In reprise of one of my previous blog entries during the journey, I’m surprised to see how time flies: It’s the third day already, since I’ve returned from my trip. I’ve unpacked, done laundry, changed tires on my car, met a friend, met with other friends for a business networking night, ran errands and resumed some work. Or to put it differently: I’m reestablishing my routine and try to pick up where I left off. But …. – I have come to realize that I’m not the person I was six weeks ago.
How so? Well, I think some events and their impact on me during the past six weeks have dramatically altered my view of life in general, and on mine in particular. And made it apparent to me that I need to be more outgoing back home as well. Because that’s what I have been during this trip (or so others told me), or rather: Had to be. Outgoing. A little adventurous at times. Bold. And tenacious. Which was a pain in the neck sometimes. Because it tossed me out of my comfort zone, quite brutally at times. For example during this more than unpleasant encounter on a parking lot in Los Angeles, when a guy snapped from one second to the next, after he had slammed his car door into mine and didn’t even care to apologize or notice at all. When I pointed it out to him, he freaked out to the extent that I was preparing myself to be kicked or shot any minute. Passengers would speed up their pace as they witnessed the scene, security was closing in, the guy yelling and screaming, his face turning from pale to red to blue. Myself undecided between my usual moderated countenance and an impulse to retaliate his insults by being the first to strike and punch his ugly fuckface to a bloody mash. In retrospective I enjoy the fact that I might have been giving him an even harder time by staying calm and measured, which seems to have aggravated him even more and must have brought him close to a coronary (in a futile attempt to moderate himself he lit a cigarette, hands trembling, exhaling fast puffs, blue as his face). So much for the loss of the comfort zone. I wasn’t prepared to anything like that. But I survived it. What sounds like an exaggeration has a very literal connotation in L.A., where people get killed in brutal acts all the time, probably on a daily basis. Not only survived it, but dealt with this incident in my way. However, such experiences are painful and seem unnessecary.
In a less dramatic way I have already come to appreciate the life I live more consciously than before. It is more apparent to me now, what I like about “our” ways here in Germany and my immediate neighbourhood. Of course, there will always be bad people and good people, no matter where you live and independent from a given culture. So, from a global view, there was nothing noteworthy about any of the encounters during this trip. However, there seem to be some subtle and then some not so subtle differences in how we deal with our day to day life. The term “mentality” comes to mind, again, in a very literal meaning.
But – I don’t mean to rush any premature conclusions. I told myself (and many of my flickr friends have told me so as well) to allow me some time in order to process the past weeks. And I have a feeling the best approach in doing so is to go back to my routine, and let things take their course and then let the results evolve by themselves. While we’re at it: I should get back to work.