Thursday, February 16, 2012

Day of Realization

I have been struggling with a self-imposed internal pressure to get a job. I think the feeling that you always need more and more money, and therefore must work to attain it is something ingrained in a lot of us. If I'm not striving towards the goal of earning money and furthering my career, I automatically feel guilty like I should be doing something, and if not, I'm just being lazy and that's bad. This is ridiculous because I will only be here for three months, (really just two and a half months now), which makes finding work nearly impossible as nobody wants to go to the trouble of hiring and getting a visa for someone in my situation. Nevertheless, I have trouble letting it go and just enjoying my time here.

Today I've made the decision to let it go. I'm no longer going to worry about finding work while I'm here. I'm going to be content just taking it easy, going to museums and sight-seeing. I came to this decision thanks to a conversation I had with a local who I met by chance about a week ago.

I sometimes go grocery shopping at a store called FairPrice. The name makes me laugh, and although everyone knows that the prices are anything but fair, people still shop there because the location is convenient and it's open 24 hours.

While shopping at FairPrice I was having trouble deciding which dumplings to buy for my new rice/cooker steamer, so I asked a lady next to me for advice. We got to talking, and it turned out we had a lot in common. Like me, Christine had lived in Germany for a time, and I reminded her of when she first arrived in Munich and everything was strange and new. What's more, it turns out that as a child she lived in the same building as I'm living in now. It was one of those moments where you feel a connection with a total stranger and that the world is the size of a pea.

Today Christine came over and took me to Holland Village for lunch. On the way there I asked about her stay in Germany.

"What did you do while you were in Munich?"

"I took a lot of walks. Went sightseeing, met friends and visited museums. Like you," she said. "I was so relaxed because I didn't have to work." She looked so happy reminiscing about the time she spent there that it made me think.

What am I doing? I should be enjoying my time here because it may be one of the best times of my life. I could tell that for Christine, being with me brought back lots of happy memories of her sojourn in Munich and that I should appreciate this opportunity I had.

In Holland Village we went to a hawker center to get food. Christine took me around to all the different stalls and explained a little bit about the various dishes. Eventually we settled on a Malaysian dish called Nasi Lemak that consisted of rice steamed with coconut milk, omelette, deep fried anchovies, peanuts, and deep fried chicken. I thought the combination of peanuts with the anchovies and rice would be weird, but it was actually really delicious.

A Malaysian dish called Nasi Lemak

The good thing about life is that we are constantly growing, learning, and experiencing new things. Thanks to people we meet and new places we go, this sparks realizations that hopefully bring us more appreciation for life so we can enjoy our time wherever we are a little bit more. 

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