Luck All Around

Throughout my life, I've had the great fortune of meeting and getting to know some truly wonderful people. Friends who are supportive, creative, and fun; friends whom I'm proud to call lifelong.

When I moved to California in 2001, my friend put me up for two months in his living room without so much as a peep to rush me out. And when I did move out, I found, by luck, two roommates who are so very dear to me today -- never had to experience that "roommate from hell" that you hear horror stories about. I made great friends where I previously had none, and established a life that one might call pleasant.

Moving here was loads harder than scuttling around North America, but I've somehow found myself being "protected" as I go along: I've had a cousin and aunt who have been kind enough to shelter me for weeks on end while I get my stuff together, offering their help and advice whenever I ask.

During a recent apartment hunting trip, I dropped by a lunchbox store and ordered. I got to talking with the lady owner, and after 20 minutes, she walked me down the street and showed me where to look, what places were good to eat at, and gave me her cellphone number in case I needed any help. She even offered to help me find students if I ever wanted to tutor English in my spare time. She was like a new-found aunt or something!

While checking out another apartment, the lady who showed it to us (her daughter owns the place but wasn't home) kept beaming at us, so courteous and friendly. She recommended we take a look around more and see what we liked, and told us to take our time. (Okay, I guess it was because she had three daughters, so maybe I was like the son she never had.)

And again, I had a chop* made last night. After it was done, I stuck around and chatted with her for another half an hour, where she gave me advice on how to save money quickly here, the cheapest places to eat (and where not to go), and said if I needed anything to just drop by the store anytime.

I sometimes wondered if there was some kind of general aura about us and our lives that make us destined to find such people wherever we go. I don't feel gifted (as in that I'm special or anything), but I can't help but feel like something protects me and makes my life less cruel than it could otherwise be. Someone out there likes me.

* Chinese stamp used as an official signature, or in conjunction with a hand signature


Clarence said...

I truly believe that's karma related. :) Do good on others and you'll be treated the same. Just like me moving to Houston. I'm sure I'll develop many friendships while I'm over in EG.

lena said...

I agree that it's karma, but I also think that some people just have an infectious personality. Ben, I don't even know (really) you and I think you're cool - all from randomly tuning into your blog. You're just one of those people that has a great personality that draws people in.

Ben said...

Hey, Mag, careful with all that talk! Taiwanese doors are a little narrower, and the way you're going, I'll end up getting stuck in them with my head and my damned (growing) love handles. Gosh, how embarrassing an obituary would THAT be.

And I'm not sure I have a personality that brings it out in people. Maybe they can just tell that I'm clueless and their pity (and strong sense of social responsibility to help me not become someone else's problem) urges them to help me out.

Or maybe they feel like I'm the son they never had. (Though they probably wouldn't know that that's really a blessing in disguise.)

Or maybe they just know that I'm a foreigner and assume that I have a lot of money. (Ha, who's getting the last laugh from THAT.)

Momcy said...

Yeah, they know that you're a foreigner and assume that U have a lot of money. That's it!
Ben, I think you do listen and talk to people specially to elders.
My son is like this outside with people and at work but not at home?!?

Anonymous said...

I think that yes, karma has a lot to do with it... I always felt grateful that you let me stay on YOUR couch w/o any pressure to leave right away (even tho we know what kind of drama that produced in the end). But I also think that most people don't take time or make the effort talk to others. A part of my job IS to talk to people and most I find most are eager to help you out in return for just some time spent talking to someone who is not an airhead or a jerk. Unfortunately I'm both so my theory backfires on me... but should work for you Ben! - KT

James said...

I think it's the I'm a foreigner and rich, and I have a daughter you can marry thing going on in the back of their mind. :)

Rich and Angel said...

Maybe it's just your metro charm?