Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Friday, September 10, 2010, 11:31 PM Cape Town Time- My Dorm (LBG)

This morning we got up and checked out. I was actually a little sad to leave Durban. I like it and I definitely could spend more time exploring it. I am happy to get back to Cape Town and my own space though.

After we checked out we took the city bus to the aquarium. It's called uShaka Marine World. It was pretty cool The aquarium was a half water park half aquarium. It's apparently one of the largest in the world. It was pretty decent. We looked around and also checked out the dolphin show. While we were leaving we ran into some people from our study abroad group.

Once we got back from the aquarium we went to eat at an Indian restaurant. The food was really good. One of the servers was talking to me about how his dream was to come and visit America. He knew a lot of random things about Chicago. It was kinda cool.

After that we caught a shuttle from the hotel to the airport. The shuttle took forever and we were almost late to our flight but our flight was delayed a little bit so it worked out perfectly. Airport security is much easier to get through here. It's quite convenient and you don't have to do things like take off your shoes and all of that.

The flight was pretty uneventful. Once we got back to Cape Town and back to the dorms I've basically been chilling all night. Glad to be back.

"this dolphins splashing, getting everybody all wet"

-the lonely island



Sunday, September 26, 2010

Thursday, September 8, 2010, 10:44 PM Durban Time- Bel-Aire Suites

            Today we decided to go back to the market. This time we took a minibus instead of catching a cab in order to save money. Once we got off the minibus we had to walk for a couple of blocks to find our way to the market. It was pretty funny. The girls I was with were both wearing skirts.  While they weren't super short by American standards they were definitely the shortest thing I had seen anybody in Durban wearing. As we were walking literally everybody was turning their heads to look at the girls, men and women alike. Lots of the men stopped and tried to talk to them but they also spoke in Zulu so we didn't understand anything of what they were saying. That was a pretty interesting moment of cultural disconnect. Something the would be wholly appropriate in most American spaces (The skirt were only right above the knee) seemed almost scandalous here.

            Anyway we got back to the market and I bought a few more items. It was really cool because a lot of the people who we had talked to and bought from the day before remembered us and even remembered our names. In a way it felt really homey in that respect. It was cool. After that we really just went back to the hotel and chilled for the night.

            Tonight when I was in the hotel I was thinking about how similar hotels kind of are to each other. When I was in the hotel I kind of forgot that I was in a different country in a way. Just an observation.

"skirts on the ruffle"

-nicki minaj




Saturday, September 25, 2010

Wednesday, September 8, 2010, 11:53 PM Durban Time- Bel-Aire Suites

Today we woke up hella early to go to a safari. We ended up not going because we found out that the big 5 animals weren't going to be on it and it also cost more than we initially thought. Instead of hitting the safari we went to the Victoria St. Market. It was a great time. Things there were a lot cheaper than Cape Town and I enjoyed trying to haggle for prices and everything. I ended up buying almost all of the gifts I need for people back home.

The guys we met in one shop were really nice to us and we talked to them for a long time. Mostly all the people in the market were nice, even when we didn't buy from them. One jewelry store that we spent a lot of time in ended up being one of the funnier parts of the trip.

The women in the jewelry store thought I was really good looking so they wanted to take a picture with me. We all took a bunch of pictures and such and traded facebook info with the ladies. It was really flattering but I didn't really know how to take it (I'm quite bad at receiving direct compliments).

After that we headed back to the hotel and chilled for the night. Getting deals is tiresome work.

"excuse me my friend, what is the price?"

-phonte of little brother



Wednesday, September 8, 2010, 11:53 PM Durban Time- Bel-Aire Suites

Today we woke up hella early to go to a safari. We ended up not going because we found out that the big 5 animals weren't going to be on it and it also cost more than we initially thought. Instead of hitting the safari we went to the Victoria St. Market. It was a great time. Things there were a lot cheaper than Cape Town and I enjoyed trying to haggle for prices and everything. I ended up buying almost all of the gifts I need for people back home.

The guys we met in one shop were really nice to us and we talked to them for a long time. Mostly all the people in the market were nice, even when we didn't buy from them. One jewelry store that we spent a lot of time in ended up being one of the funnier parts of the trip.

The women in the jewelry store thought I was really good looking so they wanted to take a picture with me. We all took a bunch of pictures and such and traded facebook info with the ladies. It was really flattering but I didn't really know how to take it (I'm quite bad at receiving direct compliments).

After that we headed back to the hotel and chilled for the night. Getting deals is tiresome work.

"excuse me my friend, what is the price?"

-phonte of little brother



Wednesday, September 8, 2010, 12:02 AM Durban Time- Bel-Aire Suites

            Okay, the complimentary breakfast at our hotel is off the CHAIN. That's not really relevant to anything but I just had to put it out there. After we ate we took a minibus into Downtown. The minibuses in Durban were a lot more laidback than the ones in Cape Town. They didn't try to jam as many people in and the guys weren't as aggressive trying to get people to ride. They were also cheaper (3 Rand, less than 50 cents).

