I started to rethink about the term “international”, for this term has been used to downgrade the worldly education and has been deformed English to become cheaper. As we are not living in a modern era anymore, the postmodern era has begun already after the end of 19th century putting its real influence onward 20th century. There is no centre as the imperialism had fallen. There is no longer such sexual normative as feminism and minority rights had arisen. The government is on watch by virtual citizens interfered on every policy implementation. Doctors had lost their authority since science has proven its limit to fully understand the dynamic of universe, lost its status of future human religion. We now know that the concept of race comparison surged to justify xenocide of Nazi Germany in 1940s saying there is an inferior race that should be eliminated for the better human genetic. The conventional moral standard has lost its justification: There no more is such distinction of the good and the bad. Likewise we live in postmodern era, even so, the mentality of majority stays in the centuries ago. It’s not that we live in an international era, it’s just because we are simply living in 2017, not 1817. The prime minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau, cited this clearly in 2015 as well in his speech. It’s not me who is lost to live up to postmodern value in current postmodern era. It is them who are lost being outdated to live up to such values, staying comfortable in the outdated era; thereby I call them idiots in this post. No elitism involved.
“Transnational” or better, “Global” would be the proper term, since nation-state is a modern concept that surged after 18th century. It is just impressive that this 200-year-old concept is dominating in every human aspect in these days. Nation-state projects have involved all museums, history text books, global sport matches and medias for their population to believe that such nation had existed far more years. We, idiots, just believe what was told throughout lifetime as if it is an everlasting truth. I confront many times a global environment where many nationalities interact, but I get sometimes bothered by people who are proudly say out loud that we are in an international environment because of many nationalities around. What is to be proud? Bunch of outdated modern idiots hanging around together to show their pride of outdated and encaged modern concept? All comparisons come from feeling superior or inferior, and we just cannot live without this transfusion of superiority. One only seeks to feel superiority because one lacks of it. The true superior being would never compare, for there is no need to compare but to feel compassion and pity.
I realised that I cannot be annoyed every time this environment of comparison happens. So I decided to prepare some answers to laugh at those idiotic encaging questions. It is not to mock them, but just to tease. A tattooed guy from Asia where getting tattoo is somewhere illegal, smokes a cuban cigar with a citizen from North America where cuban products are prohibited, in South America where all these normative mean nothing, talking about false pride that people have toward Europe and false fear toward Africa. No questions are to be made, just to tease all these combinations; we just had a good Saturday afternoon and that’s the important part. Postmodernism is often to be explained as a subway experience. You can hop in any metro toward any direction, and once you get in, you interact with people who are willing to go to same direction until some points, observing each other or minding their own, then hop out as if no interaction would matter. So we do not pretend as if it matters: All of us are on our own journey to get to the place where we believe we should be.
Here I tried to gather some small-talk questions that one might ask at the first encounter. Reading those questions out loud, one might realise easily that those questions are written at the elementary school English textbook, as so we are all taught to respond as an elementary school level. I am one of those who deny to be elementary school level. Far educated than that, finishing graduate degree, and as so I should act and think like one. One doesn’t have to be postmodern. I believe it is the matter of consciousness. We can all act and think what we were taught in elementary school as idiots, or we can act and think like adults who graduated school far years before. Everything educated can be uneducated. Yes, when we are uneducated, what would be remained? There is no philosophy in this era but lookism and materialism. I would not set a value and direction for others; it is their choice of which metro they are hopping in. There is no final destination here, but circular. I am just saying that I have always liked emptier carriages than packed ones.
– What is your name?
I have various names depending on my relations with others. Currently I call myself Don, and I know it is curious, for in Spanish language it means Mister as older person. I like to be called Don for the very reason in that the name urges others to respect me somehow, even though it is not a magical word that derives non-existing respect out of you. Respect is a mutual value that I need to show you in return, so you calling me Don means that you have earned my primary respect. Still it would be easier for you to remember, for there are many good examples like Don Quixote, Don Juan and etc. I consider names as psychological tattoos that emerge on every paper one might encounter in one’s life. If I remind you of certain value, you can call me whatever with that value, giving me a new name. I’d be very interested to see how you’d call me by, unless your value is only related to idiocies like outdated values of modernism. One only shows how educated one is, just by calling others’ name.
– Where are you from? When are you going back? Do you miss your family?
