Monday, March 29, 2010

On Turning 25

I am writing this on a plane between Saigon and Hanoi. This weekend marked my 25th birthday. I am now a quarter of a century old. Despite the weeks leading up to my birthday being some of the busiest of my life, I've been able to think and realise a bit about what it means to be 25.

First off, it means birthdays are really not that important anymore. More exciting and more urgent things come first. Like your job. Hence having to work this weekend. I can no longer have my mom write me a sick note .

It also means I am an adult now. I can stop pretending to be mature, composed and proffesional in everyday situations, especially at work. I've realised the majority of other people are also pretending. Although other people around my age and older seem to know what they are doing, this is a lie. They are just as lost and confused as me. I bet even my dad doesn't know what he's doin sometimes. 

I have no more excuses for not doing things in my life. I can especially no longer say I'll save it for when I'm older. For instance, playing sports. I have never been into playing sports, and it is very unlikely I'll ever start. My parents must have put me in every kind of sport as a kid:  tennis, soccer, swimming, even figure skating. I need to except that I'll never be that into sports. Same thing for playing an instrument. I'll probably never play an instrument in my life.

People can no longer say I am too young to know what love is. I think by this time in my life I can say I have experienced what love is.... And what it isn't. I just am not sure If it's turned out to be as easy as I thought.

I am not going to grow out of anything anymore. Like my big italian nose. I don't think my face is suddenly going to grow proportionately to my nose between the age of 25 and 30. I also will always have that soft layer of flesh under my skin. Yes, the one that has elicited comments such as " you look so skinny but your skin is very fatty" ( got to love the honesty of the Vietnamese people). I need to accept that my looks are only going to go down from here.

However I am not accepting that it's downhill from here. Just because i havent done something ive wanted to do by now, doesnt mean i still cant try. Its just trying is a lot more difficult. 

I have been the happiest I have ever been lately. I am experiencing things about the world, and in turn about myself, that are invaluable. Life is becoming less about freedom and ignoring the consequences, but developping friendships that will outlast any particular stage in my life. It's become about learning how to live to make sure I am still happy when I'm 30, because my needs and values will have changed by then...

Let's just not talk about my 30s for another 5 years, ok?

Friday, March 5, 2010

Gratuitous Video Scene #8: Bus in Java, Indonesia

During our trip in Java, Smorg and I took a diverse array of transportation: motorbike, train, bus, bemo, minibus, ferry.

In what seems typical of public transportation, at every stop along the way a parade of people selling things come onboard. They then proceed to constantly try and sell you something while you are both trapped on this moving vehicle. They will actually throw the product in your lap, where you can examine it for a while. They will then come back and either take the item back or you give them the money. Snake fruit, pens, Muslim prayer sheets, doughnuts, fried tofu, magazines, you name it, they sell it. Every now and then I would wake up in a drowsy state as 10 people would storm through the bus throwing things into my lap, while my head spun between reality and sleep.

Most interesting are the musicians that also hop on between stops. Guitar, percussion and singing fill the bus. For bus-singers, their voices were quite good, and it was a welcome change from the hard selling.