Learning a second language is not that easy

“If you live in this country they should make you learn English.”  I’ve heard that quite a few times in my life and they must be pretty angry about it to say it in front of my face since I”m a visible minority.  Do I understand their reasons for being angry?  Yes but it is a selfish and a closed minded way of looking at it.  Who wants to be understanding when you can rooooaaarrrrrrr instead.

From what I gather the only time they really get pissed off about it is when it affects their day.  For example, I used to work retail and there would be customers who didn’t speak English very well so my English only comprehending coworkers would get frustrated and decided in order to justify their frustrations they needed to blame someone else.

The crap thing about it is even I get a little frustrated in those situations and I come from a whole family of immigrants who either don’t speak English or don’t speak it very well.  Who knows, I’d might be like the rest of my coworkers if that wasn’t my background.

You have to keep in mind that immigrants tend to come to English speaking countries for a better life.  A better life usually meaning working lots and raising kids.  There isn’t much time and energy outside of that to learn a whole new language especially if you’re able to get by without it.  How many people do you know work full time, have kids and go to school?  I don’t even like doing any one of those things at one time.

What difference does it make to anyone’s life if some strangers don’t understand English?  For a person to not know how to speak English, living in an English speaking country would be more of their problem than anyone else’s.  They have to go about life living in a box or to get out of that box they have to get someone who speaks English to take them out of it.

It’s easy for someone who’s been living in an English speaking country all their life to just tell someone  to go and learn English but it’s not easy.  How many languages do you speak?  Probably just English and if you’re like me, English and barely another language.  I wouldn’t be able to get much done with my second language in my home country and I’ve been semi exposed to it all my life.

I’m Canadian and having  French class  is mandatory in part of your elementary and high school life.  My French blows and always blew.  If someone spoke to me in French at my pinnacle I wouldn’t understand shit.  They’d have to write it down and draw pictures that had arrows pointing to the words and then act it out like Charades then I’d probably still nod and smile.

Although, there’s many immigrants who don’t speak English very well most of them work pretty hard.   Employment is generally the most important aspect of life to them.   Don’t speak a any Engleesh, it’s ok cause everyone understands money.   That also  means paying taxes which supports a  social system.  A social system that gives welfare to people who have lived in a privileged country all their lives and have taken it for granted.  If you go to all the fast food joints here in Vancouver it’s mostly all immigrant workers because no one else wants to do those jobs.  Welfare is easier.

I just wish people wouldn’t be so redneckish about it.  Life is already hectic as it is and learning a whole new language is not easy at all unless if you’re put in all the right situations.  Actually, I don’t even think rednecks really speak English, do they?

 

 

 

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Vacations are overrated

I’ve been finding vacations to be another one of those things that people feel they need to do in order to feel good about themselves.  To feel accomplished.  To be normal.  You know.  Not to feel like they’re losers in life.  My god, I’m cynical ain’t I?  I guess being positive doesn’t make for interesting reading.  Or maybe I think that cause I’m negative?  It’s Friday night and I’m home but that’s not the reason why this is sounding negative.  Am I negative or just real?

Before I continue sounding more real I will note that I really enjoy vacations and I went to Japan just a couple months ago.  I loved it.  I went for 10 days and it cost me $2500 including my plane ticket.  It’s the one place I’ve always wanted to go.  The reaction from most people is, “that’s cheap.”  Tokyo…pretty much the most expensive city you can go to in Asia.

If you think $2500 is cheap then you are either making good money or you’re brainwashed.  That’s $250 a day.  Can you imagine spending $250 a day in the city you live in?  That’s like 3 really expensive dinners a day.  I could have went crazy with that kind of money for 10 days here.  It’s pretty well equivalent to a bad drug habit. I guess what I’m getting at is that just like a drug binge a vacation is like another high.  You think you have to have it, you go, it’s awesome, you come back and you wish you could have more, you’re  poorer now, it becomes a memory and you get depressed but everyone’s still going to do it so you have to.

Travelling and vacations are 2 different things in my book.  Travelling is actually spending a decent amount of time in a place and getting to know the culture and not just sightseeing.

I’m not sure what this strong need that some people have to make going on a big vacation once or twice a year an absolute must.  What is it that they think it’s going to bring them?  Life long happiness?  Fulfillment?  It brings you nothing.  It’s just a short pause from your regular life that’s hell of expensive.  Oh wait, it brings great memories.  Memories are overrated too.  You just end up losing it when you get older.  It gets so blurry that you won’t even be able to decipher memories from imagination.

