My dying words were “Namaste my ass…” And no amount of spandex-adorned CPR was going to bring me back. Sadly, it was my idea to sign up for some weekly yoga classes while we were here for four months in Australia. It fit in well with our morning walks, desire to do better on our diets, and trying out the apartment complex gym. I thought that getting some healthy new routines into our life would be better than the alternatives of eating out on the fabulous Kingston boardwalk every night. It’s bad enough that because of all things metric, you can’t check the local news before going to work without a cup of coffee to power your brain’s celcius-to-fahrenheit circuits. But regarding food intake, 45 years of calorie-counting doesn’t prepare you for the four-digit kilojoule labeling. Except, get this – the pizzas are still measured in inches, and cooking recipes still in cups and tablespoons.
The first few weeks were wonderfully gentle. Sally is another American transplant here, and her guidance and and peaceful transitions worked our muscles, balance, and limberness, allowing me to learn the poses, concentrate on my breathing, and generally not make a tumbling idiot of myself in the back of the room. Today, Sally was on vacation, and Amy the Amazon Waterboarder inflicted my demise, one downward dog at a time. And she didn’t adjust the air-conditioning, so even if I didn’t go into cardiac arrest, I would have drowned in a pool of my own matt-juice. Don’t get me wrong – I think yoga is the best thing ever – I’m just not in shape to go through military boot camp again, like when I was 18.
What revived me was a meat pie and the voice of David Attenborough. I can’t get enough of him; he’s the Carl Sagan of the animal world. He deserves more than just knighthood – perhaps sainthood. Luckily, over here, there’s something of his narration on TV almost every night. Tonight, his “Life On Earth” episode is about polar bears cross-mating with grizzlies (called pizzlies), better adapting to the climate change close to the North Pole, and how homing pidgeons do what they do by sight and memorization (note neither species is known to participate in yoga). And even if it’s a re-run, we would not likely know, since we are sans DVR – it’s one of the few things I _really_ miss from back home (I mean, besides our dogs and our kids).
I have strangely fond memories, when I was very young, of Dad “cooking” us dinner when mom was working the evening shift at the hospital. Many people, younger than Gen-X, won’t remember that before the microwave oven, there was this thing that was called a “regular oven”. If one was not inclined to combine ingredients in a bowl according to an ancient artifact known as a “recipe”, never fear – there were these pre-boxed assemblies you could buy in the grocery store known as a “tv dinner.” I don’t know if it was a coincidence, but we did eat these on wood and metal stands known as “TV trays” in the living room sitting on the couch while watching “TV”. TV dinners came in aluminum trays (note to self: do not microwave), and had a meat in gravy partition, a vegetable partition, and a fruit crust dessert section. I loved them better than pop tarts, which is another solution my dad had for an event called “breakfast.” If you are hungry, and it’s not breakfast or lunch, there was a similar concept called a “pot pie”. I hadn’t seen a pot pie in years, until now. Meat pies here exist in prevalent glory, and while the ones I ate as a kid tasted like heaven (to an eight-year-old), the ones here are generally fantastic (to a forty-eight-year-old). There are bakeries around town that make them fresh, with light and airy crust, with wonderful various fillings.
I ate two: 4850 kilojoules. Amy is going to kill me tomorrow.