In a lot of ways, I got used to people understanding what I said without a lot of in depth explanations for the words I use. Here, I find myself having to defend what I say as coming from personal experience and not that I believe that what I say is Truth. I talk about how I don’t typically like martial artists that are not tied to Asia, people that can trace an effective lineage back to traditional martial arts, because what they have been taught is often flawed or has been stripped to make it a sport. Somehow it comes out as stereotyping. It’s not the first subject it’s happened with either.
I don’t know if the language has changed, or if I just got used to talking to other martial artists. Maybe I just got used to Mexico where broad generalizations are the rule and not the exception. Or maybe I got used to dealing with people who understand that I know I am usually wrong, that my opinions change, and that the subject is interesting, not the semantics of the language used. I don’t know, but it’s just one more thing to adapt to.
I’ve been learning a lot here, changing my methods, style, and I think I found a few things that work. As time goes on, my classes change, and I have different things to worry about. I know a lot of teachers at other schools have a much more erratic schedule than I do, but I always appreciated that. I didn’t come here for money, I came here to become something new. I will have enough going forward, and that is all I need for now.
I’ve found a few martial arts schools that look promising, but with the way this city is designed I think I’m going to need a scooter eventually. There are too many places I want to go that are close and yet take hours to get to by bus. I’ll have to see what comes, and whether I’m willing to deal with all that comes with driving here.
It hasn’t really stopped raining since I got here, and that’s good and bad. It’s cold enough that all I want to do sometimes is stay in bed all day, but my cough slowly goes away, I find it harder to justify. There is too much to see, and I didn’t travel to the other side of the world to watch Netflix.
I still wander a bit, but mostly to find food and see what’s around where I live. It’s hard to take pictures like I used to with the sky so dim and gray. Everything starts to look the same color, filtered through the smog and rain. I still love this place, but it’s hard to get to know. I feel a distance, partly because of the weather and partly because of the language. I need to find a teacher, but I need to be sure of my finances first.
Everything is coming, I know that, but it feels different. There’s an anticipation that has never been there before, something driving me to look forward. Maybe it’s just the isolation after Mexico where I had so many people around. So much family.
They asked about culture shock at the last training, but I don’t know that it ever really hits me. I don’t have anywhere to look back to, anywhere I go will be a strange new world. I see the differences between what I expect and what I see, but I felt just as alien in San Diego as I do here. I don’t really belong anywhere, even when people hold a place for me, even when it should be home.
I wonder if I will ever find a place that fits, like I’ll just be exploring and one day I’ll feel like I’ve found home, and I never want to leave. I wonder if I’ll just be waiting for the right tide for the rest of my life, and where the winds go I follow. Maybe I am a bard, collecting stories and cultures as I travel the lands, either vanishing into oblivion or becoming a legend. I’m not really sure which is worse.