Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Around the World in 800 Words

I just realized that I haven't given an "I'm doing well!" post in a while. I knew you were worried about me. Thank you for your concern.

Things are going reasonably well here in Paris. I mean, I am busy as hell. As the City Manager (in capitals), it is my duty to make sure that the entire company is running smoothly, from tours to pub crawls to deliveries to pick-ups (don't ask) to staff morale. It's on my mind 24 hours a day. What's the pay-off? Well, I live in an apartment in Montmartre, which is one of the artistic centers of the city. Pretty cool. I also have a bit of cash to blow at reasonably priced restaurants. That's nice. Otherwise, I guess that having this experience is good for any sort of job in the future. I mean, management of an entire branch of a multi-national company. Not too shabby.

In case you can't tell from my tone (which is rather dry), I am not overjoyed with this position. I don't like being the bad guy. I don't like working at all hours of the night. I am not paid enough to make it all feel better.

Solution: I need to find a way of seperating work from life. Unfortunately, my apartment is also the office, so I am always surrounded by work related things. Plus, my cell phone is always at my side, meaning my boss can (and does) contact me at any hour. That sucks. But, if I can successfully switch from work mode to leisure mode more effectively, that would make life much more enjoyable. We'll see how that goes.

Perhaps subconsciously I betrayed my true emotions today when I spent two hours looking for jobs in Mongolia. No joke.

My dream advertisement:
"Mongolia- A family of fifteen is looking for an energetic, somewhat mentally inconsistant, young man to help around the house and farm. Room and three daily meals included. Tasks include: milking the dogs, planting jelly beans, chopping wood, chanting, folk dancing, and marrying the eldest daughter. Pay is minimal."
Mmmm... I can already smell the freshly fermented horse milk.

I think that a criteria for my next destination is that I have to have a remote possiblity of being killed. I'm not talking about mercenary soldier work in Kenya. But there should at least be a slight chance that I will catch an infectious disease somewhere.

Just kidding. Somebody revive my mother.

But you get my point. I am growing bored of Western European culture. Not that there is anything wrong with it, it's just not a heckova whole lot different than American culture. I was looking for a knock-me-on-my-ass cultural experience in Europe... and it's not really here. We are all very similar. That's one thing I've learned. It's ridiculous to hate the French or hate the Germans or hate Americans. We're basically the same. We have a shared history. Houli and I had a discussion related to this: How our generation is really the first one to be able to break down long established stereotypes via the backpacking phenomena. Young people travelling after college, meeting others doing the same thing. This is what it takes to realize that "others" are not so different. Instead of being a slave to how media usually portrays the "other", we can make judgements for ourselves. "Hey, that American isn't an arrogant asshole! Hey, that Iranian is a nice guy! Hey, that Australian isn't a drunk! Wait.. no.. he's drunk." That's why I want to go somewhere that isn't white, Christian, technologically up-to-date. Something that is truly different and unseen. I imagine I would discover that "they" are not so different from "us" either... but I want to actually see that. In due time, young Matthew. First, I have a job in France to attend to, then Spain.
After that... the world is my oyster.


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