BIG Number ONE on our Top Five Countdown… Communication!!

Thank you Three Dog Night. There were a lot of choices for the song for NUMBER ONE. Honorable mentions go to Metallica – One, U2 – One and of course Swedish House Mafia – One. I had to remain true to my roots and go with Three Dog Night, it works on many levels. My mother used to sing this song a lot when I was a child so it reminds me of home and my youth and of course makes me think of my mom. That is a gift that is priceless.  It also works because one is in fact the loneliest number.

To recap our “Top Five Things I Miss The Most Countdown” so far…
Number 5 – Florida
Number 4 – My Garage
Number 3 – My Movie Collection
Number Two Most Missed Thing – AMERICAN FOOD
and now… drum roll please…. The All Time NUMBER ONE thing I miss most COMMUNICATION!

See, what happens when you are in a foreign land is any attempt to communicate fails. Usually it is an EPIK fail if you will pardon the pun. Now, for those of you who know me personally since arriving in Korea I don’t talk much. I will give you all a minute to get back up from falling out of your chairs. Back home I talk quite often, I will interject or joke about a subject being discussed. I always try to be nice and just keep things light and fun. I am not really a “deep philosophical” guy and I am not an “argumentative” guy. Generally I respect people opinion and try to always have fun. Not the case here… anything I try to say gets misunderstood or unrecognized completely. I am of the opinion that the majority of people here think I am either a mute or slightly retarded.

Funny thing about being misunderstood every time you try to talk, slowly you just stop talking. Often I internalize my thoughts or feelings or just tune everyone out completely. It is kind of like a mental “thousand yard stare”. I try to nod or blink so those around me know I am alive but mostly I remain silent. I listen with envy as my friend the gym teacher makes remarks that give co-teachers a laugh. I think to myself “sure wish I could talk and laugh too”. If I try to joke the look of confusion is terrifying.  The few times I went out with fellow Ex-pats they probably thought my mouth was in overdrive. It is kind of like when you talk to a mother that has been trapped in her house with only children as her company. You become the only outlet for real interaction and get a shotgun blast of “talk”. A fact that might explain why I don’t get invited out with fellow Ex-pats much.

So, for the last 45 days I will continue to smile and nod. My best friend my MP3 player will sing in my ear as I walk and shop and when I get home I promise to TRY not to make my family and friend’s brains explode from too much talking. Until then my friends be thankful that when you say words they have meaning and the receiver has comprehension… it is a gift that I used to take for granted.



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