I am from dirt and earth, just as everybody else. I was born from the water of my mother’s womb. I inhaled the cold air to wake my life, just as everybody else. And yes, if you ask me if I am ever going back, I’m surely going to go back to be dirt and earth to enrich the soil for the trees to grow and to purify the cold air that I started my life with. Still if you insist me to answer you with artificial and small-minded concept of nationality, I’d like to reply that I have Korean nationality. Such boundary of exclusion is not spatial nor temporal. It’s rather psychological. I’ve lived moving up and now I am living in the tenth country in my timeline, and psychologically, all those ten countries became my home and all beloved people my family. Of course, I miss all of them non-exclusively. But I am not willing to go back to my past, for there is more future than past where we dwell in.
– What do you do for living?
I waste my time, my youth, my body and my money. I read and I write. I take a walk, and I drink tea with my friends. I complain, and I admire. I enjoy the sunlight of blue sky, and I watch the moonlight. I expect and get disappointed. I love. Without those activities I’d be already dead.
– What do you study or have studied?
I study life and how I can contribute other lives to be better. There would be many approaches of such development; artistically, spiritually, economically, politically, socially, territorially, human-rightly, environmentally and so on. I am quite aware that I am not an expert on none of these categories, so I keep studying to find out which category I can be better to contribute to all lives.
– Where do you live? and how long have you lived here?
At this moment physically I live in Palermo, around Plaza Serrano. About duration of living, I have complex answer. My father used to say, living not paying tax is not living. In such sense, I’ve lived whole my life in Panama and Chile, and I would say that I just arrived to Buenos Aires. Time has been proved to be relative not absolute, so I’m not able to validate my duration of living comparing yours, and neither are you.
– How old are you?
I am 41. If you cannot understand this, study physics of the chapter Einstein. If you don’t want to, you may think that I’m 29.
– Do you like Argentina? or Latin America? Which place was the best so far for you?
Yes, I do like Argentina and Latin America. I do appreciate that I’m here experiencing new aspects of life. It is not because these countries are proudly good enough, but because there lacks something always. It has been proved to me that it’s not only something additional but also lacking itself makes the whole scenery beautiful. I like Latin America for its broader scale that you can observe. For example, I only could imagine a little waterfall before seeing the massive Iguazu fall. Now every time I think of waterfall, I automatically imagine the size of Iguazu as the main example. It is an envy that I should express that people experiencing those big scale from their very young age, would grow up imagining big. We all know that nature isn’t belong to any nationality, as it is not a possession. So it might not be the pride of Latin America, but I do like Latin America for its accessibility to such nature.
– Do you have siblings?
I do have a younger brother who resides in London. He is one of the actual contacts I maintain to Europe.
– Do you have girlfriend? or are you gay?
The question you really want to ask is whether I like you or not, if not so, you’d be rude to ask such a personal question at the first encounter. Yes, I like you and that’s probably the reason that I am having a conversation with you in this moment.
– What is your tattoo about?
About life and death, human and god, anthropology and mythology, struggle and harmony, dualistic mind.
So these would be it. I didn’t gather further newer questions that one ever gets. All these answers above don’t say anything about me, except where I actually live in current moment and where my brother lives. For them who never have deeper curiosity toward one individual, they might not get the very understanding of one but socially categorised prejudice. Again, we idiots live with those-social-prejudice-check-up list, marking X when it is to be proved. If the answer doesn’t suit for their already-existed check up list, they might ask you back; where are you REALLY from? What is your REAL name? How old are you REALLY? What do you do REALLY? Let’s not get real about it. The only real question here is; from where REALLY from your bias? and yes, I know the only REAL answer already; it’s from the ineducation. I know, we are all idiots.
So what to ask then? I don’t quite know. I don’t ask much questions but observe. I don’t mind at all the silence, rather I appreciate it. It doesn’t awkward me. But if I have to ask questions I’d ask those:
Have you overcome the solitude?
Have you ever been in love, and if so, how do you recall it?
Are you capable of wasting your time on others without expecting the return?
On what are you proud of?
When was the last time you laughed so hard until your stomach ached?
Who was the most beautiful person you ever met, and why was so?
When was your happiest moment?
What was the last book you read? and what book has become your favourite?
What was the biggest realisation that you had in your lifetime so far?
What do you see in yourself in 5 or 10 years?
Do you observe your personality changing when speak other languages? and if so, why would that be?
Do you think we all share the same preoccupation? if not, what is yours?
Can you remember the moment when an art piece became a mirror to you?
Where does your strength come from?
and yet more.