Tuesday, 13 December 2016

How it begins...

Why blog?

It starts with an inner debate:
What more can be said? What value can be added? 
Why keep your thoughts locked in? Why not speak them up?

Quiet zone

I'm pretty sure that if you meet any hard-core blogger in real-life, you will probably not be impressed one bit. They tend to be invisible. They don't say much, they sponge everything in. They won't answer back, they will run their musings through their brains. 

The thing is, for some people, it is much easier to write rather than speak. Often, the world is such a deafening mess that you only have two choices:
1. tune in and join the crew
2. tune out and dissent

Choice N.2 is by far the hardest life choice, because, let's be honest, who can realistically live in this world while not being part of it? That's clearly a recipe for Dr Jekyllism and Mr Hydism, or addiction, or escapism...


21st century offers myriads of ways to escape this post-(apocalyptic)September 11th World. Youtube, Google, Wikipedia, Snapchat, Instagram, etc... That must be the new generation's way of running their quiet rebellion. Teenagers used to run away from home (some still do, but don't last long out there), nowadays they just pull out their phones or tablets or whatever gets them connected to whoever (really, no one has the time to care, not even them).

Typing machine


When I think about my generation, our way to tune out was just to run our imagination 
wild with ambition and start crazy (often short-lived) projects. Because our textbook-based studies were a thoroughly mind-dumbing experience completely cut out from our technological and imaginary whims (anime, chatrooms, fanfictions, RPG, webpages, conventions, forums, computer games, etc.), we compensated by binge-computing during weekends from dawn until... well the next dawn.

Later on, when we started to earn a little bit of money (too little, given our drive and hard work), we discovered that the real world, just like the internet, was very much an open space. It became our playground. A weekend in Amsterdam, two days in London, a holiday in Portugal, four weeks in Berlin, an Erasmus exchange in Spain, a gap year in Rome...Any place, any time at any moment. No wonder the low-cost airlines racked so much money in those days. We literally force fed them with our green and yellow euros notes. All the time.

Growing up

Surely, you don't run a travelathon around the world without getting stained in the process. It would be like asking to dance in the rain without getting drenched one bit. So we got properly splashed in and out by the ways of this world. The people, the languages, the customs, the weathers, the accents, the breaking news, the films, the wars, the musics, the epidemics, the currencies, the animals, the landscapes, the politics, the carbon footprints, the slums, etc. Nothing spared us. We took the full blow of it. "I'm getting some experience." most of us would think, convinced that this would make a difference on our CVs and help us bag these jobs that kept evading us.

The reverse happened. We got high on those experiences and forgot about getting jobs. Who wants to get locked in a cubicle in his/her hometown when you can jump the border and meet new people and put together a master plan on how you are going to change the world? Forget about working for money and buying a house: the world is my playground, and it's a million times the size of my parents' block (oceans included of course. We all need swimming pools, don't we?).

World network
And now, technologies are backing us up. You want to travel to Kashmir? Well, Google Earth will tell you exactly on which side of the mountain your B&B is hanging. That retreat in Bali? You can book it on Expedia.com. You need to talk to your grandparents  back in your Peruvian village? Skype and Whatsapp are the way forward. You dream of getting those antiques Russian Babushkas for your sister? Etsy has it all custom-made for you, and Paypal will take care of the banking hassle. 


So really, who wants to be sedentary in this world of spiritual and physical nomadism? Who can swear they are unshakably deep-rooted when their leaves are constantly reaching out for every new sunrise out there? Who can still say I'm "pure", "100%", "authentically" [insert any nationality here]? 

It doesn't mean that we don't have any culture or any values or any traditions. Quite the opposite, we have too many of them, and they are the new cultural (if not genetic) make-up of our personalities.

I called this blog "Transcultural Mayhems" to talk about my (and other people's) experiences of getting sucked into this wonderful (but, at times, dizzying) whirlpool called Multiculturalism.