"Wait, this isn't the right direction!"

The other day as I was heading to the other side of the city to meet up with a friend for dinner, I managed to get on the right bus but in the wrong direction. Half-dazed that I was after a particularly painful tui na (you can call it a Chinese deep-tissue massage if you like) session in an unfamiliar part of the city, and crazily WhatsApping my boyfriend about my experience, I just hopped onto the bus without figuring out which direction I was heading to. Four stops down the bus route, as I passed by the Taipei Arena--still texting and checking my Facebook--a little bell went off in my head. Hold on a minute, I am going further into downtown! I quickly rang the bell to signal my stop, got off, crossed the 5-lane road bustling with cars and traffic at rush hour to the other side for the bus that went in the right direction.

And then I realized drinking that one liter of water just now after the massage wasn't a good idea. I thought I could hold it in till my destination, so I boarded the bus. Not even halfway there, I really, really had to go. I was squirming inside. And that half-cup of cappuccino wasn't helping with my jitters either. About 15 minutes away from my final destination, I really, really, REALLYhad to go, so I got off to go to the nearest McDonald's. And then I waited for the next bus to take me to where I should have been 30 minutes ago.

As with every other random, ridiculous story that doesn't make any sense, there is a moral to this one.

AWARENESS.

I can blame it on the technology at my hand, but ultimately it was me who wasn't aware of where I was at that moment and where I needed to go. In yoga class, we practice awareness by observing our breaths, emotions, and physical states while holding a posture; we observe how our body feels differently each day during our practice, or how the body sensations vary with the quality of our breaths. But do we practice awareness outside of the classroom? I definitely was not that Friday afternoon. I let myself get sucked into the pleasures of my smartphone.

Well, lesson learned. No smartphone while trying to navigate myself around the city. Well, unless I was using my GPS.