I sat by the river after work and people-watched.
The river was a muddy-murky grey, but that didn’t stop the tourists in the little motorboats from laughing and taking photos. It was nothing near the crystal clear water in the Maldives or Mauritius.
There was a cigarette butt peeking out from under the stool. Nearby, mothers were variously screaming at their children not to run too near the water’s edge, or calling for them to come see the water. Meanwhile, a little girl fell down and cried. It was nothing like the picturesque scenes from Cathedral Square or Eiffel Tower.
I thought about my friend, about how nice it would be if my friend were there with me too, and I SMS-ed my friend. It was nothing compared to having my friend walk with me on the beach or exploring the rainforest to see orang utans.
And yet, I sat there by the river for an hour, soaking in the sights and sounds. I was mesmerized. It was not picture-perfect. It was in fact chaotic and messy. But that, that is life. Dirty water, wailing children, sitting alone.
And I am humbled.