            Once we got into town I noticed something that I had kind of noticed before at the airport. Everybody in Durban has a good tooth or gold teeth. A ton of people have them. It kind of reminds me of being in a city in North Florida or something. It's interesting. There was also a lot more signs and all that in the native language (Zulu) than in Cape Town or even Jo'burg. In some ways it felt like I was more "in Africa" because there were a lot more black people out on the streets and the language thing but in some ways it felt "not African" because the street reminded me of Times Square or State Street in Chicago and there was a lot of Indian people. It's kind of funny how that works. But downtown was cool. Looked around a lot of places, didn't buy anything, but I did get my haircut.

Another thing that I noticed here, especially at the barbershop is that people speak to you first in Zulu. This has happened to me before in Cape Town but usually as soon as I talk back and they hear my accent or hear me speaking in English they switch to English. In Durban I've kind of had to straight say to people that I only speak English to get them to use it. It seems like they're less used to dealing with tourists, or at least black tourists.

            That night we had dinner and went to a bar with a few students from our study abroad program that were also vacationing in Durban. It was a fun time and the food was great. Lamb is my new favorite meat. I've been eating it all the time. At the dinner they had more African dancing and such. It was cool. Kind of similar to some of the stuff they did at the place in Jo'burg.

"hey zulu"

-method man and redman




Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Tuesday, September 6, 2010, 12:07 AM Durban Time- Bel-Aire Suites

Had to wake up hella early to get to the airport for a 6 AM flight. At the airport I picked up a pocket edition of The 48 Laws of Power. I've wanted to read that book for a while so I figure it'll give me something to thumb through when I'm not doing work.

In Durban the weather was pretty nice. Not too hot but very comfortable. We took a shuttle from the airport to our hotel. The airport was really far out from the city. Almost as soon as we landed I noticed the Indian influence. There were a lot fewer white people and almost no coloured people but a lot of Indians and blacks.

The hotel is super nice. They're doing some construction but even still. In our room we have a huge window that's overlooking the Indian Ocean. After I got settled in I called back to Cape Town to make sure all my stuff got turned in.

Eventually we walked down the beach in search of food. The beach looked pretty cool and we happened upon a casino and food court really close to where we were staying. We ate at an Indian place in the food court. The curry was really good.

Later on we walked to a grocery store and got some snacks for the room. On the way back from there we noticed some people on the side of the beach who were selling souvenirs. The stuff they had was a lot more reasonably priced than anywhere in Cape Town. I'll probably be stocking up here. Indeed.

"hotel, motel, holiday inn…"

-big bank hank of sugarhill gang




Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Sunday, September 5, 2010, 10:37 PM Cape Town Time- My Dorm (LBG)

Today I basically spent the entire day working on my paper. I worked
mostly at Cocoa Wah Wah and then tried to go up to campus to turn it
in. The building where I had to turn it in was locked though so I
asked my roommate to turn it in for me in the morning.
Other than that I packed and got ready. Durban tomorrow. Should be a good week.
"keep it movin, yea yea to the k-i-m"
-q-tip of a tribe called quest

Monday, September 13, 2010

Saturday, September 4, 2010, 11:56 PM Cape Town Time- My Dorm (LBG)

Got up pretty early and headed to cocoa wah wah to grab some breakfast. After that I headed up to the library to work on my paper. Didn't get nearly as much done as I wanted to but did some work. After I couldn't manage any more focus I left and walked back to my dorm. Chilled out there for some time and got some rest.
    Chilled upstairs and then decided not to go out tonight. Still was recovering from the night before.
    I really need to finish this paper. Ugggh.
"i keep a 4 point and i don't even like school"
-vic mensa

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Saturday, September 4, 2010, 4:31 AM Cape Town Time- My Dorm (LBG)

Today was the most unexpectedly brilliant day I've had in a long time and definitely one I really needed. I went to bed last night feeling pretty down about myself and it seemed like the universe had to balance it out because I woke up in such a great way. I got a text from the president of the hip-hop club text in the morning. He told me that my track had been selected to win a contest with Blackberry and that I would have the chance to open for the Blu & Exile show. This really made my entire morning. I jumped up and down was just feeling myself a ton. It was really helpful because the past few days I haven't been feeling well so it was a good thing to get some positive feedback.

            I spent some of the morning working on my paper and outlining. I ran into a friend who usually hangs around and watches the Wednesday ciphers. Her and me had a pretty good conversation about hip-hop, South Africa, race, and all that. She's really the first coloured person my age that I've had a chance to talk to for an extended time so that was good. She definitely acknowledged that although she is coloured she is also black and that part of her heritage. I'd be curious to know though how many coloured people share her feelings. She seemed like she was in many ways more enlightened that many.

            After class I went to Café Sofia just to check it out. It was decent. Killed some time there on the internet then went back to my dorm and got the stuff I needed for the show. After that I took the shuttle down to the downtown UCT campus and walked over to Long Street. I had about an hour and a half to kill so I checked out some clothing stores and bookstores and bummed around.

