Tuesday, January 8, 2008


It is about 4:00am in China. I’m sitting (wide awake) in the hotel pondering “stuff”. What is “stuff”? Well that’s the thing – I don’t really know, and I don’t want to know.

For lunch today I had noodles with “stuff” on it. Did it taste okay? Yes. Do I know what I ate? No. Do I want to know what it is? No.

To state it simply, I am perplexed therefore I am satisfied.

For me the “stuff” phenomenon occurs mostly overseas. At home I know what things are. I am comfortable with them. I am content with that greater understanding. But overseas things are different, particularly in Asia. I cannot understand what is being said. I cannot read basic signs. That nescience on my part increases the “stuff” magnitude.

My experience is that often you are better off not knowing. At dinner I had a Coke. As I was (happily) drinking I noticed a waitress pull a glass out, look at it, rub something off the glass with her hands, then fill it and deliver it to a table. I did not need to know this. I did not want to know this. I was content prior to these events. Afterwards I had to remind myself that at least I did not know what “stuff” was wiped off the glass.

The lesson is this. When someone hands me something I just say “thank you”, bow slightly, and take my “stuff”.


Kristin said...

Nice use of the word "nescience."

Glad you survived more unusual Stuff!

Ryan said...

It is an example of my perspicacity.