“I’ve Always Gotten By on the Kindness of Strangers…..”

Everyone depends on the kindness of strangers at some point in their lives. What about the people who over-depend on the kindness of strangers though? What about the people who’s livelihoods depends on the kindness of strangers?
I don’t think I could live like that. I don’t think that I could leave my life to chance. I don’t think that I could put my life in some stranger’s hands, the zigs, the zags, the choices, the repercussions. I guess I blame my childhood, but I prefer to put my own life in my own hands, and suffer consequences and repercussions that I brought upon myself, not someone else’s interference in my life.
I know people that were over-dependent on the kindness of strangers. I pity them in a way. I don’t like that I do, but I do.
I think my bigger issue is that once you’re on that side of the fence, it’s multiple times tougher for me to see you on the opposite side of it. I’ve got to do something about that, but not right now.

China Is A Beast…..

Going to China for a week will change you. When you’ve been born and raised in North America and all you know about China is from a textbook, on TV, on the internet, and from your friends and acquaintances, you MUST experience it for yourself. Even if you’re from Canada, a country that is more ‘open’ and ‘melting pot’ than others, China is a very different place. You must smell the air, breathe it in, taste the food, look at the people in their faces.
I admit, I kick myself even today for not learning Mandarin in school. If I could go back and do it over again, I totally would in a heartbeat. Instead, I took Advanced Placement French, and ask me how far that has gotten me.
China is a great place. Sure, the living conditions are harsh, the streets are dirty, the people don’t have a concept of personal space, the driving is insane, and the pollution in the air and water are more than evident, but you must know why this is. For the people of China, progress comes at a cost, a large opportunity cost. One step forward, two steps back, three steps forward, one step back, that’s how it goes there. I was attending a trade show where they were showing off the world’s best stone slabs, great sculptures and works of art, and factories that can produce products faster and more efficiently than you could ever imagine. And not thirty feet outside of the exhibition hall, there is truckloads and truckloads of waste, garbage, broken pallets, and wastage. Progress, at a cost.  

I now know why people in Canada spit on the streets, don’t respect personal space, don’t respect lineups and queues, drive like crazy mad people, chew with their mouths open, pick their teeth at the table, and only buy things in brand new condition. 

I will grow to appreciate the customs, heritage, protocol, and tradition that China has to offer. It is certainly a challenge on it’s own just trying to figure out who to toast and when to drink at the dinner table.
That will come as a result of progress.

Where In the World Is Carmen San Francisco…..

So I calculated that I will actually be home exactly five days in the month of March. That is pretty much the longest that I’ve been away since I left home for ten years to move to Toronto.
Sure, it will be a test. Sure, I will have a blast of a good time. Sure, I will be a train wreck when I finally get home after all that travel. Sure, I will brag about it to everyone I can. Maybe.
So, the updates will be sparse and not very eventful. Follow me on the regular social media outlets to figure out where I am.