We feel getting away is a must because we tend to hate our regular lives.  We blame the first thing we see on the surface instead of the root of our issues and look for the quick fix as a bandage.  But hey, if you have more money than what you know what to do with then do whatever.

People seem to just love it when they get to tell everyone about all these faraway places they’ve been to like they’re showing off trophies.  Sometimes they even make it sound like a checklist.  “I’ve done Europe, Southeast Asia and South America.  In the next 5 years I want to do Africa, Hawaii and Siberia then I think I’m done.”
Admiring friend will say something like, “oh you’re so lucky. I wish I could go to those places.”
Ego is stroked.  Mission accomplished.

I think my new outlook is that I won’t feel this desire or need to take a big trip just because “it’s time.”  If it’s inexpensive then fine.  I definitely do not make even close to $2500 in 10 days.  I feel that people go to the places that they go to just to say they’ve been.  Paris?  You’ve never been?

Being healthy is like being a minority

Being healthy is like being a visible minority.  You’re usually only found in certain places of the city and the majority doesn’t want anything to do with you.  They’ve heard of your type but are mostly ignorant to your kind.  You know being the healthy minority is something to be proud of but you’re jealous of the majority cause they seem to have it easier.

Whenever I eat something without sauce or order vegetables instead of fries I get some remark like, “Oh my god, so healthy.  Hey hey look, he’s so healthy.”  I get discriminated against like a coloured person in the early 1900’s.  I have idiot friends who put synthetic motor oil in their cars but only eat vegetables when it comes as a garnish.  It just really shows you how health is at the bottom of the list until it’s threatened somehow.

With health supposedly being more important than everything else it’s pretty inconvenient to get to a health food store.   I haven’t been to many big cities but I’m going to have to guess that most of your health food stores are in selected areas of your city.  Areas where there are people who care more about their health.  Usually where there’s a lot of upper middle class people.  I guess they figure catering to the broke bastard demographic like myself just wouldn’t make good business sense and if it don’t make centz it don’t make dollaz.

Until health becomes the new black the majority will be crammed into the cookie aisle and the drive thrus of this world.  Why do I care?  I guess I really don’t.  I just needed something to blog about on Friday night and as part of the minority I get inspired by being on the outside looking in.

What’s Wrong with Dying?

We have this programming built into us from birth that tells us dying is the worst thing that can happen and we have to avoid it at all costs.  I’m starting to not see the big deal anymore.  Once you die, you’re dead.  You don’t lose anything.  You don’t have to dig yourself out of a hole unlike debt.  You’re overs.

Other animals don’t know this so they fight for life like they’re going to hell if they die.  Most humans are the same way.  We’re afraid we won’t have enough money to live or even the physical ability to care for ourselves so we do all this preventative maintenance in our younger years .  We work until we can’t work anymore and contribute a portion of our current income all our lives just for retirement cause we’re afraid we will die if we’re broke.  I think I’ll just retire at 45 and once my money runs out I’ll just die.  Freedom 45!

What usually ends up happening is you save up too much money and can’t spend it all so you have to leave it behind to your ungrateful kids like how my mom will hopefully do for me.  Screw it, if I ever can’t afford to live or if living is just becoming too big of a hassle, I’ll just die.  Death is part of life and there’s worse things than death like worrying about life.

 

 

Making the workday less crappy as possible

So for most of us work blows or at least sort of blows.  Sometimes the only thing you can do for now is to make it blow as little as possible like a whistle instead of a category 5 hurricane.  I guess that’s my way of saying, make the best of it.  That sounds corny.  Not suck so bad sounds better.

While driving between deliveries I often get a chance to be alone with my mind and I don’t want that.  Brain, I’ll stab you with a q-tip (Homer Simpson).  It’s usually sending me messages that I’d rather be sleeping, watching tv, doing nothing, staring at the wall, basically anything but work.  So I decided to rig up an entertainment system in my truck since I am the master of rigs.  You may have come across my previous post of my rig at home.

What you see here are 2 little speakers (ihome) with a cheap ass mp3 player in a cardboard box wedged between my door and panel.  I should have been an engineer.   I cut slots in the cardboard to hold my mp3 player snug.   So what do I listen to?  Music sort of drives me crazy now while I’m driving so I listen to Joe Rogan Podcasts.  It’s pretty funny and also very interesting.  Overall just entertaining.  They talk about everything from life, masturbating, current events, their own life stories and pretty much everything under the sun.  I have this feeling some of you made a disgusted face when you read “masturbating.”

