Searching for the Real World
This is so far from the real world! I heard someone say recently when touring around our small island here in the Philippines.
The way people live, what they do for a living, how they pass their time, they way things are. It was all so far from the real world.
It really made such perfect sense. It is another world out here, and the laws and ways of the west do not apply. But ask any of the fishermen preparing their boats for their morning trips what they think the real world is, and it would pretty much be just this.
I am here, so am I living in surreality? Should I stop what I’m doing and return to the real world? Get real, get a real job, return to real life?
When I walk around here, I do realize how we are occupying the same planet, but living in totally different worlds. We observe each other with amusement and find the ways of the other silly.
For me this is often paradise, for the other this is the way the world is. They have not seen any other place, they have not seen any other ways of living a life. You build a small house, you build a boat, you fish, you grow rice, you try to get by, you feed your family and enjoy life as it is.
This is as real as it gets.
Just the other day we visited the local cold springs. We came across a group of locals who had a day out together. They had three native, whole chickens which they stuffed and propped on a bamboo stick. They gathered wood and started a fire, got some banana leafs to use as plates, and eventually spread out a ‘table’ of rice, grilled chicken and other treats they brought with them, and proceeded to eat with their hands, as they do here.
But not before offering the biggest piece of chicken leg to us first. The strangers. The curious by-standers.
On our way back we passed a small house with an abundance of Tambis growing in the trees. Tambis is a local, rather sour and crunchy fruit, and while we were just admiring the trees, the family came out to ask if we wanted some. Sure!
I thought some, meaning a few, but soon there were 4 kids in the trees gathering a sack full of Tambis for us. I tried to offer donation, but it was not accepted.
People give without expecting anything back. They appear to have so little, and yet they give out so much.
Yes, this IS far from the Real World.