a friend went to nyc

photo: s-o hogberg

A friend of mine in Sweden, just got back home from New York City. He’s 75 years old and doesn’t speak one word of English! I guess he had some sort of hang-up … that he really wanted to see NYC. Not like me … I want to go there too … it’s like the city itself is calling me … no, he wanted to visit some jazz club (Blue Note). His wife didn’t want to go, so he persuaded a niece to travel with him.

At first, I was under the impression that the niece didn’t speak English either. In Sweden, I’d say most people are more or less fluent in English BUT … not people that were born before 1945. That’s just an impression I have … something must have changed with regards to education around that year. My brother was born 1945 and he’s good in English. Turned out that I’d misunderstood and that the niece did speak a little English after all!

Now … I found this to be really brave. Okay, many people travel to different countries without speaking the language but they might either travel in a group or have some kind of arrangements. These guys were on their own. I kept thinking about what it would be like … being in a huge city, not being able to pronounce the simplest word?! How do you order in a restaurant? How do you tell a cab driver where to go? I guess you can point on a map, but still…?!

Nevertheless, they made it back and forth and he’s sent me pictures of the usual stuff … Statue of Liberty and so on … this one here is from the top of Empire State Building, I suspect. Very courageous!

This word … «courageous» leads me to an entirely different subject. «Brave, courageous» are two words that I apparently have not had the full grip of in English. They are used differently compared to my native tongue. I know what they mean, alright … it’s just the usage of them.

To me, those words used to be reserved for firefighters, people who jumped in to stormy seas to save a life … stuff like that — not because of writing a blog about your inner thoughts or taking part in a photo challenge. Now I know, but at first I found it a bit confusing when a person I used to know said that she didn’t have the courage to take part in a photo challenge we were discussing. Languages are funny that way … words can take on a much wider meaning in one language!

Now, that was a parenthesis. Back to NYC! One day, I’ll go there too … now that it’s more within my reach, so to speak. It’s one of my hang-ups … it keeps popping up in my dreams. I even wrote down a dream I had, as a blog post. I have it in my drafts folder and will post it some time soon. I’ve tried to explain to Gerry what this is all about … I’ve written about it before, I think. It’s no particular place there that I desperately want to see … well, the ordinary, touristy stuff … but it’s that I want to … once in my life get to experience the immensity of it all … feel the pulse of it … the pace. When I go … I’ll make sure it’s in late October or so, so that it’s not too hot and I’ll be able to enjoy.

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Goals

In all the posts I’ve read about ‘better blogging’ they tell you that you must ask yourself what the goal with your blog is, and that it must have content. I’ve talked about the goal part before … deep down I think I want to re-create what we had in Yahoo 360 … a sense of community, and bunch of online buddies communicating. Now, in hindsight, that seems to be really unique, what happened there, and Yahoo will never know what they missed by shutting it down.

I understand that people seem to be obsessing over blog traffic and statistics, but I don’t get it … what fun is traffic if they don’t say anything? In the other place, while I had the self-hosted wordpress, I had this gadget where you could see where the visitors came from — I don’t have that now, I have the flag counter instead… but I kept looking at that thing and found it very intriguing. They came from all corners of the world, never said a word, and I kept wondering what they thought and how they ended up at my page.

This isn’t just about goals for blogging. A friend of mine … here in Saint John, has a great blog and there she has posted a 101 list … 101 things she wants to do in 1001 days. I don’t have anything like that … I have one thing though: I want to see NYC before I die. That’s not totally out of reach. In a future post, I’ll explain the URL for this blog … i95ride.wordpress, that’s also something that I could have put on my list.

If I’d had a list like that earlier in life, I would have put in something that had to do with self-esteem. Used to have some issues with that and twelve years ago, or so, I doubt I would have had a blog like this online. It took a long time, and a lot of pondering and self-doubt before I even showed my newly won, online buddies a picture of myself. I used to feel that everyone was so much better/smarter than I. There were times when I was really down in the drains …when I could walk in to, for example, a convenience store … some young girl working there, and I would think: ‘I could never be able do a job like that!’ This was until I came to some kind of insight that I’m not better than anyone else, but I’m not any worse either, and I can do anything if I really want to. And more importantly: «You can’t please them all!» It’s still very fragile, though … and there are still times when I have to remind myself of those statements.

Now I sense that I’m getting closer to that thin, red line for how personal I want this to be. I could easily write two thousand words about this and bore people to death, but McDuff is sitting here with a demanding look on his face … wanting me to get off the couch. This is where I found him yesterday and he didn’t even look up at me 🙂