing all around! hoooo boy....

Vicki Lane said...

These little everyday dramas are one reason I encourage my writing students always to carry a notepad with them -- to record moments like this for possible later use.