The grass is greener…



I had a wonderful winter vacation in the city that never sleeps: New York City. Yes, people everywhere in a hurry to get somewhere. Nobody sees you, nobody talks to you but there are more opportunities to interact with others: at the store, at the subway, the park, with the taxi driver, the doorman, anyone. And everyone walks firmly and hurriedly. Everyone appears to have no time to waste. I loved the diversity, everyone came from another country, I did not meet one American born person there. The diversity is so large you learn from so many different cultures and countries. All the accents, the different cultures and all the races, you can never get bored. The noise, the constant honking of cars, the bad city smell, the cold weather, the rain (no snow this year), all of it was wonderful and exciting. Why did I like it so much? Well perhaps because here in California there’s none of it. Nobody walks in LA. Just like the song. Everyone keeps driving, people are more patient as we have learned we have no choice when stuck in traffic and well, the weather is always sunny and appealing consequently we can’t complain too much.

California has been my home since I came to the USA in the late 80’s. I didn’t think California was too different from what I used to know, I lived in a beach town before and so coming to Santa Barbara was similar in a way. Then I moved to Los Angeles (Glendale to be exact), and yes there’s some diversity but you mostly meet people from the same 2-3 countries that have immigrated here. You get used to it and don’t get curious anymore. And traffic was something else too, many cars, many long lines sitting in traffic but I learned to cope with it and be patient. Always safe in my car, socializing is minimal in California going long distances have been the norm, commuting to work every morning. After work, my neighborhood is so quiet, and now that I moved a little further east from Los Angeles, it’s so quiet at night. If we want to do anything we better get out before 7pm. People go to sleep so early in CA. So whenever I travel to NYC because is so contrary of what I know here, it attracts me and that’s what I like now: the noise of the city. I like that it’s 11 pm at night and I can go out for a drink or something to eat and it won’t be scary or lonely, it will be crowded.

We tend to like what we don’t have. The phrase the grass is always greener on the other side is so very true and it can be applied in most areas of our lives. The other job, the other family, the other car, I could go on and on. Why is that? Well, because we become accustomed to things. We get in a routine and whenever we can get out of the routine, it’s attractive. It’s special. So that’s why we love to vacation, because we can break away from the day to day predictability. Yes. I still think I may like the city more than the country side but if I lived in the city I would probably complain about the noise or the crowds and then I would take a vacation to a nice beach town where’s no noise, where everyone goes to sleep by 8pm. That’s human nature, and is good to know this so whenever I want something else I can remind myself of what’s like when I take a vacation. Then I can ponder a little longer before deciding if I really want that other thing that I don’t have or if I can water the grass a little more…



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