I took a bus from Penang to KL today, and when I bought the ticket I asked “what time will it arrive in KL, they said, “maybe 7 pm”.
Then I thought “why, why did I ask that?” It was the force of habit because it’s not like I have anything else to do today. So there’s actually no substantial difference if it arrives at 6, 7, 8, 9 or 10 PM instead. the fact that I had no problems or deadlines was enough for me to look for something to worry about, like what time will the bus arrive.
I’ve been in Asia long enough to know that 7pm can either mean 8pm, 9pm, 10pm, and so on, depending on the country.
And actually, I’m grateful to know that’s the way things work around here, people teach me patience every day, they are my teachers every day.
They teach me to relax, to let things flow, understand that I don’t have control and things just happen the way they happen.
Especially in India. Where you can sometimes be up to a few days waiting for a train that’s delayed and people just relax, eat, sleep and play cards at the station waiting for the train that may or may not come, someday.
They don’t riot, they don’t fill out a complaint or ask to talk to the manager, they just wait.
Some years ago when I arrived in Asia for the first time and didn’t yet understand how things work so I would get stressed, get pissed and complain that the bus or train was late.
But I’m a totally different person now, mostly thanks to the experiences in India and SE Asia. If the bus is late or doesn’t come I would think “whatever, there must be another one, in one hour, or tomorrow, or next week, it doesn’t really make any difference”
I can be more like the Indians laughing and sharing food while waiting, they understood It’s about the trip, not about the destination, and now, so do I.