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Monday, 30 June 2014

Self-Discovery in Beijing - Page 3

Written by Alec Siegel
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It’s 4:45pm, and X heads over to his boss’s desk. With soft eyes and a slight grin, she asks him how he’s doing. “You’ve been here for a few months, X, is it as you expected, are you getting along well with people, are you happy?” 


He tells her he couldn’t be happier. Everyday is a new adventure. At work he’s met so many new people, all with such different lives than his own, yet he’s achieved a connection with them all. He likes his work, but as this is a temporary situation, it’s not only about that. It’s about Eric and amateur pumpkin carvers. It’s about subway rides. It’s about the once in a lifetime opportunities he’s been presented since arriving here. She herself is an out-of–towner, and so she nods and smiles. She gets it. 


An hour or so later, he slides his laptop in his bag and says farewell to Eric and the rest. It’s getting late and all he’s eaten is that apple. So he dives into the neon signs and the street food vendors, the laughing children and the wild dogs. Time for dinner. 



Y finally found satisfaction in a bowl of hot noodle soup and fried pancakes. He’s weary from a long day of absolutely nothing, and this place was a perfect oasis. The night air is biting, but feels good. He feels different. Sure the soup helped, but it’s not just that. Looking around, he’s curious instead of furious, grateful instead of impatient. He now sees the opportunity, and not the challenge. 


En route to the bus stop, something odd happened. He thought he saw himself. He isn’t aware of any giant mirrors in this city, and it certainly wasn’t just a reflection off a storefront window. He saw someone with a pair of blue jeans and a Bruce Springsteen shirt, just like he has on, he swears. Y brushes it off, sure it was just an illusion. 


X is confused. He may be hungry, but he definitely just saw a bearded, foreign looking man dressed exactly as he is. Oh well, hunger can do that to you. He keeps walking.



Y glances at the moon as he walks. It’s actually visible tonight, and seems brighter than usual. He even spots a star. Suddenly, he feels a force as he bumps into something. This something is the man he thought he saw moments ago, the one with the same outfit. Two foreigners in a foreign land, both met with opportunities and challenges, both on a journey they’ll never forget. 



©Alec Siegel


(Page 3 of 3)
Last modified on Tuesday, 01 July 2014

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