It was lunch hour. Ms. Fish and I skedaddled out to her car, intending to eat at Pizza Hut which was a few minutes' walk from the British Council.
It was 44 degrees. Walking was out of the question.
The car wasn't much better, suffocating us with its trapped heat while the seats burned our posteriors. I strapped on my seat belt, yelling out as my fingers accidentally touched the flaming hot buckle. Right then, we were distracted by a pick up truck stacked with dozens of watermelons parked on the side of the road. One lay cut up at the edge of the truck, its pink flesh exposed and inviting. Ms Fish and I exchanged a glance, lips curling into impish grins.
Pizza Hut could go to hell.
We stopped on impulse, bought one after due consideration, got half of it sliced by the vendor but still intact so as to have no difficulty breaking the pieces apart, smuggled it into class past beaming security guards (I had a sudden thought as to whether they'd ask to screen it while I expended all my strength on not dropping it) through a side entrance of the building and gorged on it with our delighted classmates.
There are few joys in life that are as fulfilling as eating watermelon straight from the rind after being subject to a blistering 44 degrees. It was a pain to clear the seeds strewn across the floor and mop up the juice with wet wipes and toilet paper, and even then we didn't manage to get rid of all the evidence in time as one of our CELTA trainers walked into the room wrinkling his nose, exclaiming, "it smells like hamburgers in here!"
It was worth cleaning up all the muck. The spontaneity and glee put us all in a good mood and took our minds off the stress that was beginning to take a toll on most. I was slightly surprised at how excitedly everyone had indulged in the act despite there being no cutlery; I'd expected a couple of our older classmates to turn our offer down in slight disdain.
But then it would take one considerable willpower to turn up one's nose at sweet, juicy, joy-inducing watermelon.
On that note, a piece I wrote called Bringing Out Your Inner Child was published in bazaar magazine's September issue, which should hit stands by the end of this week. You can read the digital issue here.