Tonight’s dinner was at a Tibetan & Himalayan cuisine restaurant. Service was a little slow as there seemed to be only a single waitress named Holly and the chef on staff tonight. But once attended to, the food & drink came promptly.
We had only just started eating when I noticed her approach the table on the opposite wall, asking if they’d like to try the “singing bowls”. Straight away my attention shifted as I had previously only had the opportunity to use one of these bowls briefly and been looking for the opportunity for many years.
I guess her age at 8. Confident with adults, yet still young enough to remind us about the importance of being a child at heart. She had brought 3 bowls to the table for the 3 occupants and demonstrated how to make them sing. At this point I lost track of Maya as I focused once again on the food and talking with my companion.
And then she appeared at our table. So kind and gentle natured. Of course I was ready with anticipation for this, so I gave her my attention and asked her to explain all about the bowls. You must hold it in the palm of your hand, but no fingers touching, as they would dull the vibration that you are meant to feel. Then with your other hand hold the rubbing stick like a pencil and slide it around the outside of the bowl.
It took me 5-10 seconds for the vibration to build up to a point I was happy with the feel and the strong tone singing from the bowl. Then I asked to swap bowls as I was attracted to the higher tone of the one she held. More bowl singing, much easier to achieve a louder tone with this smaller bowl. We swapped yet again and I tried the third bowl, then back to my original bowl again. She said that mine was the hardest to get singing. The other two were easier and mine was harder. I had noticed the different sizes and weights or thicknesses of the decorated metal bowls and wondered about what made one more difficult to sing than others.
Then she saw my phone. Or rather, she spotted the Lego bricks on the special case around my phone. Yes, that is real Lego. It’ a special cover that I ordered from America. No I haven’t been to America, but this phone case is from there.
Then we started talking about watches. I think she was telling the time and had made an error of an hour so when I checked my watch it caught her eye. I guess my watch was much bigger and shinier than hers. And it had no numbers but she liked that. Then I pressed the button and touched the crystal face to change the digital display to time and she was hooked. Straight away she asked politely how it worked. I showed her once and she was delighted to see the watch hands move indicating different functions, then back to the centre to show the time again. She elaborated how her watch had a rotating bezel which she enjoyed playing with and the numbers shone. I asked if they glowed in the dark, then had to explain that to her, upon which she held her arm closer to the overhead lights to increase the chance of her watch glowing later. And her watch was water resistant, apparently to 50m. That’s very deep I said, you would need diving gear and it would start to get dark. Yes my watch is also water resistant but only to a few metres. Yes that does mean your watch is better. Yes mine has more functions but yours has a rotating bezel and can go much deeper. I may have understated the performance of my watch just a little to let her marvel at the benefits of her own timepiece.
Soon after I saw Holly having a quiet chat to her. I imagine it went along the lines of; that’s quite enough, don’t disturb the nice customers, now go and find something else to do. I didn’t mind as I had been encouraging her to a level I was comfortable with. So my ears couldn’t help but follow her around the dining room as she sought other customers interested, and not so interested, in trying out the singing bowls.
As we got up to leave I caught myself thinking about her and wanting to give a little positive encouragement. So I turned and walked over to where she was approaching another table, leant down and thanked her for showing us how to make the bowls sing. Then I shook her hand, introduced myself and asked for her name. It’s been lovely meeting you and thankyou again for teaching us the bowl singing.
As we headed towards the door, she jumped after me. A slightly wide-eyed with wonder look on her face. She thanked me and wished us a lovely evening. Then again, as we were just outside, she appeared in the half open door, declaring her appreciation of my great phone and watch.
I think I made Maya’s day, possibly even her week.
So if you are ever in Melbourne Street, North Adelaide, consider some Tibetan & Himalayan cuisine. And remember the singing bowls that Maya will happily share with you.