When I came back, Fernando still wanted to go out but I decided to call it a night. I came across a TED talk on the "Art of Asking" posted by Eri, my gypsy friend that resonated with my experiences as a guest staying in this country. The speaker speaks about starting out as a musician, having to be creative about how to support their music- she was a living statue, they had to surf couches, use Twitter to ask fans for favors of various kinds. Eventually, they increased in popularity but their record label still wasn't happy so they decided to part ways. They make their music free and publicly available whenever possible and rely on the donations of others. This approach exceeded their wildest expectations- they were hoping for $100,000 in annual income but earned $1.2 million the first year. The speaker talks about how asking for things isn't easy since you make yourself vulnerable and you can always be refused. The humility of asking and exposing this vulnerability connects two people, often in a mutually beneficial way.
I'm typically a very independent, self-sufficient person and it's hard for me to ask people for help. But when you are all alone in a foreign land surrounded by people talking in a language you don't speak, you have no choice but to rely on others. And people's generosity and patience have blown me away so far- certainly with Reva and her husband letting me stay here, providing all my meals and transportation, translating, taking me places and exposing me to new things. The posts I've made on couchsurfing (CS) have been replied to quickly with dozens of people so excited and willing to take time out of their lives to show me their cities. It's an unfortunate reality that you still need to be careful about whose hospitality you accept because you are basically trusting these people with your life. So you have to be smart and make sure these people are verified and vouched for, I introduce them to my hosts so they know I have people who will notice if I disappear and I always leave names and contact information with Reva. But certainly the people I've met so far have been phenomenal- all of them want me to leave the country with good memories of the time spent here. Hopefully my luck will continue. And just like the Mark Twain quote I just added above implies, you need to take risks in order to experience life and see amazing things. Anyway, I think I got off-track but I've definitely enjoyed becoming a part of this community of give-and-take. And I look forward to helping out visitors who come to Raleigh- I've already given a couple people some travel advice but I look forward to further paying it forward once I return and opportunities arise.
|Farmer's market- this is just a third of it... so huge!|
|Spices- spanish speakers, play the game I always play and try to figure out what the spices are|