J.D. Salinger - The Catcher In The Rye or if you prefer Junichi Fujisaku - Ghost In The Shell (At least partially)


"I thought what I'd do was, I'd pretend I was one of those deaf-mutes.That way I wouldn't have to have any goddam stupid useless conversations with anybody. If anybody wanted to tell me something they'd have to write it on a piece of paper and shove it over to me. They'd get bored as hell doing that after a while, and then I'd be through with having pointless conversations for the rest of my life."


Sometimes when I see everything that goes on around me I really begin to feel this way.. I think I like it so much because I can identify with it so well.

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Actually, that very much describes one of my biggest reasons for moving to the French region of Canada.  Although I'm left struggling to find work, that is very well countered by the benefit of being intrigued by the pointless drivel that those around me consider conversation - intrigued because I can learn new words in even the most primary exchanges of dialog.

Even with the work problems that really sounds like it would be a really great thing to do.

I'd love to be able to go do something like that now right now.. just escape everything by immersing myself in something completely different and new, to occupy my mind and find something to actually enjoy.

It is a lot of fun and it usually doesn't take long to find work in a kitchen somewhere. Unfortunately, this isn't always a good way to learn the local language since kitchens tend to be filled by other immigrants who don't speak the local language either. In one place I worked it wasn't uncommon for the chef to be yelling in Spanish at the first cook who was swearing in Hungarian at the second cook who would then turn to me and demand, in Vietnamese punctuated with Hungarian curses and Spanish verbs, to run and get some more mussels. At least I managed to pick up some French from the serving staff.

On the upside, I've finally managed to get a job in a kitchen populated by locals, although their dialect tends to have a binary orbit around the French versions of 'hip hop street slang' and 'trailer trash vernacular' because few are well educated and many are young anti-establishment tattoo/piercing canvases that are there because they don't project a well conformed public image and so are thereby unwelcome to work directly with the public.

Overall the experience is starting to remind me of a Kerouac novel, had Kerouac ever plunged the depths of a foreign culture rather than his own. Interestingly, Kerouac's mother was actually born and raised not far from where I currently live. Although this opportunity is readily available to English speaking Canadians because we have a bilingual country, I do think that a young person from any of the commonwealth countries should be able to get a work visa to come and give it a try for a year.
I guess it probably wouldn't be too hard for me to do it just I'd have to take another break from university to do it..

Although as much as I don't want to stop uni again I'm just really feeling the need to get away and leave everything here behind. And you really make it sound like it would be an amazing thing to try out.

Amazing, yes.  Easy, no.  Trust me, I can get really frustrated some days.  There is a bit of a safety net in that most bus drivers, police, and government office workers know English if you need some help.  I wouldn't recommend anything that could mess up your chance in university, but if it's possible to make arrangements to ensure you can get back the next year, well then why not?  Good or bad, it would likely be an experience you'll be telling stories about for the rest of your life.



I was thinking of talking to my course co-ordinator at university about the possibility of studying overseas, as I now have a bit of spare money floating around that I was meant to be using for a holiday anyway, which unfortunately won't be happening now.


Not sure exactly where I'd want to go as of yet though, but if I can manage it I'm sure no matter where I end up it'll be great just to get away and experience something new.

I think a year of studying abroad is a real gem on a person's CV and it might even help you gain a new interest in your field of study.  Talking to a course coordinator doesn't require any commitment at all so I wouldn't hesitate to do so if I were you.  He/she might even really help you decide on a destination or small pool of destinations based on some very valuable data about what sorts of resources are available and where.


As a young person you are likely a lot more compatible with the idea of having a roomie than an old dog like me, and that can make finding accommodations very easy in almost any university town.  I hope you at least investigate a little further.

I'm meant to be meeting my co-ordinator to follow up on some things anyway so I'll definitely ask about it. Just not sure if all my grades have been good enough lately to be able to study abroad though.. But if I can was hoping maybe to just go for either next semester or half of the semester.

Depending on the person/people I guess, really as long as they could have a decent relatively intelligent conversation from time to time that would probably be enough for me.

Going back to what OP said, I found a quote from Catcher in the Rye on Shmoop that truly captures a sentiment I often feel.   “That's the whole trouble. You can't ever find a place that's nice and peaceful, because there isn't any. You may think there is, but once you get there, when you're not looking, somebody'll sneak up…” I often wish for solitude, a place where I can be by myself, but have never found one.


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