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An Ordinary Day Through the Lens of an Extraordinary City

Author:

Research analyst based in Kuala Lumpur. She is excited to express through writing the many areas in life that we tend to overlook.

Preface

New York City, also known as the Big Apple, the Empire City, the City That Never Sleeps! It’s a city that you would want to experience not through sidelining or through the big screen. It’s one where you need to immerse yourself in it.

Many would think that the city could offer the impossible, power, money, love, and anything beyond our wildest dreams. Of course it does under many circumstances, but it also breaks, hurts, and mends, revealing the core of humanity. Most of all, there were numerous ordinary day-to-day stories that had helped to form some important kind of structures in our lives were left unpublished.

Source: Pexels

Source: Pexels

Of Laundry on the Weekend

One more snooze? Think it was best for her to wake up now that it was already close to 1 p.m. There were some chores to be done. It was the weekend after all. Sitting up from the bed feeling slightly lethargic, she began to wash up and ushered in a lovely Saturday in Brooklyn with a mug of instant coffee. As vibrant as NYC could be, this suburb neighborhood in Brooklyn was shielded from the hustle and bustle of it. She embraced the peacefulness.

A few taps on her smartphone, she double checked on what she would have for the day. Her calendar reminded her that there was nothing else except for a dinner appointment in Manhattan later in the day. As chill as things appeared to be, it was time to get going again being in a city of pursuits. She had in mind laundry and tidying up her tiny rental living space. Picking up her laundry basket, she headed out to the nearest laundromat by foot. The weather was nice as they city was entering summer. There was no need for bundling up. She was thankful for this one and only laundromat that was within walking distance from her place. It would not be fun to have to walk more than two blocks and cross a road carrying your laundry and laundry detergent with you no matter how interesting or safe a neighborhood could be. That was exactly how far that laundromat was from her place. Not to mention during the wicked winter time. Choosing a washing machine that seemed clean enough, she dumped in her laundry and added her own laundry detergent. She noted the time left on her washer, which was about 40 minutes, and set the alarm accordingly. She would prefer to be back just a few minutes before the laundry was done in order to avoid people taking out her clean laundry and put them on one of those common trolleys. Yes, she learned that the hard way. Walking back from the laundromat to her place with just her detergent and an empty laundry basket, she reminded herself to bring her dryer sheets for her second half of the laundry session. As soon as she got back to her place, she looked for her box of dryer sheets and placed it together with the clean laundry basket near the door. Then, she proceeded with her next task. During the 40-minute window, she made up her bed, mopped the cooling floor tiles of her living space, and took out the trash. 10 more minutes left before she got to head back to the laundromat, she checked her fridge to see what she could fix for a quick lunch later although she already knew exactly what were stored inside. It was the old habit of checking the fridge. As a single working adult in the city with plenty of food options, it was simply more economical not to store groceries. Hence, yogurt and fruits would be her quick fix for lunch. After all, she would probably have a more elaborated dinner with her friend later.

It was a good day for laundry run!

It was a good day for laundry run!

Back to the laundromat, she separated out her air-dried laundry and transferred the rest to a dryer. Inserted her quarters, she had another hour to spare before coming back here for the last time for today to pick up her dried laundry. That was how chaotic a laundry run could be in the city! Back to her place, she hanged out her air-dried laundry and chilled for about an hour. She started to discuss with her friend about where they should go for dinner. Naturally, downtown is one of the top choices for a casual night out with so much authentic and affordable Asian cuisine to choose from. Thereafter, they could always explore the East Village or NoHo for drinks. So they have decided on “Nyonya” located on Grand St, an outstandingly authentic Malaysian restaurant. All set, she turned on the latest episode of Grey’s Anatomy on ABC.com, her guilty pleasure. It was a series that she had started in college right from Season 1 and has been following through since. As her alarm went off again, she paused the series and she went back to the laundromat one last time. Laundry checked. After fixing her simple delayed lunch, she continued on her episode of Grey’s Anatomy. She then continued to watch some House of Cards on Netflix until it was time to get ready. She appreciated a weekend like this. Nothing extraordinary was achieved and yet they comprised of some necessary chores with a dose of relaxation that we all needed in order to form some kind of structures in our lives.

What are some structures in your life?

What are some structures in your life?

Old meets New

When it was about 5:30 p.m., she took a shower and got ready for her dinner appointment. Looking stylish enough for the city as she thought, she was ready to head out. At the subway station nearest to her neighborhood, she swiped her flimsy MTA metrocard through the turnstile adeptly. She always thought the subway stations and these old-fashioned turnstiles in the city were fascinating. They were like a vintage in a modern city. Turnstiles instead of “Tap Through” gates? While waiting for her train, she checked for the service status using the New York Subway app. She just wanted to make sure that there were no surprises at the eleventh hour although she already checked much earlier. There being no major weekend train disruption was also a main reason for this planned night out in the first place. She just could not help to have all these filters and planning running through her mind constantly especially when she had accepted herself as a New Yorker. As the train approached, she stepped near the yellow line and got ready to hop in. Off she went to be transported to the heart of the Empire City.

Old meets new. Ready to be transported to the heart of the Empire City.

Old meets new. Ready to be transported to the heart of the Empire City.

© 2019 Katy Phun