Saturday, September 09, 2006

Get up and Go to Work.

Get Up and Go to Work.

When visiting a foreign city, try and do this: one day that you are there, put on clothes that resemble working clothes- a suit or something, take a briefcase or a folder, get up at 7:00am, brush your teeth, have breakfast and “go to work”.

I did that in Auckland, Buenos Aires and a few other major cities. I joined the crowd of people walking towards downtown, me being part of it just like a small jet being part of a mighty stream. I looked at people to my left and my right, at their stern faces as they were rushing to their offices and looked at myself in the display windows. I too, was going to an office. I looked the same way they looked. Serious. Stern. My empty briefcase was swaying businesslike in my right hand. What office was I going to? Well, any office. Note some big buildings where everyone is going to, follow the people there, get inside the elevator, listen to people talking about their daily worries at work, again watch the strained expressions and sleepy eyes, get off on some floor, walk around, and then…split. You have played the game long enough. Less than one hour will do. Now you know what it is like to LIVE there. Even for a moment. And you can now go and have an early lunch. It was not real. The working part was a self-induced ‘nightmare’. You can now go back and change your clothes to something more casual and revert to being a tourist.

It is a simple exercises but I loved it. The pretense was most profound and the reversal to the tourist status was like being awakened from some narcotic dream. Please try it on your next trip abroad. The whole experience may turn out to be more impressive than any guided tour to some museum ever could be.

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