humming bird, sunken garden, and plunger


I’ve grown to love my apartment over the last 9 months. There is the view, great neighborhood, easy access to many places, quiet, sunny and warm, … Just this morning, I found something else surprising. So my neighbor on the first floor directly below me has planted a beautiful garden. I didn’t notice it until after having moved in for three months. From my third floor balcony, it’s a beautiful sunken garden. Everyone that visits the balcony is drawn to the view, and then always end up awing and wooing the garden.


While I was having my coffee this morning, I noticed that the blue jades were louder than usual. I walked out onto the balcony, and immediately saw two happy jade-colored humming birds playing in the garden. I quickly grabbed my camera and caught some shots. Not very successful because they were flapping their wings all the time. This one was a tiny piece cropped out of a very large picture.

Anyways, the day went on great… I escaped to Cafe Vivace in the afternoon when the temperature exceeded 80F. Ran into a musician friend who lives in NYC and works in Seattle. We started talking about the difference between East and West coast. She loves Seattle but she can’t leave NYC. She thinks NY girls are friendlier… REALLY?!!! I can’t speak for Seattle girls because I’m not typical. Maybe the milder weather in Seattle has made its people’s temperament milder. Perhaps I will thrive on the East Coast because I’m often too open and direct for Seattlites.

Fast forward to the evening, around 830pm, I was getting ready to go out for a run. I checked the fridge just to see if I needed to get grocery on the way back. Then I saw the duck congee mom had made for me sitting out. I had forgotten to put it in the fridge in this hot weather. It had gone bad. :( What do I do? hm… I took the whole pot and dumped it in the toilet. Fast and easy. But not so fast, the toilet had decided to eject the congee or the duck. It wasn’t clogged but it wasn’t flowing either. Looking around, realized that I hadn’t bought a plunger for this apartment thinking it was temporary. (But how could I not have a plunger after all those bad experiences while traveling in China and driving across the country?!)

… OK, I’ll just buy one on my way home from my run. After my run at Green Lake, I went to Albertsons right across the street, … except it was no longer there. The whole building was torn down. Alright, Whole Foods is on my way home. Went inside, ahhh… whole FOODS, no plunger. Walgreen! Sort of on my way home. “Sorry, we are closed.” Safeway, right across the street. What? Safeway has no plungers? urrhhh…. it was already near 10:30pm.

I went home, knocked on my nice neighbor’s door. “Excuse me, do you have a plunger? My toilet is clogged.” … saw a hesitation on my neighbor’s face. “Oh, it’s nothing major, just some food I tossed in the toilet.” I heard a breath of relief. But after some search, no plunger either. Doesn’t anyone need a plunger these days?!

Went on IM, Pierre, Clarie, do you guys know who still sells plungers at this ungodly hours of the day? “QFC?” both answered. Instead of driving over to QFC, I got smarter; I called them. Of course, I was greeted by the recorded message. “Thank you for calling QFC. We are open 24 hours a day. For bakery, press 1. For deli, please press 2. For meat and fish, press 3. For produce, press 4. For pharmacy, please press 5… For store information, press 7.” Wait, wait… don’t I get the “for all other inquries, please press 0” option? hm… a plunger doesn’t fall into any of the categories. So I pressed 5, thinking well.. pharmacy,… the only non-food category. “Press 1 to fill a prescription, press 2 to … press 0 if you would like to speak with someone.” Press 0. “Sorry. The pharmacy is closed at this hour. Please call again later.” Click.

Finally, at 11pm, I drove out to QFC. And by this point, I had already downed almost 2 liters of water. Having a functional toilet was becoming more pressing. Ran into the store, saw a gun unpacking a crate of cereals. “Excuse me, sir, do you have any plungers.” A big smile swelled up on the guy’s face,”Sure. They are right down this aisle. In fact, we have three kinds!” … “The deluxe version, the black and the cheap brown one. You might want to get the brown one.”

So I bought the cheap brown version, with the screwed on top that looked like it might pop off into the toilet, end up with an even more unpleasant mess. But hey, I only need it just this once.

Sure enough, you pay for what you get. The cheap plunger head didn’t pop off, but it would flip back wards due to lack of rubber strength. /sigh/ With many more gentle pumps, I finally fixed the toilet. Time? 11:30pm. Time for dinner.

Called my apartment management company today re my last day here is the end of November. Am I still going to miss the place? You bet! The plunger? I will leave for my friend who’s taking over the place as a house warming present.


This entry was posted by Maya.

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