Neruda in Palo Alto (First Friday of March 2013)

Today was the first Friday of March.  Self spent the day with Kathleen and her daughter Rosie.  It was another beautiful day.  Self discovered:

    Fremont, she passed the townhouse development where self and The Man lived for about three years (at the corner of Fremont Boulevard and Decoto Road), about 20 years ago.  Amazing:  that intersection looked just as she remembered it.  She passed Regan’s Nursery and decided to drop by some other day.

Kathleen’s sister, Maria, has a beautiful pocket-size garden, four dachshunds, and three cats.  She has parol stored away in her garage, an impressive array of succulents, a huge wisteria, a bountiful lemon tree, and a row of fat rose bushes.  Self asked if she could return in a few weeks, to get gardening tips and to see the roses in bloom.

Island Pacific in Union City:  the most OMG amazing Asian supermarket self has ever seen.  Five kinds of chicharon, a whole aisle devoted to soy sauce and other Asian condiments, dilis, Curly Tops, five different brands of dried mango, different brands of suka (Filipino vinegar), the list goes on and on.  Inside the supermarket are three different Filipino restaurants:  Goldilocks (where self bought cassava cake), Manila Turo-Turo (where self bought a plastic tub of guinataan), and Tropicana.  Each of these establishments offers its own version of halo-halo and pansit.  The vegetable section featured bins of kamatis, upo, saba bananas as well as the fingerling bananas, you name it.  Totally outclasses Marina Foods in Foster City.

Bell’s Books in downtown Palo Alto:  It had been a while since self’s last visit.  OMG, she could spend a whole day here, lost in the stacks.  She was about to buy a pocket-size Rumi, until she saw a pocket-size Neruda.  She went for the Neruda.  Several poems are about islands, including this one:

“Wind on the Island”

The wind is a horse:
hear how he runs
through the sea, through the sky.

He wants to take me: listen
how he roves the world
to take me far away.

Hide me in your arms
just for this night,
while the rain breaks
against sea and earth
its innumerable mouth.

Listen how the wind
calls to me galloping
to take me far away.

The rest of the poem, self will leave for another time.

While in Bell’s Books, an interesting thing happened:  Kathleen discovered she and the owners have something in common, some common ancestry.  And a girl came out of the stacks and introduced herself as a sophomore at Stanford, asked if she could e-mail self.  Turns out she’s majoring in Archaeology, but loves to write.  Did self have any advice for her?  Of course!  Later, as we were leaving the gelato place across from the Aquarius, we bumped into the Stanford sophomore, this time seated at one of the sidewalk tables, reading a book.  Self glanced at the author:  Jennifer Cruise.  Must look up, ASAP!

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

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