It's the challenge that makes me adore this city. Not the kind of defined ones that we set for ourselves (as in "I'm gonna learn how to play the banjo" or something similar - although i do DO that all the time, just for the sake of having a taste of it), but the daily challenges, visual challenges, thrown at your face constantly. Only yesterday, I saw this lady, mid-30s, fully clad in spandex and gym gear, jogging WHILE pushing her baby pram. The baby was IN it, of course. And she was going up the steepest hill near my house, the muscles on her tights bulging out with every pounding foot, while I was walking down the same sidewalk, feeling slightly out of breath. I grinned to myself - that sight was not only hilarious, it was also humbling. Until I went to the bus stop and saw two old men sitting at the bench, both mumblings haste remarks and sighing to each other whenever the wrong bus showed up at the bottom of the road. One was a tiny, meager Chinese looking little man; the other, an enormous, protuberant and heavy Black man, his hair and beard a blend of grey and white. When the bus arrived, the small one climbed up and offered to hold the big one's plastic bags, as he tried to negotiate the step at the entrance. It wasn't my bus, but I've got in anyway, if only I could observe them for a few more minutes, sitting next to each other, the big one nearly crushing the small one with each road curve. On my way home, I saw this Indian looking man stepping in. He had the appearance of any other Asian man, moustache and all, except he was wearing, unselfconsciously, an Indiana Jones sort of hat and sturdy, pointy, brown cowboy boots. He looked like he had just dismounted his horse and got on the bus, all imposed respect and expertise. It wasn't a costume, they were very expensive looking pieces. He looked to the floor without bending his head down, in the manner of a soldier. I had never seen anyone like him before, and neither those three other people, all on the same day. It warmed my heart, and although not in a immediatly significant way, it changed my the way I look at life forever.
And this is just a glimpse of what happens here, everyday.