Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Small World

I have two roommates here in Geneva. Early this year, one decided to depart to Budapest for career advancement leaving a vacant spot in our apartment. Una and I began the the tedious process for finding a new roommate to fill the spot. Of course we are very picky, interviewing almost 2 people a night for 2-3 weeks. Finding a place to rent in Geneva is extremely difficult (1% vacant), so the renter (Una and I) can take the time to choose someone that fits the best. We wanted to make it into a talent contest like American Idol, but moving the furniture every nite would be such a pain. Finally we found Simon. He is originally from Ireland, which explains him having no problem with a couple glasses of wine for the interview. He installs golf courses around Europe and works for a company based in Scottsdale, Arizona. Pretty ironic, because I just moved from Scottsdale.

A few months ago I was walking home from the gym and hear a distinguished french accent I immediately recognized from way-back. I say 'hey Karim', he turns around with a shocked look on his face and a smile. I met him 13 years ago my freshmen year at the University of Arizona. Karim lived in the same dorm on the same floor. We both started talking about our funny moments, and shared experiences. Numbers were exchanged, so we can further laugh about ourselves, the people we know and the quirkiness of being college freshmen.

Karim gives me a ring to plan and meet up. We begin talking about a friend we had in common- Andrew. Andrew was a good friend of mine my freshman year. He lived in the dorm right next to me and was commonly stopping in to say hi or called upon for venturing out on the town. I ask Karim about Andrew and he mentions that he heard that Andrew may be moving to Morocco. I ask Karim to get me Andrew's information, which he didn't have, but knew who to get it from and would get back to me.

Simon and I were playing a golf tournament and talking about work. He was looking for a manager for one of the golf courses in Morocco and had someone in mind. He never said a name. I recalled, Karim mentioned that Andrew was moving to Morocco. It dawns on me...is there a possibility that my friend Andrew could be the same guy Simon (my new roommate) was talking about?

Naw, nej, na... nein, nope, non, naw.......NOOOO WAY!!

Two weeks pass while Simon is out of town.
Upon return, I nonchalantly ask him 'Do you know Andrew Rebman?'
Simon replied: 'Yeah, he called me today. I need to give him a call back. Why? How do you know him?'
Me: 'Oh, I've just heard of the guy. Tell him I said hi.'

It's things like this that makes the world feel extremely small. This is not even 6 degress of separation, more like one degree. We are all connected in one way or another.

What is: 6 degrees of Separation

You can also see karma come into play. We are constantly creating "seeds" though friendships, relations, and actions. Those seeds can and will follow us later, even if you are on the other side of the world. A friendship that was in the past or in the now will be somehow connected in the future. You can not escape karma. Live today and make friends today, because that is the tomorrow no matter where you are. I'm sure everyone has a story of these situations.

John Donne puts it into perspective with his work "no man is an island".

No man is an island, entire of itself
every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main
if a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were,
as well as if a manor of thy friends or of thine own were
any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind
and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls
it tolls for thee.

It means that we are all impacted by each other...and whatever happens to someone else, affects each of us as well. If you think about this. It is true in a number of ways, in individual relationships, in families, in social circles, and wider and wider in impacts. Information is communicated around the world creating a large network for connecting people in ways not previously available, by means of world news, blogs, skype, youtube, facebook, messenger, sms, email or even actions, where presidential candidates go overseas to speak in foreign countries. Because we are all connected in one way or another and issues are not as isolated as they used to be, people are not as isolated as we used to be. Your actions, your decisions, your vote, your choices, your treatment of other people, all have an effect.

When someone asks me, 'Are you ever homesick?'. Yes, of course, but there isn't anyone I can't get in touch with immediately over the phone and internet. This blog is an example of including family and friends in my life. We may not be next to each other chatting, laughing, enjoying the presence of one's company but we are sharing little experiences, making the world a little smaller than it was before.

"no man is an island"

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Daddio feeling the jive of Montreux Jazz Festival

Founded in 1967, the Montreux Jazz Festival has established itself as one of the biggest and best-loved music festivals in Europe. Each year musicians, bands and music fans from around the world descend on the beautiful mountain town of Montreux on the banks of Lake Geneva for the annual Jazz Festival. Only an hour train, situated at the foot of the Alps, Montreux is a truly great location for an event that in the past has attracted such music greats as Miles Davis, Eric Clapton, Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles and Bob Dylan. The festival has multiple concerts every day and is 15 days long!

We celebrated this 4th of July with an Erika Badu concert that was truely amazing. Also caught a little Paul Simon a few days later. America, spreading the love for jazz and music around the world.

"I'm more interested in what I discover than what I invent." Paul Simon

Friday, July 25, 2008

Obamafest 2008

Last night presidental candidate Barak Obama gave a speech in Berlin with almost 250000 people in attendance. It is obvously in a location where they oppose the war in Iraq and coincides with his plan of immediate withdrawl which makes him popular. Germany refused to send any troops and is adamantly against the war, as with most of Europe as with most of the world. This is all something we all know. What you don't see living in the states is that Europeans want to like America again. They show a general interest in US politics and often know as much if not more about our country than most Americans. I believe Traveling abroad as an American would be more enjoyable without the stigma of the war over our heads. Would any presidental candidate from another country ever get 250000 people in the US. Never. Actions speak louder than words and showing up to support what they believe in, their voice is heard. It just doesn't count, cuz they aren't voting.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Evian is not just water

Simon (New roommate) and I decided to join a golf club that does small tournaments around France and Switzerland. Here is the beautiful Evian Masters golf course. Yes, this is where the water comes from. It is about a 45 min drive from Geneva. The fairways are tight and the ball tends to bounce and roll towards the water. Simon, installs golf couses for a living and says "it's also because the grass grows towards the lake, so the ball goes along the grain". Whatever, just hit the ball.

Women’s PGA tour is playing there this week from July 24th - 27th.

Check the picks:

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Looking 2 Fly?

With the gas prices rising, so are costs for flights. I added some links on the right pane of this blog for easy reference in the future. Book it!