An International View and a List, because It's Friday, and Lists Are Easy
First off, I would like to send a few hellos to people who keep dropping by and came by today, because repeat customers keep me at this when I go through the periodic I-am-totally-going-to-quit-this phases (since all I have is place names, find your city or town and accept my hello without any unnecessary paranoia): Nassau in New York, Wellington in New Zealand, Salem and Beaverton in Oregon, Toronto and Kitchener in Ontario, Galveston in Texas, somewhere in Switzerland, Providence in Rhode Island, Calgary in Alberta, San Francisco in California, Alexandria in Virginia, Ashland in Ohio, somewhere in Taiwan, and others who I would list but this is getting finger-twisting. You guys is sweet. Today, I will keep doing this.
On the bus on the way home from work, there were two foreign students standing next to my seat. I mean international students. God, saying foreign students sounds more and more like it does when my mother says negro in public, and I just want to divorce myself from her presence because it's such a backward and unnecessary type of distinction to make, especially out loud and in front of other people. So, yeah, these two international students, I think they were from China, were talking, and I couldn't help but listen. I think that it's because they were much more fascinating than just about anything else I had seen or heard all day (I spent my day filing, and filing, and filing).
They started off talking about the pros and cons of living in the dormitory versus an off-campus location. One liked the dormitory for its economic simplicity, because all of the bills were rolled into one monthly rental payment. The other liked living off-campus, because it seemed more mature than dorm life and only cost him eighty dollars more. The first one thought that sounded good, but he countered that with the idea that it was easier to make Canadian friends when you were surrounded by them in a dorm situation. This is where the conversation took a more interesting turn.
The second student disagreed with this reasoning. He said that when he had lived in the dorm previously, he and some of his fellow international student friends there had Canadian roommates, but that only one friendship developed between any of them. Do you know what his reason was for the social distance between the Canadian and Asian students? He said that the Canadian kids were always so busy. They were always running to sports practice or gyms or meetings or bars or movies or trips to other places. They never took the time to just hang out in the place where they lived and relax with the people around them.
In the moment before the two of them started giving reasons for the difficulty in making Canadian friends, I assumed that they would bring up typical cultural issues like racism or the language barrier (although these two international students had excellent English skills). The issue, although still probably a cultural one, surprised me. Canadian students are apparently too busy keening their way up the ladder to develop meaningful relationships in the place where they live, or at least that's how some see it. Fascinating. I've always thought that it's better to leave enough of your not-working or going-to-school time open so that there is enough room for spontaneous situations and thoughts to arise. Otherwise you just end up moving from one task to the next, focussing all your energies on each scheduled project and leaving little time for life to direct you.
The other thing these two international students were talking about was names. They were discussing two acquaintances of theirs, and decided that the couple must be Japanese, because they went by the names Amy and Eric. The students stated that Amy and Eric were definitely Japanese namese. My brain went !, and then it struck me: in North America, our names originate from all over the place, which means that they are not necessarily North American names, which means that if you are from a non-North American country but certain names are common to both countries, it only makes sense that someone could declare the names culturally non-North American as well. If Amy and Eric are commonly given to children in Japan, then I guess they're Japanese, too. If we can adopt them, then so can they.
I don't have much time left. This lunch break will end, and I have to be done this in order to avoid breaking my no-blogging-at-work rule. A list of mostly unrelated things is to follow, then, for brevity's sake:
1. I am getting a haircut after work. It will about an inch-and-a-half long all over, and the ladies will once again be offering to light my cigarettes, and I will be feeling like the Queen of Sexy in my own patented way for the rest of the weekend. Rock on.
2. The Fiery One is arriving back from his work trip on the cusp of Monday and Tuesday, and guess who sprouted a ginormous cold sore last night? That would be me. I hope that between my new haircut and my cold sore, things balance out to weigh a little more heavily on the hott side, because I would prefer that the Fiery One be pleased with his homecoming molestation.
3. I need a new cold. The one I've got is so five minutes ago.
4. Have I told you that I love you?
5. Telling you I love you would be weird, and it might make the Fiery One jealous.
6. I like you a lot, though, because you're here, and you've read this far down the page, which is more than most. I feel bonded to you now. From the moment we met, things just clicked.
7. I need to read a good book. I'm worried about slowly edging toward illiteracy in such a way that it will just blindside me one day, and the letters I once recognized will be nothing more than fancy, meaningless shapes without context or relation. It will be like Flowers for Algernon, and I will be left mourning the loss of something I can no longer even comprehend. So, be a dear and help me out. I'm looking for something that was written in the seventies. It wasn't the highest point for literature, but there must be something good you can suggest.
8. The sun is shining! The sun is shining! The sun is shining! The sun is shining! The sun is shining! And through the last window I managed to spend several seconds standing by, it was warm on my face and shoulders, which I have not experienced since October. The sun is a freaking amazing aphrodisiac. Thankfully, the Fiery One will not be away much longer.