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avant-garde_chauvintist wandering through the garden of ideals

BR v. BJ

CHINA | Sunday, 9 March 2008 | Views [575] | Comments [1]

I moved to Baton Rouge, La. to attend college when I was 18 years old.  I knew people who were attending this university as well, but I opted out of old friendships and forged new ones.  I sort of kept in touch with people I had known, but in general, I made all new friends.  This was a catharsis of sorts.  I wanted out of the small town mentality. 

It wasn't long before I couldn't walk anywhere on campus without seeing someone I knew.  It was pleasant to know so many people, but sort of put me in the same position as living in a small town.  Everywhere I went, someone was saying hi, someone was there to box me into some stereotype that I had previously been labeled.  I wanted out of the small town mentality.

I moved to New Jersey for five months.  Here, again, I knew no one.  I made friends, but I spent a large portion of my time in New York.  I was anonymous.  I didn't walk down the street and inevitibly run into people that I knew (except for that time I ran into Julia Stiles).  I was out.

But then I returned to BR.  I returned to my previous life.  I returned to the small town of 32,000 that is LSU.  I wanted out.

Upon graduating, I moved to Beijing. 

Beijing could not be further from a small town.  It is composed of 17 million people at any given time.  It's often too large for maps to contain.  It's often too large to begin to understand.  And it isn't often that I run into people that I know.

But it happens.  It's happened several times now.

I walk into a bar and see someone I know.  I get on the bus and one of my students is also riding.  I enter a restaurant and have to say pleasantries.

Or, like today, I get on the subway, one of many subways running in this direction and hear my name. 

"Lea?"

"Yes."

"Hi, I'm Nielson.  Remember me?"

"Oh yeah!  Kiri's friend?"

"Yes!"

This was a random subway trip to visit a friend across town.  Anticipating anonymity, I was equipped with my ipod and a book.  But the situation turned into hearing about Nielson's weekend and making pleasant small talk.

This huge city is seemingly turning into a small town. 

I don't want out yet.

But, still, the ideal situation has been New York.  This might be the millionth sign I've had directing me to a life in that city. 

Tags: Friends

Comments

1

i'll move to new york with you!

i'll move anywhere!

except China...

  lauren Mar 10, 2008 11:51 PM

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