Squirrels, Noodles and Istanbul
I ordered some very affordable towels directly from a textile factory in Turkey. They were in Istanbul the same day, Paris the next, and Huntsville, Ontario two days later. The power of FedEx. I want to travel like those towels: jet-setting unassumingly in a dark plastic reusable bag.
There has been a baby squirrel running around the playground for several days. Licking iced cappuccino out of plastic cups directly under the teeter-totter seat, and crawling on kids’ laps and biting them when they pet it. It causes a scene; dozens gather around it daily to watch it, feign concern, attempt to cajole it into the trees. Generally chaotic and death-defying baby squirrel activities.
My son and I are familiar with this particular creature; we found the baby in the forest before it ventured into the park. It chased us and crawled up my kid’s pant leg until he bolted and it gently fell to the ground. Unfazed, it continued chasing us to the edge of the treeline.
The next day, we found its (much less confrontational) sibling not just dead, but devoured to the degree that only tiny pieces of it remained. Its surviving sibling - the kid-biting, human-chasing orphaned baby squirrel - has altered my entire perception of squirrelkind. And my son is now legitmately afraid of baby squirrels.
As a child in the 90's, I ate No Name Instant Noodles straight from the bag. Latch-key and lower-income kids the world over might understand the appeal of this rite of passage: crushing the .10 cent bag of pre-fried noodles then dumping flavor powder on them before snacking away in the schoolyard or on your front stoop. I sometimes wonder how much damage eating hard noodles and MSG powder (on what I recall as being a daily basis) did to my growing body, but I sure felt cool doing it.