The ensuing phone conversation took place between me and one of the girls about something I needed to get to her.
Ezra: Well how about I stop by your house in the morning and get it?
Tara: That’s fine except I still need to get it at the store.
Ezra: How about I stop by your house in the morning and we can both go to the store and get it, then I will just head to school from there.
Tara: Yeah, or we can just meet at the store and I can give it to you there since the store is down by your house.
Ezra: Yeah, but I could just stop by your house and then we could go together.
Tara: Ok, that sounds great, I’ll see you at 7 tomorrow morning.
This isn’t the first of these kind of conversations I have had. It’s actually one of quite a few. Why am I even telling you this? Well, this is one of my culture lessons. Even as the conversation started previous conversations that went along these lines flashed through my mind. I am always about the most efficient way to get things done. How can we get that done in less time? What is most cost effective? Thus, my choice is simply meeting outside the store and handing the things I need to get to her. It saves time and money. I am trying to help her out. It will take up less of her time if we do it that way, the store is walking distance from her house. It will be cheaper because she won’t have to pay for the taxi bus to get to my house and then to the store. It’s the perfect idea. But for Ezra, those things aren’t important. She isn’t looking for the most efficient way of getting the things from me. The time and money aren’t the issue. Our relationship is. So my great idea is actually a terrible idea to her because I have just eliminated the whole point. And thus another one of my lessons in culture goes down. The lesson that life here is about building and maintaining relationships. Time isn’t a factor. Money isn’t the issue. Next time, I will get it right. And tomorrow, when Ezra and I go to the store at 7am, I will just simply enjoy being with her.