I am perpetually late for everything: for work, meetings, catch-ups with friends, Friday morning “veggie-style” Mysore class. Even when I arrive a bit early for an appointment, I make myself late by taking a longer route or buying something from a corner shop just so I can meet my sub-conscious’ 5-10 minute lateness requirement. Sitting patiently while waiting for others to arrive somehow does not have the same appeal as breathlessly rambling some lame excuse for my tardiness. I unabashedly blame this behaviour on my upbringing in a country whose national airline, PAL, is (not-so-) affectionately nicknamed “Plane Always Late.”
So yesterday was quite a pleasant shock to the system when I was EARLY for every single item on my schedule:
1) I arrived 30 minutes earlier than I normally do for work, having had a day off from yoga practice due to a visit from “Aunt Irma”.
2) I arrived 25 minutes early for my Schengen Visa interview at the Greek Consulate, thanks to the very efficient cab driver who arrived at 12.18pm for a 12.20pm booking. And unlike most cabbies, he shuttled me via the shortest route from Port Melbourne to Albert Road.
3) I arrived 22 minutes early for dinner with the old Pearson gang. Bec, however, outdid me by being in Carlton at 4.30pm for the 6.30pm soiree.
Mental conditioning is hard to break however, and I found myself dillydallying with the spare time on my hands. So this post really should have a little epilogue called List 039b: What I did to reward myself for not being late:
1) Being early for work, I took the extra time to explore my new favourite foodie blog. As a result, I got nearly nothing done in the morning.
2) There was a juice bar across the road from the Greek consulate so I had my usual fix of beetroot, carrot and ginger juice, something I didn’t really need after having just downed a huge bowl of stir-fried vegetarian noodles at work. I was so full that I nearly threw up on the hefty, bearded Greek woman when she asked me what I was going to do in Paros for 23 days.
3) Ah Lygon street… I hate you for your crowded pretentious cafes but I love you for the little shops that cater to the prissy eater/prissy designer in me. Fifteen out of my spare 22 minutes in Carlton was spent at “Nuts About Life”, a boutique middle-eastern grocer right near the tram stop which I never bothered going into before because the name put me off. I later emerged $11 dollars poorer with a bag of organic besan flour and some organic sunflower kernels. The next 5 minutes was spent at Readings, which was conveniently next door to Nuts About Life. On the sixth minute, I purchased a new $25 shiny red design magazine. So in a span of 21 minutes, I had managed to spend $36 that I shouldn’t have.
I then ran into Bec and was 2 minutes late for dinner.