I think the biggest reason I enjoyed my trip to the Pacific was not the weather, the scuba, the comparatively huge amount of free time without obligations. It wasn’t even the beautiful women.
It was the seemingly cultural habit of building up people in conversation. It took me almost half my 3 week trip to finally isolate it. When I and my friends talk, there are far fewer compliments, and even those are edged and constrained like “She is almost as gorgeous as X.” or “She is the smartest person I’ve met since X.” There is a need for comparison, and it seems we habitually feel a need to compare things in order to assign a value in our heads. It’s a kind of pervasive stoicism because rarely are things the worst or best it’s ever been. In doing this, I think maybe we lose a bit more than we get in our trade off for what would seem an emotional insurance way of thinking.
When I was in Guam and CNMI, most of the people spoke in ways building up my self esteem. Even recognizing some (OK most) of it as BS, it still feels good. I sat on a corner eating a chicken kabob and just listened to the crowd. It’s not just to the tourists. Even the teenagers seemed to build each other up without tearing down their peers.
Now, I’m not going to lie and say all of the other cool parts of my trip weren’t great. I got to exercise every day. I took 6 scuba dives. I ran a 5k there where the organizers had to open up the 2XL shirts for me because I was the first of the big people to finish. The sunsets were gorgeous. To top it off, I had little by way of MS symptoms. All in all, it was a great trip.
Add in some humor, and it was the best pick me up I’ve ever had. A lady came up to me in Godfathers (a bar with good cheap food) and said, “You have the darkest green eye’s I’ve ever seen.”
Me,”So dark they’re brown?”
During a massage “You know where I come from in China, chest and back hair is exotic. Most of my friends would think this is a turn on.” I wanted to reply, but I was too busy laughing.
A couple of fun pictures