I came here to Germany to visit my cousin and family. My cousin, our friend, and I were at the PX American Base a while ago. I have this very judgemental perception over living here and working for the US military. I immersed my self watching strangers, americans and germans, Filipino, and other culture, passing me by as I sat on a bench(which I rarely do, since I'm the one shopping always but this time I was waiting for them!)...after so many going back and forth in this same mall for the forth time since I got to this country. I noticed that no matter what the current economy situation is, commercial/marketing is very universal. I see so much merchandise for sale whether it would be German decor, Japanese figurines, name branded clothing, shoes, hats, cosmetics and endless over-our-basic necessities stuff. And they make it sound such a good deal cause...yay!! TAX FREE!!!... I watched around some more, by this time I really didn't mind the wait anymore. Food court crowd was dwindling down and most of the associates at this point were cleaning so intently as if someone would come and inspect the place really and fire them if they only see a tiny irrelevant slightly dirty spot.
I went to take a walk, around so to find my loves and they were nowhere to be found so I walked around some more and I see this painter as I see him every day now, in the middle of the mall workng with his paintings. He was sitting on his stool working on perfecting this puppy's nose that he was copying from what I speculated as somebody's photograph of their pet. He stood up, I tilted my head and smiled as I passed him. Almost to a stalking way, (I know it was soo not me) I sat on a dining table few yards away from his back and stared at him contemplating for minutes whether the little puppy's nose was perfectly highlighted already or not. He got up went for a break and I see my hubby waving at me, then they walked to a store some more. I, for some wierd reason was so compeled to go meet this older guy as he was walking to his post. I asked him if he spoke English and he said yes. And I told him that I've been walking around in this mall and I think he was the most passionate person I've seen. He isn't German as I guessed he is French and I said I thought cause he seemed so passionate and calm and I see a certain relaxed flow in him. I threw some of my ( of course not at all perfect) french phrases and was delighted and asked me if I was an artist and he asked further, so I said no, I work in a lab and I like observing and I would like to write. He asked me "if you would have to write about this meeting at this moment, what would you say?". I said that I'm in between cultures and that I see from the outside looking in and everything around me is in between, a soujorn! He said "I like that!" And I apologized I wanted to come back after our whole week of Italian/Spanish trip that maybe I'll see him again.
I may believed him, he may just be pulling my feet but I learned a lot from this maybe insignifant chat... that some people are just here for a certain time, working, getting the most of it, hence the shopping spree that they may never find better deals somewhere else. Some as my cousin said earlier live here already for good. As I always wonder about the behaviour of some that I have met over the years of visiting PX Germany, some of them really don't have a lot of choices, that jobs are easier to be found here and that everyone has such great respect for their job that I see such dedication. If one just know how to hussle and be wise of their endeavor, they'll be in good shape...and that maybe I have gotten used of my relaxed environment (which is not necesarily always good) for it could turn to complacency and stagnance. And the shopping issue is kinda the same thing in the mainland that some just don't get immersed with the real passion in life we get so caught up with buying things we really don't need...and is used as a temporary sense of satisfaction, until we all learn simplicity.
I've seen that dedication to the job from my husband over the years, but I guess I focused on the negative part until today. <3