What an interesting few days I’ve had.

Been meaning to take note of it, but sometimes life just gets too busy.

On Monday we went to the new aquarium downtown, and what a fascinating experience it is.

Made me feel like a real fuddy duddy.

I’ve never been that much into the latest high techie stuff, and this was totally high tech, and way cool!

You start with the Canadian Waters exhibit, and it is way cool to see the huge tanks and fish up close and personal!

Then we headed into the Dangerous Lagoon and it was the coolest thing! A HUGE glass walled fish tank that contains loads of sharks, rays and sawfishes and just wow!

You stood on this conveyor system that took you through it while the fish swam overhead and all around you, and it felt like you were among them, except that you were safe and you could breathe!

At one point there was a sawtooth fish lying on the glass dome, right up top, and you could see it’s little mouth, and it’s gills moving when it breathed.

And as we emerged from it, I thought YES, that was worth the price of admission, and then the aquarium went on!

And we saw the jellyfish and all the other stuff.

A very very interesting visit!

And two things happened with the human denizens that really took me off guard.

Problem with interesting exhibits, is that you are bound to be looking at the exhibit, and not always looking where you are going. So at one moment, I brushed against this lady who was standing there, a foot from the glass wall, adjusting her camera.

Of course I mumbled, “Sorry.”

And then she just speaks out loud to her companion, right in the air, without even looking at me or acknowledging me in the least, “Look at that! No manners. They don’t even say EXCUSE ME!”

And the calculated way she said that really really irked me.

She was a white older lady, and my first thought was not that she was saying it because I am brown.

That didn’t occur to me as a possible explanation until much later.

My first instinct was to tell her, “I’m REALLY REALLY SORRY. Didn’t mean to brush against you.”

Again she did not acknowledge me whatsoever. She just kept staring into the viewfinder and repeated her comment about people not even saying ‘excuse me’.


That really bothered me.

I certainly hadn’t meant to brush past her.

I didn’t even BUMP into her! Maybe if I had, then her behavior would have been more understandable. And I kept telling myself, oh, never mind, don’t let it ruin the visit… but I knew it would bother me.

And yup. It still does!

Not sure why she was so miffed.

But never mind, these things will happen.

The funny thing is it wasn’t even super busy there. It was a Monday morning around 11 am, it could have been a LOT more packed.

See? I said I’d never mind about it, but it’s obviously still working me up.

But anyway, later on, something else interesting happened.

I was at the place where we could stick our hands in and touch the un-barbed sting rays and this little girl came up to me and asked if I was Rukhsana.

It was so surprising!

I was recognized!

How weird is that?

Reminds me of the time I saw my grade four teacher in K-mart. It was so disorienting to see them out of place like that.

And I couldn’t help wondering if I looked all right.

Was my hijab on okay?

Did I have any stains?

It’s weird but it’s one of the drawbacks now.

I do have to be careful how I dress when I go out.

Way back before I used to be careful, I was on the way to the gym and I stopped to fill up on gas when a lady recognized me and started asking my availability for some event or another.

I was wearing my rough old white hijab (did I mention I was going to the gym?) and a rough shalwar kameez, no stains but it had definitely seen better days, and just as she finished asking me, she glanced down, just once, at my clothes, and I felt my face get hot.

I should have blurted out, “I’m on the way to the gym.”

I should have said SOMETHING!

But you know how you never think of that till it’s too late, and they’ve already left.

Never did go to that event.

Maybe she changed her mind.

But since then, I do watch what I wear when I go out.

I’m not going to dress nice to go to the gym, but I won’t wear anything too rough either.

And despite the inconvenience, I do have to admit, it is kind of cool at the same time. To be recognized like that.

Reminds of what Philip Seymour Hoffman said, that when you present to an audience (or did he say perform) make sure that they’ll always remember you!

I definitely aim for that!