Not so long ago, on a regular day in 2014, while I was researching business schools to apply to and interacting with incumbent students, one of them described pursuing an MBA as trying to drink water from a fire hose. 2 years later, here I am ready to begin my own journey of sadomasochism 😉
One my friends, incidentally also the best writer I happen to know personally, had the following to say when he took to blogging quite late (for a guy with his penchant for reading and flair for writing):
“An above average vocabulary invariably engenders delusions of writing prowess, and the nagging thought at the back of your mind that you’re wasting your ‘talent’, the world should know how much potential you have. Well, the world shall know now. This is my first blog post, an event that has come to head after almost every excuse I usually give myself has been exhausted.
There was a cartoon going around in social media circles about the average man, something that could so easily turn out to be my story.
I am no expert in an obscure or popular art, I do not possess any ground-breaking insights into human life…what can a confused young man offer to the world that hasn’t been said before with greater authority and authenticity? Perhaps I ought to treat this as my personal diary, an anonymous rant space that enables me to offer my two cents on whatever it is that i want to talk about. And of course, a space to clear my mind and (just in case i do have a Wodehouse or a Pratchett hidden inside) practice my penmanship.”
I, of course do not hold myself to the high standards my friend deems his eloquence of not matching up to. I don’t even claim to have any hidden potential or talent to unearth. Even if the best thing to come out of this ‘fad’ is the smallest of assistance to a bloke traversing the same path I did next year, I’ll take it. And considering the fusillade of classes, assignments, activities, exams, events I’m about to be subjected to, I’m not entirely sure I’ll be able to sustain this effort without a time turner. But if there was a quote, ONE emotion that I decided should symbolize this phase of my life, encapsulate my decision to leave a cushy job and pursue an MBA, it was that “In the end, we only regret the chances we didn’t take”. So if this “initiative” grinds to an abrupt halt, that’ll be okay because atleast I won’t die wondering. So here we go.
First things first, when you’re warned about a potentially life altering experience (in every which way) you be sure to enjoy the time you have until then, as best as you possibly can. That was the starting point of the US trip that I embarked upon this June, visiting family in Colorado and travelling to neighboring low key but uber-cool-for-camping places like Wyoming, South Dakota, Utah and Arizona (oh how I wish I could add the inimitable Albuquerque to that list! #BreakingBadFansUnite)
And then a small act of overcompensation ensued culminating in a trip to Vegas in the 4th of July weekend. Fight club and Vegas. Enough said about those two.
Apart from the usual suspects of neat streets, smooth roads, scenic locales and fast food Valhalla, what struck me most (like a brick wall almost) living and travelling for those 5 weeks across the US was how incredibly polite people were. Now I know what you’re thinking and it was a thought echoed by most of whom I expressed that sentiment to. “Son, if you think Americans are polite, wait till you reach Canada”. I off course dismiss that in typical Hermoine-esque know-it-all fashion, attributing it to the stuff of urban legend and lazy stereotyping.
Cut to my first day in Canada as I land in Toronto – I’m involved in a passionate argument with a woman at a Tim Hortons queue about who goes first. She maintains that I was there before her and deserve to go first, and I, hoping to use my new found anonymity to try my hand at chivalry, insist back. I finally give in, thank her and proceed (What else could I do? Maybe Canadians are raised that way. I was just trying to fit in!)
Next up, I reach the University of Toronto’s Graduate House, only to see a guy walk in and hand over a wallet to the reception “somebody left this behind, so thought I’d return it”. Oh Canada!
It’s going to be death by courteousness.