To get to work, I usually ride the subway, and bus lines. In LA these are collectively run by the Metro. It’s an interesting way to travel, offers less stress, and a decent amount of reading time, is skateboard friendly, and allows one, on the odd occasion, a chance to meet interesting people.
Tonight, riding how late, I met a gentlemen from Japan named Ken. Ken is a videographer working around town, and happened to be on his way to the bus station in downtown LA to take the bus to Mexico for a vacation. We had a laugh waiting for the subway talking about our careers and our education. He has a university degree in zen, yet works in video. I have a degree in history, but work in photoshop.
It was one of those fun little international moments one tumbles upon when you find a kindred spirit who happens to hail from another side of the planet. Ken had a pretty good grasp of English, but there was still some pretty clear language barriers.
Which was funny, because while Ken and I were talking, a gentlemen named Mike came up, and started talking to Ken in Japanese. Mike had purchased Rosetta Stone, and really loved it. Judging by his success, it apparently served him well.
Mike and I took the train in the valley, and had a fun conversation ourselves. Mike did some time in the Navy (as a diver, which is a type of special forces), but was now back in school studying genetics. He claimed that the U.S. is really behind Japan, and Germany, when it comes to genetics, so the only way to get a serious education was to go abroad. Hence the purchase of Rosetta Stone. I guess he’ll be in Japan next year going to University. I wish him luck.