Wednesday, September 21, 2011

just quick, generally


It's Paris time for me.

Today, I came to a particular company's stand in search of a particular fabric. I've bought from [let's call it] Company K before, so I know how it works and I was a lot more at ease with myself. I had the sheer luck of being served by Company K's director (again); now he has a bigger stand than the one I visited two years ago.

I'm not surprised he did not recall me at first because: (a) I did not talk much with him two years ago - someone Japanese did the job for me (b) we didn't order a shipping container full of fabric so we were pretty negligible (c) I neither had a spunky hairstyle nor wore an outfit sufficiently memorable enough, and (d) the made-up company/label name back then was probably pretty hard to remember.

Anyway, we talked quite a bit and hit a rapport. I'm alright in dealing with おじさん and older people in general. The label's name, which is real this time around, is more memorable I guess. Then I left, went round other booths etc, went to the station to head back to town and gazed at the train network map....... until I heard someone say, "hey number one!"

Yes, it was Mr Company K president.
(I quite like him, actually. Not in that way, but in a platonic easygoing way.)

Later on (after I've had my fill of map-gazing) I caught up with him and another man he seemed to know on the platform. So to cut the story short, we all chatted, got into the crowded train and traded stories one to another. It turned out to be very fruitful, I got asked to share my views on tricky issues I never thought anyone would ask me on a train (religion/faith), I got to share why I choose to live thrifty (to use up the cash on good things of course), I got to retort an offhand command made in a language I did not master in that very language I did not master ("うそ," "そうでない") (that was gold), I got to meet someone whose body language reminds me of someone I knew (I was quite amused actually), and I had a very nice train journey back to town.

It was a very good day, a productive one, and one I actually like. I'm glad I have the opportunity to create new connections and strengthen existing ones. The experience contrasts with traveling with friends who keep company and take your silly pictures. Sometimes traveling alone is not a bad thing because it makes me reach out to others I wouldn't, had I got people I already know around to chat with.

Also, knowing more foreign languages is good, because being able to work out what other people are talking about is helpful. Especially in my line of work where a simple garment can have its components sourced from four different countries.

Which means, tomorrow is a long day for me because I am running out of business cards and I need to get more printed, pronto.

Big P.S.
Asking for things to be shipped to Indonesia is sometimes a disadvantage as I come across companies who are very wary of sending things to anywhere east of the Bosphorus (or getting less than 300 metres, or actually having dared to approach them.) However, with it comes the fun of explaining 'why' and proving that the inside of my head is genuinely not a bad copy of someone else's.

P.P.S. this post says plenty about the ilks and vagaries of Eurostar travel. I second it.

1 comment:

johnorford said...

'enjoy the colours' - i'll make this my resolution for the next week!