True Meaning

My Japanese friend was very upset and she asked me to listen to her (online) for a while about an incident she had with an old man the day before. She was very distressed.

Being a westerner, my mind flew too high and what at first I thought it was something more severe, luckily it happened to be, (and I am happy it was so) more of a generational conflict than a physical aggression.

He was a Japanese man who was born before Wold War II, he was amazed by the way young people nowadays are living an easier life with much more opportunities and comfort than he had in his time. Continue reading


It is amazing when you compare the differences between several concepts that I thought were a little more “standardise” like “success”, “beauty”, “good”, “evil” and so on.

For some strange reason I always thought we all shared the same concepts on many subjects, like the notion of “good” for instance. It was years later when having to interact with people from different countries as a visitor and observer, that I had my first “cultural shock”.

So maybe the ideas are not that different, but our interpretations are. What my community considers a crime, a different culture considers it as something normal, even logical. Continue reading

The same?

I was waiting for the tube at a crowded station and I couldn’t help to overhear the conversation of two middle aged ladies happily chatting by my side.

One of them had gone to Spain for the summer and was amazed by some particularities of the language, she said something like this: “In Spain they give a gender to objects, for instance, they call a chair a ´she´, (she meant it is classified as feminine) and a shoe a ´he´ (masculine), that sounded so ´foreign´ She said with an amazed expression on her face.” Continue reading

I respect your ways

I know you have heard many times that we are all different. No matter how long we have lived in the same community, in the same house and even in the same family. We have a lot in common and yet, we are still different.

You might like to add sugar in your tea, I prefer a little more cream in it instead. You might prefer a bagel with it, I prefer a ring doughnut. You might like to talk about politics, I rather skip that subject.

We can be so different in so many aspects and yet, we can share a nice tea moment, each enjoying, at the same time, our own personal pleasures. Continue reading


Travelling means different things for every person. I remember I got very excited when I was a child as holydays approached. I knew we were going to travel somewhere.

Some holidays, we went to visit family and after a while that became a little boring because every occasion we were doing the same things with the same people and going to the same places.  Fortunately my mother decided we needed to see new places and began taking guided tours to different places everywhere. Continue reading

Who is changing you?

Maybe your parents were worried to know who your friends were all the time. They asked you to invite them to have supper or lunch at your home so they could get to know them a little better, or perhaps your community was so small that all families knew each other and everybody was friends with everybody.

In any case, the people you spent more time with, defined a lot of your actual personality. Believe it or not many of your habits, behaviour, speaking vices and gestures are not your own creation. They have been acquired. Continue reading