Do you remember, when you were a little kid, you kept being told how much you needed to be careful around strangers? For example, not talking to anyone you do not know or receive any gifts without knowing the causes? Plus all sort of myth your parents whisper to you what might happen if you do not follow their advices.
Then we grow up a little more, their advices turn to be “non-sense” sometimes. We thought we knew everything.
Okay, then we grow up a little more, the myth we were told, are shockingly turning to be true. We read all the news, and we hear all the horrible crimes being done in this world. We shout to ourselves, “What is up with that?”. Our voice got weaken while our brain continuously question why, and how human can do such thing to another human, what sort of hatred or strong reasons leading to that end?
I remember all of that. I even remember, during my first week in London, I was so excited of a new environment & a new me which I began to re-shape after months living in Finland, that I spontaneously talked to a strange woman sitting on the bench with me. I was sitting there, inhaling (rather creepily) London’s vibe, and exhaling my fresh youth breath, I was so ready for that new adventure. On the same day, I went to Mc Donald, and after nearly one hour being hesitant, I started a conversation with another woman. She comes from Taiwan. I met her another time after that for coffee, kept in touch still during first weeks there but never met her again later when life both carried us away. I don’t know how she is now, but I will never forget that spontaneous buddy I found. She could have ignored me and walked away with a weird look. At least, that is what I imagine people normally do every time I want to approach a new person.
Boy, how much I loved that word “spontaneous“, a lot back then and still averagely these days. It rises something in me. It makes me becoming alive thinking I can possibly do anything. I was raised in a big urban city, and maybe it is just me, but such environment has not given me the benefit of not suspecting people. I was raised by my parents like that, which is not to say they are wrong, or the news you watch are reporting wrongly. But I hate to see myself like that, don’t you?
I hate my own behaviours when strangers approach me sometimes. Most of the time, I link with the negative purposes as the first thing. I cannot tell you exactly why, as I wonder it myself. It can be the Finnish culture influence onto me, or my own childhood of being taught to avoid contacts with strangers, or those heart-brokenly world news I hear every day. But I am suspicious at people. And I am superficial sometimes too, despite how much I would like not to admit. I silently misjudge people if they dress strangely. I walked away from a group of people standing and talking loudly. I avoided asking help from men, if I can find another women. I possess in me this “unconscious bias” (a term used by my boss), in spite of me studying and working in the intercultural field. You can think of me as a shallow person, I cannot say you are entirely wrong. Even so, I am certain if you dig a little deeper into your own behaviour, maybe you also have such unconscious bias.
And so, I have this special adrenalin boiling up to live when I do something spontaneous—anything I normally won’t do. Don’t get me wrong, I love my own bubble too. I enjoy comfort in something I find familiar with, even if it is only a brand I am pleased with. I don’t jump to the “change” bus whenever every opportunity comes. But I’d like to push myself to jump when the pan to heat up the adrenalin is crying out for being used. I need something new, I need to know I am not wasting my time not doing something, just to reach a point when I wish I could have done so.
These days, that needs of mine has become something even bigger—a force demanding me. The moment I fail to please my own demand, I feel guilty. I share with you this because I don’t want to make my post saying out loud that you should also not sit at home and repeat doing the same thing everyday. Maybe too much of a need is not good, it turns to be a greed. And the thing with being greedy is, it is never enough.
I am doing this again, I wander to other areas too long…
Okay, back to spontaneous topic, the reason for me writing this is because of an amazing night I had yesterday. I got stuck (again) late (yup, again too) in a new, strange city, knowing no one and the worst moment of yesterday incident was knowing there would be no train taking me back to Cannes, from Grasse.
I thought, I was doomed.
I tried to stay calm, I was not sure how much I managed to do so as I walked up and down the hill, looked desperately at anyone I should have approached to ask for their phones to call taxis (but I didn’t). It took me more than 15 minutes to finally speak to a guy, asking for help with the taxi calling. His phone was out of money, so he walked back to the train station with me to talk with the security guy there. Another funny thing was, I noticed the security guy before, but he was talking with two of his friends. Together, they gave me uncomfortable vibe (or I just felt that on my horrible sixth sense); so I didn’t ask in the beginning. When I approached them with another person, the security guy’s friends walked away, they were completely harmless and the security guy turned out to be so kind.
The taxi was booked. While waiting for it (and laughing at myself inside my head), I met another new person. He came to buy candy from the vending machine, and he did not have changes but the 5 euro paper. He asked me if I had any changes, I said no and told him to speak to the security guy. The guy did not have. I only had one coin at that moment and suggested I could give him that if the thing he wanted to buy did not cost more. He laughed, he said it was okay and he would pay for himself.
Then, the conversation started.
And I got an offer for a lift back to Cannes.
You might think how reckless I was to say yes, to a person I absolutely had no idea who, in a place I had no much ideas about except the perfume museums (and hey, I will share some pictures with you later). I was indeed thinking the same at myself after saying “yes” too. It was a risk (someone might say it still is), he seemed nice but one never knows. The moment I sat in his car, I thought, “well okay, so now all my balls are in his court really…“. My phone could not even make a call.
In such situations when you decide to be spontaneous, there are two scenarios to happen (ok maybe three), a good one, a bad one and eh, maybe medium one (in which nothing too good or too bad happen). I was lucky, another time of me wanting to be spontaneous, its result was good (I sort of already gave you a spoiler alert above though…).
He was genuinely nice. We talked during driving to Cannes, and knowing I had never seen the city at night before, we both wanted a trip going around, stopping at the beach, looking at how the darkness of the sea is lightened up with all the sparkling lights from those luxurious hotels and the rich life this city is conveying. We passed by popular bars, where people all dress extremely nice and I heard rarely French. I used to think Cannes was only in such vibe during film festival, but I was wrong. Cannes’ film festival can be any Saturday nights in the city: nice expensive cars, nice expensive dresses, nice expensive shirts, nice expensive dinner tables and drunk rich adults who want to relax for holidays or weekends. I much wanted such life when I was a teenager. I think some days now, I even want it more because money has turned to be a thing spoiling your happiness even if it cannot bring you one. But, yesterday, when I was looking at all those people, only for moments, my brain whispered out its dream to my ears. Moments later, I started to wonder, how one feels after those glorious moments? What comes after a good-looking party? Another good-looking party?
I think I enjoyed more being in the car, or sit anywhere looking at them passing by, in all of their costumes. No, I did enjoy it more.
After Cannes, he drove me to Peninsula, where the light house was. I got to stand in a point, where you can see Mandelieu on the left, Cannes, then Grasse, then Nice to the right. The light house is lied in the middle point. I felt like I was high on drugs. I needed that sort of new thing more than I imagined. I needed to be reminded there was a reason.
I would not have had such experience if I decided to say no and go with the taxi. I would probably pay even much more and not be able to make a new friend. Of course, I do know things could have been in a whole opposite way. But it didn’t. Many months ago, someone told me: running away is not the option. It is a big “what if” to take, but you will hate yourself for the rest your life if you did not find out what could happen. I know he is right. The screenshot of that message is still on my phone even though looking at it made me bitter to my bones. After all the things going wrong when I took that “what if”, I don’t know who to thank for about yesterday event—one of the rare “what if” going right.
And the spontaneous word? Still charming as ever.