30 Days Straight: #13

  •  On a Friday, I am writing my 13th post… ironic but I dig.
  • The American: My partner did me a favor and called a local hotel owner in order to get a price check on rooms. He told the guy over the phone that someone was simply trying to receive information, not book anything. The curious owner still wanted to know who was inquiring so my partner simply said “Americanul meu” which translates to “My American”. Apparently, he has taken ownership of me. I laughed out loud and shook my head.
  • How can you explain the difference between the uses of “did” and “have done”? A student today asked me and I tried very hard to explain it with minimal success. I mentioned that using “did” would infer that is was accomplished at a specific time and that it was done once rather than habitually. Any other suggestions would be great!
  • Being a Man and Leader: I walked into my partner’s office today and for one of the first times in a while we just talked about life. Normally I come with questions dealing with a project or ideas surrounding our business but today I felt like changing it up with him a bit. Writing a grant is very tedious and I feel like I have not spoken with anyone in the building in some time. So he and I proceeded to have coffee and discuss. I wanted to understand more about why he makes certain decisions in life and how he got to the position he is in presently. Vitalie is married and has an astute and jovial son. The kid is like a small politician, I swear. He is going to do something special mark my words. He told me that his philosophy in life is about being one of respect in his society and that he is very traditional. He likes to follow the rules and cultural norms. He got married at 27 after enjoying his youth to the fullest. When I say enjoy, I mean it. He raged like all of us young men do. He said however that when he met his wife it changed him into being someone that wanted to create something more special and that he was ready to take on those responsibilities with her in their potential family. He made a decision to be present in his son’s life from the beginning and throughout his existence which is why he has not crossed over the border to take higher paying jobs. He has witnessed how families in the community have been shattered by this ongoing epidemic. Wives leaving to work abroad (some as prostitutes), husbands sleeping with other women at home, and kids staying with their grandparents or single. There remains no leadership at home, no example to follow. How does anyone expect a child to figure this all out for themselves? Vitalie realized that money does not drive him. Family, love, happiness does. He sees a friend with a nicer place in Italy or two cars and says congratulations. Another single friend points to girls in the bar and says he has slept or could sleep with any one of them. It does not bother Vitalie. He has nothing to prove. He is happy for others’ decisions, he just knows what is most important to him. He is secure with himself and it is impressive.
  • Felt a very strong cold wind with rain drops brush across my face as I walked home from work in the dark. It reminded me of working on a house by the lake with my father and his construction crew in Evanston, Illinois. I was talking apart a brick wall when gusts of wind off Lake Michigan blew harshly in my face. So overwhelmingly that my eyes began to tear up and I had to put a hood over my face in order to see what I was doing. In Moldova, seldom does the wind blew. This was the first gust that I can remember while being here and for whatever reason it brought me back to that moment at home over a year ago. Instead of covering my face I embraced it by extending my arms, dropping my head back towards the ground, and peering towards the sky.
  • Awkward Moment: I had to meet with the director of the professional school in order to acquire a list of six participants for our business seminars in one week. As I entered the building, she caught me in the front hall of the school and interlocked arms with me as we headed towards her office. I felt okay because I took it as a sign of her being friendly and welcoming. We got to her office and she asked that I take a seat so we can discuss the list. She told me immediately that she had not worked on it and that we do not have to be so rushed in formulating it. I begged to differ. I insisted that the list be done by Tuesday at the latest because the organization planning the event needs to know by Wednesday or else they will not come. She nodded in agreement but then followed by saying that I was being rather serious and that I need to joke and laugh a little. I nodded confusedly. She stated that she is a very light, warm-hearted woman who likes to know the people she works and communicates with personally. Feeling like an outsider I decided to make her feel more at ease by saying that I was not trying to be stern with her it was only that this could be a very important event for the community and that we were running out of time. Switching the subject entirely she asked me if I had a girlfriend. “Huh?!” I thought to myself. Confused where the conversation might go I mentioned that I did not but asked why she was interested. She continued by smiling and asked if I liked younger women or older women. At this point, I was feeling incredibly weirded out as this woman is in her late 50’s and was clearly crossing the line. One moment I was asking for a list, the next I was being prodded with inappropriate personal questions. She continued on by preaching that her heart will always be 18 years old and that she is a woman of affection. For a second I was not sure if she was drunk or if this was a normal conversation for her and that I was the outcast. I interrupted by saying that I did not mean to be rude but I had to leave. She asked me if I was mad at her to which I said no. Reading my body language as I exited, she requested to be excused for asking deep questions but also added that I should be fine with letting my emotions and true feelings be released and shared with the world. I looked at her with a blank stare, smirked, said good day, and walked out of the office befuddled. As I headed back towards my office I felt like the bad guy for some reason. Was she just trying to be nice? Should I have been more open? Then I thought, of course not. That was incredibly awkward. I wish that I had lied and said that I had a girlfriend from the start to avoid what followed. I think she got the message when I left the meeting but I hope this does not complicate our communication in the future. I would like to work with this school more often as they provide a lot of specialized students in the field of business, I only hope that she can be more professional the next time we meet.

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