The Curiosities and Wonders of Everyday Life (15-19 May)

Some buds and a flower from a sapphire-berry plant (Symplocos paniculata).

A stand at the farmer’s market.

Friday, 15 May

I left work early today to go to Cambridge for a tour of Harvard Yard hosted by the department I work under. The tour was student-led as usual, and I learned quite a bit about the school’s funky history. Afterwards, I headed over to Quincy Market, also known as Haymarket and Faneuil Hall area for the farmer’s market. Since I had learned about the farmer’s market at this location, I’ve been wanting to go but didn’t have the time until now. I loved it, especially since fresh seafood was also an option.

Funny thing though, I was told where to look for a Bank of America ATM. As I entered an atrium leading to the Bank of America, I see a white guy sitting on what seemed like a shoe shine chair and a black guy sitting under it. For a split second, I thought about how racist that seemed until they opened their mouth. One after another, they called out to me, “Ni hao,” in their terrible American accents. I stared back at them blankly and asked them — in fluent American —  where the Bank of America ATM was. The white guy responded promptly, seemingly unphased by my fluent American. As I walked briskly away, I could hear him say to the other, “Did you say ‘Ni hao’ to her?!” The other responded with an obvious, “yeah.”

This is a bleeding heart flower, in case you didn’t know. (And yes, I took that picture myself.)

Sunday, 17 May

It’s Sunday, my bus to work isn’t in service so I walked to work. It was a nice day out with the sun shining overhead  and various flowers in bloom. I got to take a handful of pictures of them on my way home. The lilacs in the Arboretum are still going strong with a lovely burst of bleeding hearts beneath some of them. The aquilegias, aka columbines, are starting to peek out as well. Oh my do I love the flowers here growing in spring.

Monday, 18 May

You know how sometimes someone calls you the wrong name? At times the incident is repeated so often, you just deal with it? No? Maybe it’s just a me thing then. Anyhow, this one lady at work kept calling me Sally, she even though admitted that she might call me that because I look like this Sally person. Well, the funny thing is: this Sally person showed up today and guess what? She’s just another skinny Asian girl like me, but otherwise doesn’t really look like me.

With that aside, upon arriving home, I made some chicken and gnocchi soup since Saturday’s Rhode Island clam chowder wasn’t enough for the week. Boy, oh boy do I love my soup.

A lupine from the many on the hill behind my building.

Tuesday, 19 May

So, I’m having lunch in our lunch room, which faces towards a side of a hill in the arboretum. Typically, it’s just sunshine and rainbows (well, okay, not LITERALLY rainbows, though with the lupines blooming, it comes pretty close — in my eyes). Today, was a little different. A red car stopped by on the left edge of my view of the hill and an old man — think old rickety grandpa-aged man — comes out of the car with a bag. I watched him walk up and down our hill, bending over every so often for a few seconds a time before moving to the next location a few feet away. As he drew nearer to my window view, I noticed he was carrying a giant hunting knife in his hand. What was he doing with it? Cutting leaves from the ground apparently. This was an awkward thing to see, so I get my manager and I ask her about the situation. She says that he’s part of a family (grandma and grandkids included) who come here and pick our chicory leaves EVERY year — even though our staff has told them repeatedly that they’re not allowed to — in order to make chicory leaf soup. They fake not understanding English sometimes, and other times they make excuses like, “They’re weeds, no one cares about them,” despite the fact that our previous director had instructed a specific mix of wildflower seeds to be sown randomly on the hill in order to preserve the hill and the soil structure within the hill. Life is funny sometimes.

“Today” I Learned

  • 1 in 5 students at Harvard attend the school for free.
  • Harvard freshman are required to dorm on campus their first year, roommates and “families” under graduate resident advisors are hand selected for the students based on extracurriculars and an essay about what kind of roommate they think they’ll be.
  • The statue of John Harvard is the 3rd most photographed statue in the United States after the Statue of Liberty and the Lincoln Memorial (which is designed by the same artist, Daniel Chester French).
  • Harvard filed the first lawsuit against the American government because George Washington‘s troops stole the door knobs of one of the buildings to make bullets while they were staying in it during the American Revolutionary War.

More FLOWER POWER! I mean…Flower Pictures:

Some little lily of the valley. ❤ I think they’re adorable!

 

Aquilegias (aka columbines).

A cluster of rhododendrons peeking out at the sun.

Some more bleeding heart flowers.

Dogwood (not sure why it’s called that).

A jet bead flower (Rhodotypos scandens).

Random pictures:

This random house along my walk to work with little wind twirlies.

There was also this tree just full of windchimes. Imagine sitting there and just listening to the chimes! ❤

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