Monday, January 21, 2008

Who Cares If I'm In China?

The other day while listening to a radio show a friend of mine hosts he made the following statement, "shut up Brewster, nobody gives a @!?# about what time it is in Shanghai." At the time it is true that I was heckling him and it is also true that our friendship is born from hassling each other, but the thing is, this time, it kind of hurt.

When Amy and I lived in Strasbourg I swore to myself that I when we returned I would not spend my days talking about living in France. When we finally did return to the States I found this promise was entirely difficult to not break.

Think about it a moment, how often do you talk about the events of the last year? Over the next couple of days when you are talking to friends or coworkers notice how often you mention something you did or experience over the last year, or any time in your past. We are nothing if we have no past. We are made up of nothing but our memories.

And we like to talk about them.

So it was with France. I constantly said stuff like "When we were in France," or "the French do this..." etc. I wasn't trying to be pompous or cool or anything. I had lived in an exotic (at least to me) place for nearly a year and it had a great effect on my life. In conversations these things naturally came out.

And so it is in China. I am sure that when I go back home I'll talk about Shanghai. I already do talk about it in this blog, in e-mails, on the phone and chatting with my friends elsewhere. Again it is not to say that I am better than anyone, but simply a part of my circumstance. I mean I cannot pretend I am not in China and in general conversation weird tidbits of my time here are going to come out.

Like the difference in time zones. Honestly I think it is really kind of cool that I am 13-14 hours ahead of most of my friends. It is completely fascinating to me. When my friend made his jibe it stung because I know that I have brought up the difference in time several times.

At first this was true because of my fascination with the science behind it, but now I am simply stating facts. The radio show my friend hosts is on blogtalkradio which is an internet radio dealie, and each show has its own chat room. When I listen to his show I hang out in the chat room.

The show runs from 11-noon my time and somewhere in the middle my wife calls me about lunch. We usually do lunch together and I always have to leave the show early. When I leave I generally send a message stating that I'm going to lunch. This isn't because I'm trying to be cool because I'm lunching while everyone else is preparing for bed. It is because I'm going to lunch, period. It seems rude to just disappear, and it is natural form me to let everyone know I'm leaving, and the reason behind my departure.

Wow! That's a pretty big whine in a pretty small box. Sorry if that's nothing but a self pat-on-the-back or something. The comment was harmless enough really, but it kind of got to me and I have only this to explain myself.

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