I had an interesting discussion at a bar the other night. I sometimes find it extremely fun to go out alone to places like that, simply because you meet so many new people that way. Some people, many people, prefer to go out in a group, or with at least two or three others. That way you are assured to having a good time, good conversation and an enjoyable evening. I completely see the value in that. I usually feel the same way. You don’ work at your job all week, only to get one or two days off, and then waste a valuable night of free time sitting by yourself nursing a cocktail. I can think of better ways to spend my time.
Sometimes, though, I like to go places alone, knowing that I will always be able to meet new people wherever I go. Nothing can be more invigorating than meeting up with new and interesting people, especially if they are completely different from you. There are so many different people with so many different backgrounds; you are almost always bound to find treasure wherever you look for it.
So I was sitting in this cafÃ©/bar/restaurant downtown, when I started talking to these two guys. One was a local guy, who had never left this region in his entire life. The furthest away he’d ever been was to University, which was about an hour away by car or bus. The other guy had a strange profession. He was originally from Britain, but had been traveling the world for the past ten years. He had two licenses, or skills, that on their own would be enough to build a career on, but he had figured a way to combine them so that he could live in almost any country in the world and make a decent living. One was a professional Chef. He got his chef license, or certificate, or whatever you call it from a school in London. With this he could work in many top restaurants in the world. His second skill was a certified Scuba Diving Instructor. He explained that with this, he could teach scuba diving, or organize scuba diving parties, in any country where scuba diving is popular.
It would seem that he would be a fairly interesting person, given his skills and experience, but he seemed a bit bored with life. He said that everywhere he went; he found that people were the same. He cooked the same food; he encountered the same scuba problems and hang-ups. He didnâ€™t seem like the globetrotting carefree Brit that you’d expect.
The other guy was a different story. This guy was one of the most fascinating people I’ve ever met. He was a type of biologist that deals with farming. He spends his days looking into microscopes to try and figure out what kinds of microbes are best for growing rice. When he does go outside, it is always to nearby rice farms, which are participating in some government funded university study on some bacteriological effect on rice crops. Something that would normally put me to sleep in a hurry. But something about this was really fascinating; the way the guy explained it. It was like he was able to find fascination in any aspect of life. He was so engaged with his work, and he was able feel large amounts of appreciation, that you couldn’t help but to feel appreciation as well as he described it.
He was one of those rare individuals that just by being near this person, you can really feel and experience the wonder of life that is all around you, all the time. Wherever you go, there it is. And it’s not like its shrouded in some kind of secret mystery or something. All you have to do is look, really look. And you’ll see it.