Friday, April 3, 2009

number 6

So, the new quarter has started. I am really enjoying everything. However on the late, I have realized that the best part about not being at home in the states, is meeting new people.

Of course who doesn’t like to meet new people.

But these people are different. I have lived in one city pretty much my entire life. My family moved into one house, and we lived there through my entire schooling career K – 12. Of course I lived out during my undergrad days, but really I continued to encounter the same types of people. Sometimes you would run into a new person, with a nuanced way of thinking, and a unique outlook on the world, but that was rare.

Looking back, sometimes the most interesting people I met were the ones who I encountered at work, a small retail tennis shop, where I shared a few scattered conversations. Oddly enough I can remember these conversations vividly. Like the man who showed so much compassion and love, the lady from Chicago who gave me her very understanding viewpoint of seattle vs Chicago and her home country of Russia, the newly weds who had some great plans to travel, and the man with his daughter buying her first stick; I remember what they looked like, what their voices sounded like, and if I saw them tomorrow, I would know who they were.

Now that I am a foreigner in a new land, everyone I meet is different, has a different view on everything, and its slightly amazing. I get to meet people that I would have never ever met if I stayed in the states, and took the logical pathway into the career I, methodically?, chose. Made lots of money, and set my self up for the American dream if a life.

If nothing else, meeting interesting people has made this experience worthwhile a thousand times over again.

Sometimes I meet people that I will never see or talk to again, but a look into their thoughts has somehow changed my view in a slight way. It’s unexplainable but it’s a feeling that I can not capture in words, but I know that its important. Like the others, I remember them vividly, and will never forget.

And then sometimes, I meet people that I will meet again. That have a crazy way of thinking, that think in a way that I couldn’t have dreamt of. Is it crazy? Not really. But I don’t know how to explain it, its just nuanced and beautiful in a way that I didn’t know before meeting them. Its like not knowing what a specific type of beauty looked like, and then knowing.

It’s a retired business man, who is expecting to become a grandfather next week, who has left his fancy life in Japan to come and learn Korean in Korea. He started out his career the same way as I expect to, in public accounting. He made the switch to private industry, and worked as controller of large, well respected, and famous international companies. At the moment, he lives in a tiny room, where many university students live, and is learning Korean. He wants to be immersed in the culture, and learn what it means to be Korean. In hopes to bridge cultural differences between Japan and Korea. Grandfathers are always cool, but this guy shatters and boggles my mind. He has forever changed me with his story, which I only wish to learn more of.

And then it’s the friends I have made who are not from the states, that are from other places, that don’t know where Seattle is, and think Washington is on the east. Its really a great thing. And then there are the people from the states who are always great to talk to as well.

It’s funny I thought that being here, I would meet a lot of degens that just didn’t know what else to do in life, but come to a foreign place. Okay, I guess I should explain degens, I mean it in the least degrading way possible, if that is possible? Well anyways, yes, This is not the case. I meet people who want to work for NGO’s. People who have started out their career’s and had great jobs, made globs of money, and HAD stable, good, and respectable jobs in this crazy economy that the states is living in. Only, to pack up, and take off. They went to better universities then me, probably had better test scores then me, and are nothing close to degenerates.

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Being here, I really have starting to rethink what I really want to do next, and what is important in life. As I was closing that time in my life where I went to school, and only dreamt of the days when I could be a working man. The days when was waiting to emerge into the “real world” and have my first stab at “real life”. Now I don’t know what real life is. I feel like I am in-between the two stages, and don’t really want to go back to either. How bad, or good, would it be to travel the world, take up any job you could find fit, and just scrape by with. Experience endlessly, learn endlessly, and have no obligations to anyone. Degenerate? Maybe.
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