Sometime in July or August, I had a dream that I was home in Kalsangi, and I was going to have my old background image (below) tattooed on the inside of my left forearm.
My parents, far from protesting, had hired a tattoo artist of their choice, and he was on his way.
I woke before the needle pierced my skin, but several days later, I saw a billboard for this year's Dutdutan convention.
Subtle, universe, real subtle, I thought.
Inspired by friends like Zoe, Petra, and Pilar, as well as the general acceptance tattoos seem to have nowadays, I have considered getting something of my own. And after the breakup, a regenerating starfish seemed even more apt. My own dreams even told me the perfect place to put it—it's not something I'd put on my back or my belly or even my leg; my personal symbol of faith has to be on my left arm, the arm I use to eat and to write.
But, I don't know if I'm chicken or concerned that the people I work with will take me less seriously or just not the type, in the end, to get a tattoo. I guess I'll think about it some more.
Also in August, more and more, I wanted a haircut. I didn't have a particular style in mind; I just wanted some kind of change, something I could effect, I guess. Martin actually paid for my current haircut, a simple bob after months of long, shaggy layers, but one-and-a-half months on, I still want something else. I even asked all my fabulous friends on Twitter for their opinions and still can't decide.
I never really gave my hair much thought until the past couple of years, but I think I understand now why some of the Top Model contestants (haha, guilty pleasure) cry when Tyra Banks decides they should chop it all off, change the texture, or add a new color. Maybe it's shallow to think so, but different hairstyles make you different persons, even to yourself.
So I guess I haven't been able to decide on a style because I'm not really sure who I am right now. I'm actually comfortable with this idea and enjoy just going with the flow for the next few months. But, it bothers me whenever I look in the mirror.
I'm iffy about some of the styles my friends suggested because they're styles I've worn before, either in college or in high school, and I'm not really sure I'm that person anymore. I kind of miss the long hair, but I don't really want to go back that way right now. I don't want a boy cut because the first and last time I got one, someone mistook me for my brother, and my stick-figure physique would likely get me a repeat incident.
I've never dyed my hair before. I might try it, but I wouldn't know what color to go with. Also, there's a senior editor here who dyes her hair a different color every week, so I feel like dying's kind of done, haha.
In other news, I tried biking to and from work again two weeks ago, but this time, the left crank arm of my pedal fell off. This would have been funny if it hadn't been Friday night rush hour, and I didn't already suspect that someone at the office was messing with me. I had to take a cab home again.
After some research, I decided to once again give my co-workers the benefit of the doubt, as this kind of problem is actually pretty common.
That weekend, I wanted to take my bike to a shop for repairs, but it rained, so I had to wait for the next weekend (this past one). I walked my bike to this shop (or its successor) in Cubao. After an hour's hammering and twisting, they not only replaced the crank arm but also fixed a wiggly seat post problem, and they only charged me P5 for a bolt.
My uncle, an amateur athletic biker, did tell me, "You'd be surprised how cheap bike repairs are," but I hadn't expected them to be this cheap. I was so stunned, I forgot to tip the repairman. :( If I have to go back, I'll be extra generous. If I don't go back for repairs, I'll still go back before Christmastime with GCs to Mang Inasal or something.
One thing that worried me was, the repairmen's mutterings implied I hadn't gotten a very well-made bike. One of them even said that I might as well return it and ask for a new one. They also asked where I bought my bike, and when I gave the name of the store, they exchanged knowing looks and ironic smiles.
Well, I know it was a cheap, made-in-China, sold-in-Quiapo bike, but I still thought it was pretty good. Also, I can't afford the brand-name foldies like the ones sold here.
All the same, I biked home from Bike City / Fort Bikes, and things went pretty well. The fixed seat post made a world of difference, and the crank arm didn't feel the least bit wobbly.
I've yet to try biking to and from work again, though. I had to go to the grocery on Monday night, so I didn't bike, but then I sprained my ankle on the way home. I hope things will be better by Friday.
I'm not sure if I should keep biking to work, though, given the current track record of things going wrong each time. Maybe just to Ateneo on Saturday mornings, when I have Mandarin class?
Mandarin and Other Life Stuff
I'm taking basic Chinese at the Confucius Institute for fun, and also to make sure I don't spend Saturday in bed with my laptop on my belly. And with all the hype about the Chinese economy, Mandarin might come in handy someday.
It's also a little relevant to my current life plan, which is to stay in Manila for three more years, then leave—either for home or for another country—if nothing else big happens or if I'm not tired of my current job.
For the first time in my life, I feel kind of old.