Sunday, May 27, 2012

The G word

It's green. I'm not- I'm not even going to set this up with jazz fingers and shit anymore. The G word is green.

Green as in, green living. A green lifestyle. That kind of thing.

There's no denying that temperatures are changing, snow caps are melting, and that there'd been great big storms and floods and tsunamis lately. There's no denying that it's been an inconvenience. We can debate all we want about the politics of it, but it's imminent that a lifestyle change for all of us will really benefit our state of living these days. As humans. Not even discussing here if it matters at all that we thrive as a species. (We don't really matter much to anything else but ourselves if we think about it)
      As humans trying to live and live well, we certainly have problems in seeing the bigger picture and letting ourselves fit in the picture without tipping the balance and blowing shit up the picture, including our very selves.

       Personally, after the initial finding out of this whole green business, I have gone through many phases. It's usually packed a lot of either girl scout brand teamworkie optimism, whiny helplessness, passive turn the cheekiness, or even anger. I've tried being vegan for a short while, gave up on that because it's expensive to do when you're in a house living with three big carnivores and I realised how much thinking and planning it involved. I've also READ a lot about it, and felt about how I FEEL about it, and what my stand on the matter is. But when it comes to action, I really haven't done a lot. I save material and use them for many projects instead of throwing them, I skip meat a lot, but my laptop is on about 24/7 (and the battery is practically dead) and I've turned my A/C on a lot this summer (the thermostat is always on low and it's only for a few hours, but still, OFF is better than anything else). It's no secret that my willpower runs on snail power. I just can't be bothered being consistent with most things. I'm grade A lazy.

    My younger brother Jaro, who is about to enter college, sat me down the other day asking me about veganism/vegetarianism and the sort. Maybe it's because of the part of our trip to Baguio where we went to this place called "Oh My Gulay!" ("vegetable")... It's a really artsy place with a cool vibe that only serves vegetarian food. (enter cutaway flashback)
It's quite hidden so this framed signage/painting was very useful. When I saw it on TV I thought it was a standalone establishment because of the very intricate structure. It confused me, it looks like an outdoor indoor place.

Downstairs the building looked very plain. Like warm footsteps on the ground, this is the first thing you'll see that kind of signifies you're in the right place.

It's an adventure inside. The place gives you the feeling that it may fall apart at any time. But of course it doesn't.

Fun little bridge over a pond with koi fish. There's a sign asking you to not "feed" the fishies any coins. But they let you come close to the fish, which is nice. I bet they'd let me give them bread too. The water element rounded the place up quite nicely.
This little temple thing houses a cute toilet.

Mama while we were waiting for the others. There's a ship-like thingy you can climb on to. There are places to stay everywhere. Nothing is matchy-matchy.

La poquito cocina.

This place reminded me of my stay in Banawe. It felt like I was in the wild, treading ground that was not molded for man. It instead molds you. I don't want to read too deep into shallow water but it feels very fitting to the whole concept of the place, and the change it actually kinda caused in my family regarding food.

During that meal, I heard my brothers say something I NEVER thought I'd hear them say. My mom randomly asked "Do you think you can eat without meat now?" And they said yes.

I think many establishments like these, especially in my country (dishes are very meaty) start with this vision in mind. Showing people the gastronomical possibilities of vegetarianism. Some people do it for health, others for the earth, but eitherway, I believe it's a good thing if you can make the change.

My brother is still in that conflicted  stage where ne is pressured to go all or nothing. I assured him that he doesn't need to stick to a label, and that diminishing intake of meat is very good on its own. Perfection is overrated. The goal should be eating more vegetarian food and not being "a vegetarian" .. That way, you can do the good you are able to do and feel good about it instead of being pressured, or feeling bad during the times that you do eat meat. I asked him to not see it as a restriction but a thing to start doing.

Honestly I felt very good that there are two of us now. I didn't have that when I wanted to change.
So yesterday we went grocery shopping and bought meat-free ingredients for dishes I have started to plan. We made vegetable fried rice during lunch and I asked ate to cook some mushrooms and brocolli in oyster sauce. All the other people ate sweet and chili chicken with the veg food, but it felt nice to see another plate that's meatless on the table apart from my own. I feel this might be easier this time around :)

PS: Also it's cooled down enough for me to stop using the aircon! I just open the windows. That's usually a problem cos it makes insects come in but I know they only want me for my lightbulbs so I just make sure to turn the lights off too. This is actually a huge combo punch towards the right direction:

  • I spend more awake night time downstairs with my family
  • My room is dark for a longer period before bedtime so I get sleepy earlier
  • Lights off AND aircon off may just make up for the times I had to turn my a/c on this summer and the times I'll have to turn it on when Emmy comes. It's easier to hurt yourself in the dark when you're distracted by someone wonderful being in your room. Haha.

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