I am currently staying with a lady in Victoria on Vancouver Island. I met her through Hospitality Club, an online network, kind of like Couchsurfers or Globalfreeloaders. She is lovely and very helpful and my new inspiration. She has been travelling since she was 21 and now in her late 60’s she still has a passion to see the world and to help others with her knowledge. She currently has a Chinese scholar boarding with her. The Chinese girl is a Law professor and is on a sabbatical.
I arrived yesterday after a rather epic amount of travel just to get from one place to another. It was a bit of a pain in the arse but well worth the journey. I received a very warm welcome, then had a wander around the area and returned for dinner. The dinner conversation was about travel and travel forums and in a roundabout way that conversations take, ours got onto the topic of de-sexing dogs. My host was explaining the problem of too many dogs, not enough owners to the Chinese girl. Due to cultural differences the Chinese girl couldn’t see the problem because there was an obvious solution. She says, “We don’t have that problem in China, we just eat them.”
I just laughed. I couldn’t help it. She was so frank about it. She then goes on to tell us that the Chinese eat everything, and says, “If dinosaurs were still around, we’d try and eat them too.” It was a wonderful conversation to have and it got me thinking about cultural differences. I wonder why the West (The Americas, the Empire, etc) feels the need to take over the world. What is wrong with it? Why “liberate” nations under dictatorships? Perhaps they are perfectly happy. Communist countries like China and North Korea might just have the right idea. I mean look how organised and efficient they are. They don’t make such a big deal out of unemployment and homelessness, though they have rather creative means to solve these problems.
I think it is great to be different. Each country has their own people, identity and ways of doing things. Maybe this should just be left alone. I studied history, and I don’t think we should always be looking back to the way it was. Appreciate the way it is now. Not everything needs to be Westernised. There is too much emphasis on what is acceptable. My own life isn’t even ‘acceptable’ to most. Sure, people admire what I do but I don’t think there is anything stopping other people from doing the same. I get told a lot that I must be brave. No, I don’t think I am. I have made my choices. I choose not to marry or have kids or settle down. Maybe one day, maybe never. I’m happy with that.
But I get to have amazing conversations with amazing people. I experience the world not just what is seen on T.V. And perhaps I have only been to westernised countries so far but China and North Korea are on my list.