Monday, October 3, 2016

Another Normal Non-American Life.

This day is a Friday and after a day of experimenting, I can say the results are pretty...... "disappointing". The results are disappointing because I am a pencil and paper guy. Therefore, putting technology aside for an hour does not make any difference than the usual. However, there is something surprising in the hour of not using electronics and I shall explain further.

It is a normal Friday afternoon, I decide to carry out the experiment as I am free that afternoon. In order to be fair by not using any electronics for an hour, I decide to go and take a haircut with my roommate Greg. I decide to take a haircut because my hair is starting to get annoying. I hate seeing a piece of my hair dangling down in front of my sight. It confuses my focus. Also, it is impossible to use a cellular phone or watch television when your head is dead still. Therefore, the result will be more accurate. So, when Greg is driving me to Old Banks Barber in Hampden, I turn off my cell phone and ask Greg politely to turn off the radio and start to talk to him. My imaginations are flying everywhere at that moment. I think I will be a lot more radical and more outgoing. However, through out the whole ride, Greg seems to drive meticulously as usual. His eyes are looking at the road and his hands are on the wheel. In the meantime, I feel a little uneasy rather than being talkative because I am so focus on my movements and interactions that ends up in a feeling that I am dating him.

Things seems to get better when we arrive in front of the barber shop. Even though there is a 45 minutes wait, it seems that I can finally talk to Greg normally and have time to interact with him. I joke about his wild hairstyle and his barbaric beard and he looks at me rather confused and agitated. "Bingo!", I am making him uneasy and I always like to see him being teased a little. His face is absolutely red when you can see him trying hard to coordinate the muscles between his forehead and his cheek to keep himself patient. These expressions are what I usually like to see from him. The live interactions and facial expressions that cannot be achieved by cellular text message or other apps such as Twitter and Snapchat. These reactions from Greg makes me gregarious as I bombast every detail I can see from him. Greg, starting to be impatient, mocks me with a few words, saying that my poor taste of hairstyle ruins my impression in front of the ladies in Loyola.

Before I want to "spice" the conversation even more by rubbing Greg's hair into Greg, a tall fine young man comes to us and starts another whole new conversation. The man, whose name is James, asks Greg and I about the wait and the conversation sort of changes into a different direction. Greg and I sort of introduce ourselves and pay close attentions to James. James, 6 foot tall, is wearing a lime colored shirt with his top two buttons untied, paired with a khaki jeans with a fake leather belt and shoes. He seems to be a very clean person with no hygienic problems. He gives me an impression that he is a well-mannered and caring man. His highly emotional face and suitable gestures made Greg and I comfortable enough to trust him. We continue to talk where we came from, how nice Baltimore is, and how school is being tough for us. (Rumor has it that I tell him Understanding Lit is my most favourite class! -----> it's not "100%" true :D!). Slowly and surely Greg and I tell him about our concerns as a pre-medicine student. We are both working really hard lately in school to look for health related community services. However, the odds are working against us as we fail to meet the requirements for the John Hopkin's Hospital volunteering service and the Don Miller's house (AIDS/ HIV healthcare center has been suspended for the whole semester due to HFM disease). We told him how upset we are and how frustrating this semester has been so far.

Then, suddenly, James reaches into his pocket and take his wallet out. At first, I think that he is checking how much money he has in order to pay for the haircut service. However, out of everybody's surprise, he pulls two name cards out. James tells us that he is a Physical Therapist in John Hopkin's Hospital and he tells us that we can contact him in the future for services. I cannot believe my eyes. Outside of a barber shop, I find a service opportunity with a guy that I just met for 25 minutes.  The moment of joy and excitement cannot not be described. My heart are left in tears and I want to be thankful for this experiment. If I have not interact to James and just starting to text or read my electronic novel. I will miss such a valuable opportunity. As a result, I may have been "disappointed" in the car at first because there are only subtle differences. However, I will never forget that the chance I have encountered after such a "surprise" without using any technology.

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