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Neighborhood Digest

We’ve moved to our forever home and have been exploring the new neighborhood.  Here are some things that I’ve learned.


I think I mentioned how street addresses often don’t make a lick of sense.  Stroll down a typical street and see the house address change randomly from #2 to #26 to #81 to #7.  It makes getting anywhere in a cab or by walking just maddening as you never really know how close you are to your final destination.  


We think we discovered why.  It seems that house numbers aren’t set up according to any sort of grid or plat.  Duh.  It seems house numbers are assigned based on the order they were constructed on a street.  So, #1 was the first house on the street, #2 the second house built and so on, no matter if #2 is actually seven lots away.


It sort of makes sense in a short-sighted, ordinal sort of way, but no sense from a city planning view.


There is a kicker, too.  If you tear down a house and rebuild a new house or even significantly remodel a house, you get a new address.  So, say our forever home used to be #3, but it was gutted and rebuilt on the exact floor plan.  Our new house number may be #34.


 Here is something you don’t see back home.  This is a Secret Asian Man image of a man at a mall scrubbing the curb of the entrance by hand.  Not hosing it off. Not sweeping, but scrubbing with a scrub brush.  The difference between how private and public spaces are treated is remarkable.  

Walking the dog early the other morning, it must have been trash burning day.  We walked past 6 or 7 small unattended fires burning in the gutters.  Leaves, branches, plastic bags, cups, all the detritus of a city wafting into the morning air.  The ashes blowing down the street, adding to the grime.  Probably soiling the curbs of the mall, who knows?




This is likely the saddest thing that I’ve faced in a long time.  This is Bonita.  She is a macaque monkey who lives on a platform in the park nearby. She belongs to the family on the far side of the park.  She is fed a good amount of food and they seem to look after her, but it is still a pretty sorry existence.  




A few dinner time conversations have been held about how to spring the monkey.  None of the scenarios end well for us, or the monkey, so we walk by this suffering daily.  I’d like to befriend the neighbors to get the full story and I’ve asked our house staff to find out all they can.  I guess we’ve got some time








I’m told of an even sadder activity.  A few years ago, it was all the rage to take these monkeys and chain them little toy cars, dressed up in clothes.  The owners would then cut the eyes and the backs out of a baby doll head and fit them over the monkey head and then train the monkey to roam around a park begging for money.  This, to me, is just the epitome of creepy.  I’m not sure if people pay for the novelty or to make the scary, monkey-baby go away.  I’m told they cracked down and banned this, so it is not as common anymore.  I don’t have my own image, but here is what I’m talking about.

Maybe, that was how Bonita started out? Maybe, that was how our neighbors got their big house.  On the backs of Bonita and her friends.  


We drove by her the other day.  Mrs. S.A.M. said, “That monkey looks so sad.”


Our driver said, “Yes. I think it because she not have a friend.”


Yeah, that could be it. It could also be that she’s chained by the neck to a pole in the middle of a city of millions.

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