Saturday, May 12, 2012

More on backbending; Portly Professional and Punk Rock Girl

In my more grandiose moments (like right now), I can't help thinking that the universe is responding directly to my questions. Well, at least to my asana questions: As if in response to my post yesterday about Tiriang Mukhottanasana (or Chakrabandhasana, depending on your choice of nomenclature), Kino very recently posted the above Youtube video about this exact pose on her Facebook page, featuring as her model the ever-bendy Ana Guerra... damn, she doesn't even break a sweat getting in and out of the posture... (unlike me, who is huffing and puffing like a cow just trying to get into the posture)... well, I guess that's why she gets to model for Kino, right?

But back to the video. Kino/Ana demonstrates two ways of getting into the posture: (1) Grabbing the ankles directly from the air, and (2) Walking the hands to the ankles, and then grabbing them one by one. The main action here does not seem that different from grabbing the heels in Kapotasana, but I suppose the fact that one is on one's feet in this posture makes balancing a lot more tricky. Hmm... maybe I should email Kino and ask her how to avoid the jack-in-the-box effect.  


In other news: I finally sent off my India Visa application a couple of hours ago, in preparation for my upcoming Mysore trip in July. Wow, the whole process took quite a bit more paperwork than I was expecting... then again, it's been a while since I did any visa applications, so I don't have any frame of comparison here. But I feel this immense sense of relief right now. Over the last couple of weeks, with all the shit that's hitting the fan at work, I wasn't sure if I should still go to Mysore. But after reflecting and soul-searching about the whole thing for a few days, I decided that I should still go anyway, no matter what. And moreover--not to sound grandiose or anything--very often, when we are at critical junctures in our lives, the universe/Shiva/whatever's-calling-the-shots will throw shit at us to test our resolve. So all the more reason not to back down.

I also learned an important lesson while getting my visa application together at the local FedEx store earlier today: Never judge people by their appearances. Earlier this afternoon, I was at the FedEx store, printing and scanning stuff that I needed for the visa application. There were two staff in the store: One was a fairly well-dressed, proper-looking professional type in his twenties with glasses ( I would also have added "portly", except this seems a bit quaint and probably not-so-nice. But whatever...) who looks like he's got his shit together. The other was a younger woman who looked like she was in her early twenties. She had dyed hair, piercings, tattoos and was wearing pretty big earrings; if I had to describe her in a few words, it would be "Punk Rock Girl". She looks a little bit like this:

[Image taken from here]

Actually, come to think of it, it's pretty cool that FedEx seems to be quite embracing of diversity in their hiring decisions, if the presence of this woman is any indication. But I digress. Back to my story. Being the rather strait-laced Asian guy that I am, I sized the two of them up as I walked into the store, and quickly decided that (1) The portly professional-looking guy is the more senior employee, and (2) he's the guy who probably knows his shit, and is therefore the go-to guy if I have questions or queries. 

Big mistake. After I got done scanning and printing everything that needed to be scanned and printed, I went up to the counter, approached the Portly Professional, and asked him what I needed to do to overnight these documents to Chicago (where the nearest Indian consulate is). I also told him that the instructions on the visa application said that I was supposed to purchase a money order, and include the money order along with all the other documents that I was sending. 

"Is that money order supposed to cover the over-nighting costs from here to Chicago?" I asked him. Instead of giving me a direct answer, he looked over my documents (including, I might add, an auto-generated FedEx Air Bill), and said something to me in some technical FedEx-ese mumbo-jumbo that totally went over my head, leaving me more confused than before. At the end of his little spiel, I mumbled "Thanks (Actually, 'no thanks' would have been a more accurate description of my state of mind at that moment)", and decided that rather than try to deal further with this, ahem, blockhead, it would probably be a better idea to just go purchase the money order, and then come back to the FedEx store a little later, and try to see if I can somehow figure out what needs to be done. 

So I went to the nearby grocery store, purchased my money order, and was back at the FedEx store in a little while. This time, Portly Professional was attending to some other customer (God bless their souls), so I had to go see Punk Rock Girl. I asked Punk Rock Girl how much it would cost to overnight the items to Chicago. She gave me the answer in a matter-of-fact manner. And then it suddenly occurred to me to show her all my documents, including the money order and the auto-generated FedEx Air Bill. She glanced at them, a look of recognition came over her face, and she smiled. "Oh," she said, "This here (the FedEx Bill) means that the other party has already paid in advance for your over-nighting charges [translate: The money order serves as payment for their paying in advance for my over-nighting charges]. All you have to do is put all these documents in this FedEx envelope [at this point, she expertedly produced said FedEx envelope from under the counter], leave everything with us, and your stuff should get to Chicago by Tuesday." 

"Very nice. Thanks." I smiled and replied.  

"Oh, and by the way, a few other people came in earlier this morning to do their visa applications too. You seem to know better than them what's going on." She said. 

"Thanks." I replied. Look who's talking, I thought to myself as I left the store. 

Moral of the story: You simply can't judge how competent people are/how much they have their shit together by how old they look, or how they dress. Remember this the next time you go to a FedEx store near you :-)