10/28/09

Good luck with Bad luck


(Obligatory Brussels Photo: Grand Platz!)

I'm always amazed at how people can continue to latch on to the belief that people are inherently bad, selfish animals. Sure, you can find plenty of evil things that people do, but they so dim in comparison to the incredibly good things that people do, for no apparent benefit to themselves.

Take the other day. I'm on the bus, and this girl in the seat across from me leaves her cellphone without noticing. The girl sitting next to her, leaps off the bus, and runs down the street to return it to her. In the process, the bus doors close, leaving her to wait for the next bus 15-20 minutes later. Most remarkably, this girl just smiled and shrugged when the doors closed in her face! Just to be nice, she missed her stop and added another wait to her, no doubt, busy morning. I love people.

A similarly bizarre kind thing happened to me the other day, when I was approached by someone who recognized me from my drivers license photo and handed back my wallet! The money was gone, but the documents and identity cards were all intact! Its so amazing how the initial tragedy- losing the wallet, is completely out-shined by the random act of kindness that followed it.

My friend Kat said that I evidently have "good luck with bad luck", and I couldn't agree more! She also made me this amazing pumpkin soup that somehow, magically, lasted me a week when I was dying without my money access cards. There are more recipes for pumpkin soup out there than anything, but this one was basically pumpkin, potatoes, shallots, soy creamer, and veggie bouillon. It was, needless to say, simple and amazing!

When I finally got my money back, I got more good luck: I finally found some black beans! You wouldn't think this would be such a triumph, but I've really been dying for them and they are, evidently, very rare in these parts. I cooked them up with some hot sauce, onions and tomatoes, and served them in a tortilla with sauteed mushrooms and corn with some lime yogurt and avocados. I was literally in heaven. Certainly the first thing I will do upon return to the US is pig out on the freely-available Mexican food!

But still, even with all the good luck, the food expenses here are killing me. I've been eating a lot of witch-sauce, rice, couscous, lentils... I need to get back into strategizing a healthy diet with a shoe-string budget. No more avacados and eggplant for me, its back to basics! But then, restrictions can be good for your creativity as well... Wish me more good luck!

More black beans: chipotle black beans and red quinoa
More pumpkin:Kabocha, Eggplant, and Mushroom Stir-Fry
More Mushrooms: Creamy Mushroom and Leek Risotto


Song of the Day: The Clash- Career Opportunities

9 comments:

J. said...

What a crazy story about your wallet! And I agree, that is good luck with bad. When my wallet got stolen I had to make a chart of all the places I had to go to replace everything, it was damn complicated and I wasn't even in a foreign country.

J.

The Voracious Vegan said...

Yay for randome good luck and kindness from strangers. And double yay for black beans. Believe me, I know what it is like to celebrate over finding basic staples that aren't so basic where you live..... And black beans are awesome!

Sara said...

That's such a heartening story about your wallet! Love it when people are nice. How do you feel about barley? Barley is mad cheap here, and barley risotto with mushrooms is pretty dang good.

Bliss Doubt said...

Yes, people are good. On occasion I've felt that I was in the presence of an angel when I needed help so badly and someone gave it freely, or when someone sought me out, like the time I was on a trip with my mom, and in a big crowd we were swept apart, and she was beside herself with frantic worry, and I was climbing up on lamp posts to look over the crowd for her, and someone just came out of the blue and asked her if she was looking for me, and pointed to me up on the lamp post. Several years later, my mom did die of a heart attack, but if it hadn't been for that kind stranger who noticed two frantic people searching for each other, it could have happened that very day.

What disturbs me is that people are so much nicer than me. But one time I found a wallet that had the ID and credit cards in it, money gone, and when I returned it to the owner, the person accused me of taking the money! I ended up wishing I'd never picked the thing up off the ground!

I'm surprised you found tortillas in Brussels actually. I do wish you luck, but don't deny yourself too much. Avocadoes ARE basics when you're a vegan. Chocolate is a basic too, for maintaining sanity.

jessy said...

the constant ying & yang of this world never ceases to amaze me. that was so awesome of that girl to pick up the forgotten cell phone & return it – even though she had to wait for another bus. that’s too cool of her. SO AWESOME on getting your wallet back, T! wow! i’ve never used pumpkin in a soup before – it sounds so yummy though – i’ve gotta try something like Kat’s soup. hooray for blackbean yumminesses! your mexi-food looks so delicious, especially with lots of tasty avocado. i can’t believe i forgot about your ‘shroom & leek risotto, T. dan & i will make it super soon. thanks! looking forward to reading about & seeing some of your inexpensive & delicious eatz!

Mihl said...

I am glad you got your wallet back! I once lost mine and it was sent to me by mail. Everything was still in there.

T said...

Bliss Doubt that is such a great story about your Mom. And sometimes people don't appreciate nice things, or appreciate them only much later... but you never know what little things you did that made someone's day!

miss v said...

oooo. i love me some clash career opportunities!

i know your pain about mexican food. after going to school in amsterdam, i made my boyfriend bring mexican to the airport when i came home. i was desperate!

lazysmurf said...

I can't believe someone found you because of your ID picture, that is amazing!