Have you ever walked out of your apartment building to find your street looking like a war zone?
It’s not something I’d ever experienced, until last week.
The photograph above is of the small road in front of my apartment building (in China). Yes, that is a massive hole in the road, all the way down to the pipes. Yes, that is an ex-car.
‘Curiouser and curiouser.’
The event made me realise that there are two types of mysteries:
- The mystery where the solution will finally be revealed if you wait long enough – a.k.a. the mysterious oval.
- The mystery where the event has already happened, and investigation should start immediately. The longer you leave it, the hazier the details become – a.ka. the mass overhaul of our alley.
So, realising these circumstances were of the latter genus, I messaged a friend of mine in the same building to get the goss.
Apparently, a truck heavily laden with dirt was turning the corner to contribute it’s offering to the oval when it overturned and squashed the parked car. We’re not sure if the road gave out underneath the truck, but it’s possible the area had been eroding for some time and the truck’s weight finally caused it to crumble.
I would assume the subsequent crater is at least partially man-made. If it had looked like that when the truck went down, we’d still have the truck in a reclining position.
‘Ah ha,’ you may say. ‘If your friend is so knowledgeable, why didn’t you ask her about the oval?’
But where’s the fun in that?
As far as the oval is concerned, the wooden framework I pointed out last week is being used to lay short concrete ‘walls’ on top of the brickwork. I’m still none the wiser.
These events remind me of when I was in my primary school days, and just longing for something mysterious to happen so I could investigate it. I devoured Nancy Drew, the Hardy Boys, Trixie Beldon, The Secret Seven and The Famous Five series. Then I would watch the world around me, wishing for something strange to happen so I could look into it.
At what point do we grow out of that view of the world? Is it when nothing mysterious happens and we eventually get bored of looking? Or is it when we find something slightly mysterious and adults explain it away too quickly? Perhaps we should work harder to hang on to that curiosity.
While it’s true unbridled curiosity kills a lot more than cats, in the right amounts curiosity leads to discoveries, inventions and ideas which could never have been achieved otherwise.
So perhaps we should inject a little more mystery searching into our lives. Ask questions. Take new routes. Stare out the window. Ask ‘what?’ and ‘why?’ and ‘how?’ and keep asking.
September 7, 2010 at 3:10 am
I’m just getting caught up on your mysterious oval. Hmmm, very thought provoking. And I’ve got nothing for you as to what it might be. Nothing. But I love reading about it and I think that speaks to how much we all need mystery or suspense in our writing. It is what keeps us turning the pages. I also think its a great idea to apply the 5 Ws and the H to your life as a writer. We should all be asking those questions every day.
September 7, 2010 at 2:51 pm
Yes, it’s interesting how quickly people become intrigued by something. You can capture someone’s interest and provoke curiosity in one sentence…if you do it right. There’s definitely a knack to it (one I’m still studying).