I can hear the leaf blower in the background, the sound of the lawn mower woke me up this morning. I don't mind since I went to bed early. The TV is tuned in to travel channel and they were showing the harsh conditions in the jungles of South America as these scientist/etymologists look for all kinds of species in the jungle. They get caught up in the rain, no communication to the outside world, their satellite phone does not work and food is low. I mean it's rough out there.

I remember an experience when I was a kid back in the Philippine Islands. We were going to town and we had to take a short cut, it was just after a big storm and we had to cross a river. We didn't know how to swim and we had to keep our backpacks from getting wet. The older guys in the group, my father was there at that time tied a rope to a tree from one one end of the river to the other and we held on to the rope as we crossed the river. And I mean muddy river, the water rose higher from the normal level. Of course after we crossed we were all soaked and wet. But we had to keep hiking until we got to the residential area where we were able to wash up using a water pump ( and yes, until now, there are still water pumps being used in the remote areas the last time I was there). It was not fun at the time, I was young and I bet I did complain a little bit. But looking back now, it is a great experience. And that's just one of the great memories I have growing up in the province. When we say province, we mean, small town, even a village as opposed to the city life.

Another fun memory that I recall was the time me and my mom would go gather mud snails. I was really young then, but I can clearly recall the feelings, the sensations like it was just yesterday. She would bring me along with her and I would try to help her, but of course I was probably six or seven at that time. I can clearly recall that I would wade in the water, and when the waves move I sway and almost get knocked off my feet and I felt scared I would drown. I didn't know how to swim then. But yes, we would gather mud snails and as soon as we get home, she would cook them for supper.

So, last night when we stopped at this Chinese restaurant that serves authentic Hongkong cuisine, I was delighted to see mud snails in their menu. I mean, it is very rare that I would have a chance to indulge myself with a delicacy like that. Well, we just came from the Georgia Dome, after the Falcons and the Panthers game. Panthers won by the way.

The Game

Herd of People Coming out of the Dome.

Traffic After the Game.

Anyway, I did order the House Special mud snails. As soon as I got the plate of snails, I said " This really reminds me of home." You are probably asking how do you eat them? You suck them out of the shell. There was a small saucer of toothpicks too, which I understand is to be used to pick them out of the shells. It tasted really good. Yummy, as in I haven't had them in years, so it was really a delight for me to see it in the menu, plus other delicacy which reminds me of traditional foods served in the alleys and street foods in Hongkong. I am sure I would be going back to that area again. It's not that far from where we live. It's a bit of a drive, we just happen to discover it. It's called "Asian Square", so I wasn't surprised to see rows of Asian boutiques and small restaurants.

Yummy Snails.

Walking downtown Atlanta is a breath of fresh air. I highly recommend, to get out once in a while and see what's around even we are sometimes buried in our work. It was nice to get out there, see people, watch people passing by. Ride the train (MARTA), I mean, there's a lot to learn just by getting out, even the smell of the air is so different. Although, yesterday was a bit muggy and hot, it was still fun. I see people sweat while they walk. But that's good, that means they are getting a work out.

Twelve th Street

Before You get to The Train Station.

So, that's a day's fun and excitement. Hopefully by the coming week ends I will be able to go somewhere and explore. To go up the mountains and see Fall unfold, or just anywhere and take a glimpse of life. They say that sometimes we got to go farther, in order to have a better view. And I definitely agree. From a distant, life is beautiful.



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