Waking up to a chilly frosty morning and the chirping of a bird outside my window, I realized….I miss my “oh wow!” birds from Asia.
The first time I remember hearing an “oh wow” bird was when we were living in Malaysia. It was very early in the morning, as sometimes the sun would rise around 5:45a.m. and I would awake to the call to prayers from the mosque nearby. The call to prayers were always gentle and reassuring and just as I would remember that the call to prayer was not for me and that I could actually go back to sleep, I would close my eyes and all of a sudden I’d hear “oh wow!” in a loud, perky tune. “Oh wow, oh wow!!” Needless to say, the oh wowing kept me from going back to sleep, instead I would lie under the blankets and wish the bird would pipe down or fly away. Oh wow! Oh wow!
Once I noticed this unusual greeting from these particular birds there was no going back, I noticed them always. On vacation in Langkawi, in Thailand, anyway and everywhere, the “oh wow” bird seemed to follow me around always. And sometimes, their “oh wows” came at appropriate times too, like when I found that I could make my own cornbread from scratch, “oh wow!”, when I found a turkey at the local grocery store, “oh wow!” was right on. It seemed that any exciting or momentous occasion in my home in Kuala Lumpur was followed by a hearty “oh wow!”. I got accustomed to the bird call and even looked forward to it.
When our time came to leave Kuala Lumpur and move on to Bangalore, India I was sad thinking that one of the things that pestered me the most in KL would be one of the things that I would miss most..the “oh wow” greeting. Imagine my joy and surprise when in India I heard the “oh wow” for the first time! I didn’t hear it near my home as often and certainly not everyday like i did in KL but my “oh wow” bird did make it around often enough that it comforted me on the occasions that it did greet me with it’s chipper and loud “oh wow”. I remember visiting my bestie Erika who lived about an hours drive from me and being so happy when I heard the familiar “oh wow” while having India chai on her patio, “that’s the oh wow bird!” I happily exclaimed and smiled and listened hoping to hear it’s merry greetings many times before I left that day.
This morning as I am in my bedroom with my computer on my lap i heard a different kind of bird call. It was a short, high pitched “bee beep”. No, not a road runner, more like a short, sharp noise that you hear when your smoke alarm is running low on battery. Nothing like my oh wow bird. Kind of made me sad realizing that I don’t know if I’ll ever hear the greeting of an “oh wow” bird again.
Oh wow. Sad emoji goes here. If you’re reading this in KL or Bangalore, or anywhere in South East Asia, tell my “oh wow” birds I miss them greatly.
Till next time.