Random Observation/Comment #190: I can’t believe I’m writing this entry two months later. It was fresh in my mind, and now it’s like trying to remember the details of a complex dream before you’re able to tell someone (I think there’s an xkcd about this, but I’m too lazy to find it). Luckily, the abundance of pictures I’ve taken is a great way to relive these days and spark some lost roots that branch into vivid memories. It’s interesting how much is hidden in the back of our heads, and how we recall these memories. The particular situation is just pushed to the “viewing deck” by some type of catalyst. It’s fascinating how these ideas just form through simple triggering events, like walking down a certain hallway, staring at a specific object, or listening to a special song. Every idea – a feeling, a thought, a reaction – has these underlying meanings stored somewhere as a memory or an inspiration. Those pictures I took act as that spark. See? There are an endless number of good reasons to maintain this photography enthusiasm.
This Berlin weekend university trip was the introduction to an incredible group of interesting individuals that I would grow to drink with (and drink heavily with) for the months ahead. It was through these few days in Berlin that I browsed the collection of personalities like it was my first time at a buffet. I tried all different types of cuisine and searched for my favorite plate of the right mix. There needs to be a balance of different meats, sides of vegetables, and base carbs in every good combination. Each conversation was given that extra swirl in my mouth to evaluate how to spend my future time in Germany. That spicy attitude or quirky taste was stored in this internal system. I wondered how they were all prepared and what ingredients had made them taste the way they do. Each group had their own pinch of spices here and there, but we all had something in common. I’m not sure what the metaphor is for studying in this buffet-style comparison, but I’m sure there’s one somewhere.
Even after a few tastes, I would always go back for seconds or steal some off of my friend’s plate, but this is just the nature of having a bottomless stomach in a buffet filled with delicious food (I’m not implying that I will eat the people). As I was introduced to the German Wurst, American Hamburgers, Hungarian Goulash, Sweedish Meatballs, and Finnish – uhhh whatever the Fins eat, I felt my taste in food had expanded to new textures and combinations. Although the food will never be prepared exactly the same way again, I hope to find people that meet the similar tastes I’ve experienced this trip.
This trip did not only open my network of individuals, but it also helped me escape from my solidarity routine in a different city. I have often traveled solo and found some random people to chit-chat with at hostels, but I’ve found that this more long-term based connection is comforting. There are certain constant things about this world that will always give me a smile. It could be that sound of stepping on freshly fallen snow or the annoying habits of a close friend. Either way, I feel like I’m growing towards this world of patterns and expectations. My brain is slowly making sense of this world, and also slowly removing the impossible from my reality. I feel like if I tried a new sense-altering drug now, the hallucinations would have passed the level of “coolness” and borderline a level of “what the fudge is happening?!?”
What does this have to do with networking? Well, the more people I meet, the more I gather information about the different stories that have brought people where they are. In the travel abroad case, most people from America are here the end of their junior year and just traveling Europe while their semester is finishing. Classes don’t really matter since it’s mostly pass/fail, and their real purpose is to absorb the most out of this world while drinking publically. Others from European countries have more interesting paths including, taking years off for work or finishing the military and continuing school again. I see these stories as a funnel that can follow a mind map tree down to a specific personality. I am aware that each person is their own individual, but I somehow see a combination of my friends in these new acquaintances. I automatically group them in this higher dimensional space of friendship connections. I’ve clustered them into little sections within this web of traits that create the individual. I should really try drawing it.
Anyway, I hope the new people I meet through the rest of my travels introduce this new taste. With each bite, I refine my ways of sampling these expensive wines and differently flavored beers. Meeting people has become as interesting to me as trying new and exotic foods. Everything is worth a taste. (How is it that I can relate every topic to food?)
~See Lemons with New Friends