It’s definitely made my day better.  The podcasts that is.  I feel now if I don’t have it I’ll be so disgruntled at work that I’ll go postal.  It’s like my new drug I need to have.  My other way of feeling better at work is to think of what one of my buddy’s told me before we parted ways in Japan.  I bitched about work a few times so I guess he felt compelled to say a  little something.  He said, “I don’t like working too but no one is going to feed you.”  Right then, I was like, crap, he’s right.  It almost made me feel ok about having to work.

Anyway, I’ll leave you with a clip from one of his podcasts.  The cheesy background music was added by the uploader and is not part of the actual podcast.

 

 

 

The Master of all Logs

I was doing a delivery and noticed this thing on the grass.  From a distance away it looked exactly what I thought it was but there was no way.  Only a Sasquatch could lay something of this magnitude.  As I got closer the texture gave it away as an imposter.  I’m not even sure what it is.  Some kind of woven material disguised as a monster log.  I wonder if someone put it there as a gag.

 

Buddhism 100

Yep, I am now a student of Buddhism 100.  Shouldn’t it be 101? Who knows.  I guess I’m a liar too cause I said I was never going to go to school again.  Guess it’s not the same?

As with any other first day of a new class, I felt it bit awkward.  We started the class meditating.  The whole idea is to not think of anything since that’s all human beings usually do.  We always got something on our mind and usually it’s some kind of worry or anxiousness tormenting us.  Let me tell you, meditating is not easy.  You’re suppose to concentrate on your breathing and not think about anything else.  Everytime your mind wanders you just got to put your mind back into your breathing.

As the childish human being I am, while we were meditating, I couldn’t help thinking about how funny it would be if someone just let out a great big fart.  Hahahaha.  I almost broke out in laughter just thinking about it.  Back to breathing, back to breathing.

This was an intro class so I already knew most of the content she was teaching us cause I’ve been reading stuff off the internet.  The majority of the class are people in their 40’s and up.  I’m like one of the youngest.  The instructor put it pretty simply, “you’re all here cause you didn’t find total satisfaction with life.”  Something like that.  It was true anyway.

So what other reasons am I there for?  I guess from what I know of Buddhism already, it’s very real.  It helps you see reality as it is and not the illusion that is pretty much forced in front of your face.  Helps you find peace within your mind and just makes your life easier.  If someone threw this Buddhism crap or any other spiritual stuff at me when I was like early or mid 20’s I would of told them to get out of my face and called them a loser.  Then again, if anyone told me anything other than what I wanted to hear I would of told them to screw off.  The ego is a son of a bitch.  So strong that Edward Norton had to shoot himself in Fight Club just so Brad Pitt would die.  There’s probably another meaning for that scene but that’s what I got out of it.

In life we’re always given the right answers but hardly ever the instructions on how to get there.  It’s like all those great and true quotes you always come across that are words to live by but are never made a into a living reality.  You have to question things to the root for the answers to really hit home.  It’s like how one person will tell another person they are doing such and such so they can make more money.  Hardly anyone will ever question that.  No one will ever ask someone or themselves, “why do you want more money?”  “So I can have a better life for my family, not struggle, not be a loser.”  What’s better?  What does it mean to not struggle?  What’s a loser?  If you keep questioning this, a saying like, “money does not bring you happiness” might actually really make sense and you might actually live by it.

I’m not looking to be a full blown Buddhist or anything.  I’m just going with the flow and seeing where it takes me.  It’s been all positive so far.  Positivity breeds positivity even though it’s difficult to see.  It just leads to something else.  Just over a year ago all I ever did was get drunk, abuse substances, eat crap food, had an erratic sleeping schedule and was consumed with negative thoughts and feelings, wondering what I wanted to do with my life and hating myself for not knowing.

I started eating better which inspired me to go to the gym which led me to a regular sleeping schedule that stopped me from going out late which stopped me from hanging out with people who were mostly negative for me which made me see life differently and seek out positive information where ever I could find it.  Anytime I get a craving to go back to my old ways just for a night I think about how it would screw with my new life the next day and the thought ends there.

Well, I’m sure I jabbered enough on this post.  I’m going to be badass now and eat some potato chips and wash it down with ginger tea cause ginger is an anti-inflammatory.  Inflammation is detrimental to your health and is a probable cause of heart disease, cancer and many other stuffs.