Vincent Cheung

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Saturday, December 10, 2005

Back in the 'Peg

Just got back into Winnipeg tonight. Things are pretty much the same here as it's always been and should remain so for the next 10 days.

I noticed a few trends in progressing through 3 homes in 3 cities in less than a month (Seattle -> Toronto -> Winnipeg).
  1. It's colder

  2. More snow

  3. The water is harder

  4. The air is drier

  5. The house gets bigger

  6. There's more people in the household

  7. I've lived in the house longer

  8. More food in the fridge and cupboard

There are some constants though:
  1. Queen sized bed

  2. My buckwheat pillow

  3. PoBo

I had an interesting encounter on the plane. I was talking to this guy on the plane that was in the Canadian military, I think he was like a mechanic or something and not actually fighting. He was 20. Very different talking to him than people I reguarly talk to. It was cool getting some insight into the military and his view of things and life. He told me about how cut backs have really hurt the military. Two heart breaking stories: soldier is away for like 2 years, much longer than expected, and comes back to Canada with the wife is gone and divorce papers on the table, second solder is also away for an extended period of time, unable to sort out all his problems with his wife, gets notice that he's being deployed overseas the next day, after getting back after several months the wife is gone.

Then there's the psychological problems. Living in a world where the rules are completely different and you're fighting for your life 24/7, "normal" society is a shocker. People tapping you on a shoulder can make you jump. I totally see where he's coming from. I've seen it to some extent myself. I'm say using the computer a lot and doing something pretty critical, perhaps playing a game or writing something, and I'm saving very often and often using the "undo" button, then I go out into the "real" world and I'm like *ctrl-z*, shit, the "undo" button's not working!!! Oh, right, life has no "undo" button. Apparently soldiers get put into some program for a couple of weeks before they're allowed to go back to society.

Airport's fun with soldiers as well. Bomb sniffing dog is gave the guy a hard time once. The security people tell him that his bag has remnants of gunpowder and explosives. The guy's like, I'm in the military and shows the guy his papers and badge, and gives him the *duh, are you retarded?* look. Eventually he's let go and not deemed to be a terrorist. This guy was dressed in "civilian" clothing, which is I think military policy, although for security reasons, it'd probably actually be better for the soldiers to stay in uniform during flights as least to mascarade as additional security :p.

He seems content there with the prospect of making 40-50 grand and retiring at 45 (25 years of service) with a full pension. He mentions things like guaranteed roof over your head, food on the table, people looking out for you, and pretty easy life. This was the biggest shocker for me. Just kinda hit me that I don't know anyone like him. In fact, my view of people is really skewed as I basically exclusively socialize with people with University degrees (or in the progress of obtaining one), where it's not usually a question of roofs and food, but how much and ambition for more prevails over the simple life. Off the top of my head, I can't name a single friend of mine that isn't in University or graduated from University. I also realize that everyone I know is computer literate and this guy doesn't seem to be. How weird would it be to not use a computer? The view of the world from this guy is completely different than mine and it makes you evaluate what is important in your life and how you live it.

This whole thing is definitely helping me have an open mind. Try new things. Be open to new ideas. See the world differently. This is the basis of my new year's resolution and new outlook on life.

1 Comment:

Sarah said...

yeah, i think talking with and knowning people with other lifestyles and interests makes you become a more balanced person. puts things in perspective too :)

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