Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Living with white people: times are a-changing

So I've been networking in the city and it's been interesting:
-I usually talk about my background: about my goals, interests, experience...
-They offer their insight in their field, offer steps that could be taken...

I'm in Starbucks now and this is a unique sight:
There's this older white guy - he's 43, dressed conservatively (polo, khakis, leather shoes and jacket) and looks like an asshole. He seems tense and I think he's an asshole because as I squeezed by him to take a spot on the table, he didn't make an effort to help move his chair that had all his stuff on it.

I find out he's waiting for someone, when a pretty student asks if the chair is free.

And who shows up? This Asian (looks Chinese) young looking guy - donning a trendy grey sweater hoody, dark jeans and black coat. Is gay. Has one of those Asian-British hybrid accents. He has a PhD in Accounting and Finance.

This Asian guy starts talking about different areas in finance (private wealth management, real estate) - I glean that he worked at an investment bank. Pronounces finance like 'Fi-nish, Fi-ckle' and not 'FI-nal.' During the conversation he's checking his blackberry occasionally (reminding me of the alums I've met). And he asks about the white guy's background - his goals and interests.

Haha. Times really are a-changing.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Living with white people: a picture

The intersection of Broadway and 110th - I made brisk pace towards the subway, to catch the 1 train downtown and meet an alum I planned to 'meet for drinks.'

Streams of cars and people at the intersection - like valves the traffic lights and walking signs maintained streams of activity. Maybe race and closing signal for some.

My eyes took in the pattern but could only focus on one man:

Bent forward, his arms extended pushing and directing an assisting cart. He wasn't senile -he paced back and forth with frustration along the street corner of the intersection. His face was wrinkled - deepened with grimace. Looked Eastern European, maybe it was the dark pants and worn leather jacket (the cart carrying a leather messenger bag).

His dark, short frazzled hair expressed the weary on his face - yet its mess mirrored an energy underneath:

'please, man... please!'

A plea of a man to someone and no one - its timbre carried and stood out above the noise of the mass scene - it rang of weariness but not of complete despair. It had strength.

He pushed his cart a few paces this way, then that, bent forward and arms extended. His head raised, alert and searching. And then his arm raised to cry for a cab. And again. Like an exhausted man being beaten, standing and supporting himself, raising his arm to plea for reprieve: '...please!'

And there was his frustration - the flow of cars passed by again and again. And they ignored his calls.

Always bent forward arms extended, head parallel to the ground: he bowed to the cart - and the cart supported him in return.

Did he have a debilitating physical condition - for his body to be always bent forward? Or was it years of leaning forward, extending the assisting cart in front? And why the urgency of catching a cab? The despair in his voice suggested more than lateness - or was it simply the daily frustration of being denied a cab?

His powerful cry, 'please, man... please!' rings in my head like the cry of a world-weary soul.

Or maybe I'm reading too much into it. We all project our own thoughts and desires into our understanding of the world. Kind of like the pathetic fallacy. It helps makes sense of the chaos.

I never stopped - the walk signal flashed and I was released through the intersection - looking back occasionally - capturing the image of his frustration- beckoning desperately to one line of cars, then another. Pleading to each stream to give him respite from his pain.

And then I briskly stepped down the subway stairs, without another thought. I had to catch my train.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Upcoming posts

I've actually been annoyed at most things these past few days, including myself. So naturally I will soon post some critical commentaries of the world around me.

In the meantime, I figured I'd post a thought I had the other day:

There are a number of things that escape our conscious thoughts:

-Our perception of the world.
-Our own minds: i.e. Decision-making.
-Even our own desires.

Our conscious logical thoughts are mostly based upon observations of the physical world.

So this seems intuitive to me: for our conscious minds to have a complete understanding of the world, we need some metaphysical theory. Karma, God, Buddha, 'Good.'

To account for things that our conscious minds cannot detect, describe or decipher.