Its been nearly a week since I'm here at ICE.
When you go on this sorts of trips you imagine its going to be a voyage of discovery - and while you find different people, different places to see - you also learn about yourself if you care to take notice.
Self-awareness. Quite often we do things without realizing what or why we are doing it. Sometimes when we react even violently to situations its because of some problem we have had in the past. I have a problem doing math because my father used to mock me with exasperation for not comprehending the solution. And when there happened a thorn was placed in my side. Now a certain amount of trepidation occurs when I approach something new which I don't understand. But I grip the thorn now and bear the pain. I seek to overcome. And if I fail, I try again.
But one "problem" or trait I have - is that I'm drawn to what is secure and comfortable. One day I didn't even leave the boat. I just sat around, facebooking, reading. I'm not sure whether that is healthy. I need to go out more and socialize. After a courier trip to the airport I had the taxi driver drive me to eat curry crab but instead he took me to a fancy restaurant to eat chilli crab - which cost US$50 per 100grams . I didn't complain - I just wanted to give the Fijian crab a try. I notice a stranger sitting alone and - rather than endure my taxi driver's conversation about business ventures - I excused myself and walked over to this total stranger and struck up a conversation. The person was working as a French interpreter and was here on a business seminar trip. The interpreter was also from my Melbourne and also like me - bored and looking for a conversational partner. Like me this person was also planning for a change in vocation. We talked and chatted and made friends on facebook. This wouldn't have happened if I didn't pluck up the courage and talk to a total stranger.
Meeting people has been a challenge. I fear rejection. When I was in Primary School I just had one friend - a rather horrid friend I might add. He bullied me. He made fun of me. He treated me like shit. And like a fool I endured it.
I wonder whether it was because of my inherently patient disposition that allowed me to remain in that friendship - or whether it was because some parental conditioning - my mother used to beat me ferociously because she had an uncontrollable temper and was often provoked into doing it by her mother, my grandmother. Both attend church religiously btw.
Anyway, meeting people is a challenge. Its also like a voyage of discovery. You go somewhere - you may find a pleasant land with pleasant people - or you may find a place where they skin you alive and boil you for soup because they are hungry.
Which reminds me of a song by the Eurythmics, "Sweet Dreams", "I travel the world and 7 seas. Some of them want to use you. Some of them want to abuse you. Some of them want to be amused."
But I think we owe it to ourselves to do it - to challenge ourselves, to explore the unknown. To seek a better world. To learn more about our world. To try different things. To experience a life other than the one we know.