Just a few minutes ago, I stumbled across an old writing I made a few months ago chronicling my experiences during my graduation. Reading it again made me realize as to what a gem it truly was to my eyes. To me, what I wrote was pretty surreal, yet so honest.
I loved what I wrote and still do enjoy reading it, even now.
For that, I feel that it is my duty that this “entry” I made should no goto waste and have decided to repost it here, for the sake of archiving it.
So here it is.
Observations of an Alien Culture
Saturday, April 7th 2005
It has been 4 days since I attended my graduation and 3 days since I left the metropolis. Back at work and back to my life, I reflect on the 3 days I spent in the metropolis.
As expected the graduation was what I imagined it to be. A room filled with young graduates, ready to move on to the next leg of their lives. To summarize the graduation, I’d say that it was a simple affair done properly. Nothing outstanding about it nor nothing to complain about as well. I was pretty happy with the proceedings that morning.
Even though the graduation should have been the highlight of my trip, it was not. The culture within the metropolis was the highlight of my trip. When I arrived at this metropolis, the first thing I noticed was how grey the sky looked. It was somewhat quite surreal, as if someone had placed a grey filter over my eyes. Everything looked muddy and hazy.
I could not see the sky.
Being born and raised in a small town, I was geographically isolated from the full influence of our capital. Due to that, I’ve always questioned the government’s policies as to the reason of their implementation. It always seemed to me that whatever they announced did not make sense to me and seemed more like a hindrance than anything else.
However, when in Rome, do as what the Romans do. By being in the heart of the capital, I saw the reasons and the cause. I saw the epidemic and the horror. I now understood the reasons for the actions taken by the old men in power.
Before I start, I’ve seen a lot of corrupted imagery in my dark years. I still possess remnants of my old corrupted mind. One would think that nothing could ever shock me but yet when I was on the ground, I felt sick to the bones. What could have made me so horrified? What could have made this sick, old, jaded fool concerned? Especially when it’s their plight and not his?
Smoking at a level in which I’ve never seen. Even after living abroad and experiencing a much more alien culture than my own, I am shocked at the extremes of the alien-ness exhibited by my own countrymen. I saw kids smoking. Little girls smoking. Little boys smoking. Smoking in places where I expected no smoking. Beautiful people smoking. Old men smoking. Smoke was the only thing I saw coming out from their mouths. Almost everyone I saw had smoke coming out of their mouths.
Was this the reason as to why the sky was so grey?
Of course not, but if it were, that would be too horrific to accept, even for me.
Ironically just a few hours prior, I was laughing at the government’s new anti-tobacco law, in which when it goes into affect, will outlaw the sale of cigarettes in packs, forcing smokers to purchase in the cartons. I laughed because hell, if there’s a will, there’s a way. Though it might stop kids from smoking, adult smokers will always cave in and just adapt in order to satiate their cravings. I should know. I have adapted to their policies as well.
Why? Because I will freely admit, I too am a smoker. I am not proud of the fact that I’m one nor would I encourage anyone to take up this “hobby”. There’s enough anti-smoking propaganda going about everywhere so I’m confident that they’d do a better job at deterrence than my little post here.
Now think about it.
Most people are disgusted by the presence of just one smoker within the proximity of their breathing space. If you factor in another smoker, it becomes almost unbearable.
Now picture this.
Imagine that in every 10 people you see, no matter where you go, 5 of them are smokers with smoke billowing out of their mouths. Kind of reminds me of those old coal factories, with the smoke rising out to the heavens above. So what do you do when you are stuck in the middle of all of this?
Well in reality, almost nothing. There’s nothing much one can do except to just slog it through and pray that the air you breathe in isn’t contaminated. How does one expect to live in such a hostile environment when every breath you take in necessity may become the contributor to your future demise?
In summary, I’d akin the whole experience as being in an apocalyptic city, filled with beautiful, young, alienated people with smoke flowing out of their mouths, who are surrounded by urban decay no matter where I go.
Glad fully, I left. I could feel my lungs thanking me as I boarded the plane home. I made a hasty escape from this alien world which in reality was the heart and soul of my nation. On a side note, I was actually offered an opportunity to work with an organization based at the heart of my nation’s capital.
I’m sure you know what my answer was.
Thank god I live in a village.
Filed under: Old & Personal
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