Comfort Zone(s)

Venture out of the Comfort Zone.


Today, as I am writing this thing right now, marks a full two-month of my stay in Canada. I am an international student now, no longer a domestic student who speaks in his native language and curses in his native language as he goes on about his everyday life.

Humans, in general, have the innate passion for exploring cool new stuff and perpetually improving their knowledge and their quality of life. They also have the tendency to stay sedentary at one place to grow and become established. We were once all nomads who finally found a place that was suitable for our development throughout the generation. Here’s the catch. The Earth spins, the time passes and the environment changes. The crop began to falter over time due to malnutrition in the soil. Major climate changes led to inhabitable habitats. We felt uncomfortable staying at one place all the time. However, we knew the Earth was flat. We also had towns where everyone knew this gal sold flowers that smelled lavender, the other guy sold cows that went moo and the old coot told worn-out stories with his worn-out accent. We developed roots in that town.

The uprooting process can be quite intimidating because we had had a kinship to the small town where everyone knew one another, same faces, same jobs. But some could not quite stand the fact that the town is slowly dying. They had another vision of expanding the town and even wanted to see if there were other towns like theirs. It was just like what we are doing now with the 7 planets, only trillion times smaller and simpler. Carrying nothing on their shoulders but a sense of hope and some food along the way, humans ventured out of their comfort zones (for the first time). They met people with different appearances. They encountered mind-blowing winds and weather conditions. They talked to people whose languages were songs to them and whose writings were hieroglyphic to them. They said, “If flat Earth can fuck itself, it has to be round (or spherical, in today’s language)” (not really).

In this modern society, people are doing the same thing: they travel around the world; they learn new cultures; they interact with people in all shapes, colors, and sizes without hindrance. Some other people are also doing the same thing but only light-years larger: they telescope the whole bad-ass universe; they shoot people to the moon and robots to Mars; they find 7 planets. For me, I am doing the former.

Before I landed in Canada, I had never been to Canada. What I had been doing was traveling to places outside of Saigon. Countries I have had the chance to visit are, in alphabetical order: America, Australia, China, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, Taiwan, and Thailand. So, I have been to a lot. I have had no trouble with actually living in Canda. But the thing is, I have witnessed a smaller model of “the town” above. It has to do with my younger cousins. Well, I know that I should not be picking on them since they are going through what I have not been through, the process of withdrawal from drugs. No. Totally not true at all. I’m just screwing with you readers. They are withdrawing, not from drugs but from foreign entities instead.

So, I was supposed to stay at my extended-family aunt’s house till New Year for, like, 3 days or so. I did my best to interact with my cousins, but just like the Conservatives, they blocked my efforts of passing the bill and went straight for their bills – staying away from the foreign object. Now that I think of it, I imagine myself as an intrusion to this whole body, and the cousins were like white blood cells who fended off and eventually exterminated the intruder. Sorry, but I was a mutated strain of the avian flu, I did not give up without a fight. So for hours of sitting at the same dining table, I tried to break through their walls. I tried flying above, shot down with AA flak 18. I tried digging below, blown up to pieces by pressure-sensitive underground mines. I tried going head-on with the wall, broke my neck.

Shit. I gave up. But not before the Normandy invasion. Okay, there was no Normandy invasions because I ran out of funding and saw myself standing between the devil(s) and the deep blue sea (I chose the deep-blue sea). Heck.

You may ask, “Hey bruh, y dis háp pèn?” My utterly dull analysis on this particular incident may point to the fact that they grew up around people that they have known for life. And they have been living inside this thick sap bubble that has not burst since the dark ages. And since humans also have an innate sense of self-protection and establishment, can’t really blame them for staying true to their natural instincts.

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  • Complété le vingt-huit février.