Sunday, January 30, 2011

Do The Mambu

Last night I had dinner as a guest of a friend at Mambu, a "fancy" restaurant that I'd never been to before. Actually, I'd never been to a restaurant before that served courses. It was a fund raising event for the Harpeth River Watershed Association. Back in May, when the big Nashville flood hit, the Harpeth river flooded too. Among the debris left in the river after the flood were 3 entire houses. What funds came from the government for clean up were quickly exhausted. Yet the Harpeth is still a mess. They still need a lot of money and volunteers to get it cleaned up. Not only is the Harpeth an incredibly scenic river, it hosts some of the most diverse eco systems in the world. Needless to say, the river is worth saving.

So, there I was, at Mambu, tasting things my taste buds had never experienced before, and thinking how I'd never be able to eat at such a restaurant by my own volition. There was one guy working there who's sole responsibility was to select and sell wine. He and the bartender were discussing the infinite variations of vino. When it was my time to order, I was asked what I liked in a red wine. "Red is what I usually look for" is how I responded. I was just trying to make like of my ignorance about such matters. It amazes me that some people can actually make a good living being able to distinguish such variations. Sure, I can tell you the difference between Pepsi from a glass bottle versus a plastic one, versus a Mapco soda fountain. But no one would pay me for such advice.

No doubt the food was worth the money, about 50 bucks per person, and as much as I like food, that price just seems excessive for something that will eventually end up...elsewhere. Maybe when I win the lottery or sell my life story to a movie production company I'll think differently.

Anyway, this dinner experience last night got me thinking about my life and all the things I've done and have yet to do. If not for my good friend I never would have experienced eating at such a nice place.

Yeah, it's like I'm writing my "bucket list." I don't really like that term for it, but it is what it is. At 50 years of age I am becoming quiet aware of the limited time I have left to experience life. I am also becoming extremely aware that living the life that I have, being homeless and limited by my Asperger's Syndrome, I have missed out on the majority of experiences most people have enjoyed, and usually take for granted. Not to say my life hasn't been adventurous. But many of my adventures are the things that other people would not pursue for themselves, such as experiencing homelessness.

Most of the things I'd like to do now are beyond my current means, so something will have to change and in a drastic way if they are to ever happen. I really do want to travel to other countries, to see the museums of Europe and the country side of Asia, to visit the pyramids of Egypt and the ruins of Machu Picchu, to learn more about history, to get a college degree, to ride on a cruise ship, to visit Disney World, to smoke a Cuban cigar in Cuba, to see New York City and stay at the Chelsey Hotel,... the list is extensive.

Now, if I can just figure out how to get past next week.

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