I was in Taipei, Taiwan when President Clinton gave the second most famous speech of his presidency:”Ok maybe I did have sexual relations with that woman” (second only to his previous “I did not have sexual relations with that woman”). I remember that day vividly because it was the first time I really caught a glimpse of my own culture through the eyes of another one. It’s an experience I have since come to love. There’s something brilliant that happens when you sit on the visitor’s side of the gym.
When Senator Obama changed his name to President I watched it online from a training center in Northeast China and I was the only one interested. I was just a few hundred miles away when Michael Phelps won 8 golds (although most people around me were 100% convinced he was doping). Over the past several weeks I have had several conversations with Chinese taxi drivers regarding President Obama and while I can’t understand every word I can always decipher “Li-bee-ya”, thumbs down and flatulence noises. Seeing your home through the lenses of the world doesn’t always change your position but it never leaves your position unchecked. It grants a fresh perspective that pummels your pride, tests your patience and in the end, forces you to either open your eyes or be painfully conscious of your choice to keep them closed.
Today was another world changing day. Looking forward to riding in a taxi tomorrow.
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