I tweeked, I Faced Off, and I spoke online to a friend. Then I went outside to play (recreate), heading to the park to meet some other people. This was before I left for my vacation, and long before I had to attend a business meeting.
By the time I returned I had talked with someone from China, Australia, next door, and a pair of Siamese twins from down the road. The usual people were also there. I chatted with several of them as they came and went, and as they punched keys on their handheld computers or phones, I wasn’t sure which of them had what.
When I went on vacation I travelled with a bunch of people from the same region as myself. We met many people in many countries of Europe, but only superficially. After all, they refused to speak English because it ruined the mystique of their countries for us visitors. I was pretty sure they all knew at least some English since many countries require students to learn a second language, I didn’t think any of those we visited would have been exceptions.
It wasn’t like the Middle East, or the Far East, or Africa, where our language is so much different than theirs. Or like China, where there are hundreds or thousands of dialects and even different languages, all in the same country. If they learned a hundred languages, they would probably all be more useful than learning English and other countries so far away.
The business meeting was the worse affair though. Almost every time someone began a sentence, they had to begin by explaining what they were going to say, and how they were going to say it. Our company is multi-national, and many people come from other lands, but by and large they speak English. It is, after all, a nearly universal language.
The problem was that it was a meeting between different divisions of the company. We had scientists speaking theoretical terminology, engineers speaking technical jargon, and even an advertising division that didn’t help by holding back their references to hues and pattern development, and artistic stylings that had changed over the last few years. Nobody had a clue what the bookkeepers were talking about. They rambled on and on and everyone was relieved when they finally stopped talking.
How the boss understood any of it was a monument to his superior grasp of different technologies, or languages, I wasn’t sure which. Perhaps he had an advantage though, being one of those Chinese folks, maybe he began by learning several dialects before he took up business. It was always hard to tell though, he didn’t have any kind of an accent whatsoever, and he wore a suit and tie most of the time.
I finally went home and opened my computer. I had connections all over the world, people to chat with, forums where we could argue with each other, and even blogs where we can exchange anything from poetry and writings, and even photos of each other and our homes.
But my favorite is the worldwide interactive map that allows me to go virtually anywhere, see almost any city, any street, or any mountain, and without the complexities and costs of real travelling. It’s biggest limitation is that it is only interactive in one direction. I can’t talk to anyone on the other end, and usually the faces of the people on it are blurred out of recognition. The vistas and streetscapes are intriguing and beg me to visit them all if I ever become rich.
Between my visits over the phone, the computer, and within my anticipation, I’ll have to put up with business trips and vacation where I meet people, but don’t always talk to them, and outside to meet the folks around here, while they converse and commute around the world over their phones and computers.
But all in all, I guess I get around pretty well.