“Oh hey, Julia, how was your trip to Barticklestan?”
(Looks up and to the right, while subtly moving her head back and forth to let you know she cannot adequately describe it, so instead just picks the most trite word that any sign-language proficient monkey could summon while throwing poop and masturbating.)
It was literally life changing.”
(Note: Her life ain’t change for shit. Not for the trip to India. Not for the trip to Australia. Not now.)
“Oh, awesome! What did you do there?”
“Well, we didn’t want to do the traditional Barticklestan tourist thing, you know? It’s like, okay, how many times have we all seen the Enshrined Statue of Gordiblaschitan on Mount Frijibadibad on like, every postcard from World Market?”
“Haha, yeah…so, what did you do there instead?”
“Where to start! The food, oh the food! We dined on the finest goat gonads and participated in the annual Frigfuckerschtick Festival where they leave milk out in the sun and then once it ferments they make it into this milk relish type stuff? Anyways you put the sour milk chunks on the gonads, and OMG it melts in your mouth.
Honestly, I thought about just staying there and leaving all of this Western negativity behind me, you know?”
“Oh, I bet. So the culture is a lot more positive there?”
“Well they’ve been caught up in this 63-year civil war that’s sort of complicated things, but mostly that just affected the refugees, you know? Like, no one bothered me, everyone was like really nice and like, asked me about my blonde hair – like I was like a celebrity! Ha. Ha.
Anyways, yeahhhhh, they just prioritize the things that matter because they’re so POOR. And POOR PEOPLE are so wise. And being there, it just reminds me how disgustingly consumerist we all are. (Takes sip from Starbucks cup.) I mean, honest to God I’m planning on moving there. Don’t tell anyone. But I am.”
“Oh, wow. So are you gonna keep working here and stuff in the meantime, or?”
“Oh yeah, totally. I’m like, searching for jobs over there, but it’s kind of hard because it’s like you have to have a male attendant with you at all times. So I’m like, oh, so like, looking for a social media specialist position, too…? Anyways, I’ve got some things to work out for sure. But it’s totally worth it because I just can’t stand it here.”
“Oh, shit; I’m sorry. I didn’t know you felt that way.”
“Yeah, I mean, I just want to live somewhere where it’s like, you don’t have to worry about the mortgage and what to wear to the club and stuff, it’s like all those people can do is think about where the insurgents are lately and what to eat. That kind of life is so much simpler.
I mean, sounds like it’s a really cool place with really generous and kind people, but also I feel like they’re dealing with some complex problems. And being so poor you can’t find food doesn’t sound like it’s really simple…”
(Getting annoyed now.)
“You just don’t get it. Have you BEEN to Barticklestan??”
“No, I haven’t.”
“Yeah, see. You wouldn’t understand. You just have to go there to know what I’m talking about.”
“OK, well, maybe I will someday! Keep me posted on the job hunt!”
Six months later…
“Oh, hey Julia, How was your trip to Japan?”
This article originally appeared on Medium and is republished here with permission.