For "work is not life, and life is not work.", as I have countlessly re-iterated. Alas, it all seems endless. The words leave a seething scar in my mind: "You're a professional. You're expected to work more, and do as the project requires."
While there is pride in career accomplishments, I crave the balance of daily tidbits of joy, seemingly robbed by the work-from-home reality that is to persist with the oncoming fourth wave.
1) Roasted Peppers, squeezed into the oven between meetings and mandatory catch-up calls
I proceeded to drown my frustrations in a lunch of McDonald's. The McWrap and Smoothie duo have been my go-to as of late: this meal was marked with a Caesar McWrap with Grilled Chicken and Blueberry Pomegranate Smoothie.
The parking lot was nearing 85% capacity as we pulled into the plaza, both of us delayed by consistently slow left-turners at the intersection. Despite nearing 9 o'clock, crowds poured into the diner, some dining in small groups and other picking up takeout orders.
Our orders were fulfilled based on a dim sum-style selection sheet, and we were left to ponder our fates on the sticky table. For reference, the menus had been equally grimy, if not even more so. Donning of a disposable glove spared me a trip to the bathroom past their repulsive cloth covering, while ochungg distributed a generous dollop of sanitizer between her palms.
Tuna Tataki arrived approximately ten minutes later, for reasons beyond our comprehension, and the skewers even later.
Quite frankly, we would have been better off avoiding the izakaya-inspired dishes altogether, for the Beef Tongue was dry and the Scallops puny and reeking of fishy odours.
I was less bothered by this lack of attentiveness than overall lack of hygiene. Our seats gripped with stickiness and filth bordered each bathroom stall in the form of hair and dust. Factoring in a deafening door (increase the tension!), finicky flush handle, and debit and cash being the only forms of acceptable payment, it suffices to say that another visit shall never be undertaken.
We trekked about the plaza afterwards, spotting the closure of Sweet Note, resilience of Chatime and The Alley, and abominable amount of soot on the plaza walkway. Whatever remaining affection I had retained for Commerce Gate evaporated that night.