Wednesday, July 24, 2013

I miss somewhere that's not here

I miss China. I miss the smell of smoke intertwined with the chilly winter air, the familiar clanking of bells and unabashed shouts emitted from those early morning street vendors. I miss the way you'd hurriedly walk through some small dingy street paved with dirt and garbage, holding a mask over your face to partially shield yourself from the cold and partially from the smell of dog shit.

I miss the ruthlessness of the city. I miss being a part of the avalanche of people that push and struggle their way through the early morning commute, every man for themselves, every person from the little boy selling toys outside the metro entrance, to the richly dressed expat stepping past the beggars in his polished leather shoes, all hurriedly, hurriedly rushing to do what they had to do that day. Because the city had no mercy. The city had no room for moping, for indecision, for pride even. Everyone did what they had to, and they had no choice to question. You took what you could get.

I miss that feeling of revelation. The one that overwhelms you as you finally open your eyes to the truth of how the world is. In such an environment, silly thoughts seem unable to manifest - as if there was something in the air that killed unpracticality. Complicated layers of fears, desires and thoughts are reduced to the most primitive of needs: food, family, survival. Only if you're lucky enough to have that, you have the luxury of the worrying about the next layer.

I miss the contrast between the rich and the poor. A sheer display of power that the city had. Here, you could climb higher than anywhere else, or fall harder than you've ever fallen before. Fortunes change, lives change - it's a twisted game of roulette, isn't it?

And do you know what I loathe? I loathe this slow, gentle, lenient country. I hate how infuriatingly first world it is. I hate how infuriatingly first world the people and their problems are. I loathe the calmness. The non-existent pace of the city. I loathe how forgiving it is. Everyone does what they want do, and they question every choice. You get given everything served on a platter and you choose what you want to take. It's a buffet. Whereas somewhere else, there's rationing for every meal.

There's too much choice and too much luxury in this place. There's too much thinking that leads to too many delusional thoughts of what you believe would make you happy and what you believe you're entitled to have. Entitlement in itself is delusional. No one is entitled to anything. If every human is entitled to basic human rights, then why are there millions of humans in the world who aren't given a single chance in their lifetime to learn what those rights are?

All I know is that I have to survive the rationing before I can truly bask in the luxury of the buffet.

And who knows, one day in the future I might end up loathing those merciless cities, the sheer power they have, their ruthlessness.

One day I might miss this slow, gentle place and its lenience.

One day I might feel only the sweet here, see only the smaller picture.

One day I might say, "Hey, I'm entitled to have this".

But that's one day. Not today.

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