11 August 2014

People from the Past

The other day, I had a surreal experience. On Facebook, I noticed that one of my Facebook friends have been posting some relatively troubling status updates. And since I wasn’t particularly close to this person (we went to school together ages ago), I decided to just send a message in private to inquire what was going on. And when I did that, I realized how different our lives have been after all these years.

See, I then heard about a recent ordeal that involved a rather serious event. Apparently, this acquaintance of mine owned a vehicle. However, one day, this vehicle was being driven by someone else, her partner. And while it was being driven, it was rear-ended by another vehicle. When this other vehicle didn’t stop, her partner somehow got a bit of road rage and pulled out a gun, and shot the vehicle that didn’t stop. And sure enough, that was disastrous. Some died on the spot because of that shot.

So when I was told of this incident, the first thing I thought was "Wow, this girl who I went to school to ages ago, she has a partner who has a gun?" I mentioned my surprise, and she told me that in fact, both of them have a gun! That just blew my mind away.

I mean, do you really need a gun in the Philippines? That is a very different culture from what I was used to. It later dawned on me that the farther back in the time the connection, the more different my life is with these people. I have plenty of similarities to the lives of the people I went to grad school with, less with those I went for undergrad, and even less to the people who I went to when I was in elementary school. There's just a negative correlation with time of connection and similarity.

I suppose incidences like these just make me ponder the fact that my life could have been different. Right now, I live in Berlin, I have a terminal degree, I speak four languages. But my life could also have been someone who has been driving a car who got rear-ended and then I had road rage and pulled out a gun and killed somebody. My life could have been like that, if things didn't turn out the way they did. Sometimes, that is a scary thought.


  1. Wow. I can understand how weird it must feel for you. Different lives, different paths... Yes, it's scary.

    I didn't think The Philippines had a strong gun culture... I don't associate most Asian countries with guns for some reasons.

    1. Zhu,

      I don't see the Philippines has having a gun culture either, but then again I might be mistaken. There are plenty of incidents involving armed weapons, and one just thinks that these weapons might have been procured illegally. There's probably more than I actually know.