Once it hit time for the soundcheck I went over to Zula (the venue for the show). When I got in Blu and Exile were there setting up. I immediately recognized Blu but tried to play cool. I asked him if he knew who to talk to for soundcheck and he told me then I introduced myself and he did likewise. I actually bummed around for awhile before talking to dude. Eventually I gave him my mp3 and everything and it was gravy. Here's a quick hitlist of things that happened or I observed during soundcheck:

Exile is a stickler for his sound quality

I called my homegirl Blue in NYC to gloat about sitting right next to Blu (who she loves)

The guy who was running the show and does a lot in the hip-hop scene here is actually from Nashville.

Yeah. Once the people from Blackberry got there I got a chance to meet them. They were cool, young and students like me. They kind of got mad because it took me a long time to get a soundcheck but I personally didn't care because the other two acts had much longer sets and specific needs for audio. My junk was basically straight once you press play. I keep it easy. But either way I got my check in and the Blackberry folks got on the nerves of the cat running the show. I had a decent conversation with one of the security guys. He asked me about the differences in life between Cape Town and America and he gave me the lowdown on the type of crowd that usually comes through when Zula does a hip-hop show. 

After a while I split to grab some food before the show. Had a good meal in a bar alone. This was interesting to kind of see people getting ready to start their Friday nights and the exciting around that. It's weird but it's tangible and something I'd kind of forgotten because I hadn't gone out on a weekend like that in so long. Eventually met up with a friend and she hung with me during the show. It was cool because I got to sell back the tickets I bought for the show so I saved a bit of loot. We went to another bar further down to get a drink and chill for a second. By the time we got back Zula was starting to get packed and I was getting pretty excited. I talked to the DJ who was spinning some and just watched the crowd as they got full. It's funny because for all the hip-hop shows I've ever been to this one was straight up one of the only ones I've ever seen that had a mostly black audience. I don't think that's a negative or positive thing but definitely something I observed. People were getting a lot of drinks and starting to get loose and the dude running the show told me I would go on after the next song.

After the song went off some other cat got on stage and welcomed everyone to the show. He explained a little bit about the Blackberry sponsorship of the whole thing and then introduced. His introduction didn't really make sense because he talked about how Blackberry was trying to promote local artists and then introduced me as "all the way from Chicago". lol. It made me think about how appropriate it really was for me to win the contest but I think the president of the hip-hop club picked and I suppose if he would've thought it a bad look to have a transfer student rep then he could've picked anyone else.  The dude introduced me as "Nathan" which is a little bit of a pet peeve of mine and I admit it threw me off my game a little bit. Once I got on stage all the cool banter I had been thinking of basically went out the window. I said something goofy and forgettable and then I told the DJ to play my track.

            At first I was a little skittish. It was a bit weird to do a single song on a show, especially when you're not used to the venue or the rest of the bill but I tried to roll with it. My lyrics and delivery all came off crisp and the beat sounded great in the system to me so I got a little more comfortable. By the second verse I really got into it and was working both sides of the crowd. After my last verse I got a little bit of call and response going and the crowd seemed pretty into it. There was definitely a group of girls on the left side of the stage that was staring at me pretty intently by the end. I got some good applause and felt like I did my thing. Once I got back into the crowd after a few minutes in the back area folks gave me a good bit of props so it was fun.

Next up was this local cat Mingus and his band. He's a pretty good MC (he hosted the open mic I went to a few days ago) and his band definitely played well. The sound was a bit off though, which is common when bands play hip-hop. It's rare to hear a band that doesn't drown out the MC. I couldn't really hear what Mingus was saying over the band but the show was still decent. I spent most of the time during Mingus' show backstage. Talked to Blu for a little bit. He was clearly pretty blazed.

After Mingus got off stage there was an interim where they had some b-boys come and dance, then Blu and Exile's set. The crowd was definitely amped to see them. Girls and guys had been jocking Blu all night to that point running up and asking for pics or trying to see where the afterparty was. The show started okay. Blu ran through a couple of tracks that were newer that I hadn't heard. I was watching from backstage but I ended up standing on the stage for most of his act actually. That was pretty cool to get to see the show from the other side and really watch the crowd. The show was fairly average. Blu forgot a good number of verses, especially the older joints from Below the Heavens. That was kind of disappointing because that is his most popular stuff and the stuff a lot of folks, myself included, were most excited to see. Still I liked Blu's stage presence. He's such a big guy so he kind of was able to occupy the whole stage. He's also super laidback with his presentation. It's weird but he comes off as a down to earth person on stage, but it works.

Exile on the other hand, did nothing but impress and amaze me. First off, he's the sickest person I've ever seen on an MPC. He did a Michael Jackson tribute where he chopped up and reassembled Thriller. He also did a ton of beats on the spot. Not only were they dope but a lot were really complicated and his finger movement and sense of rhythm was super on point. The fact that a lot of his stuff was very frenetic also worked well because of the whole House scene that is very popular in South Africa. He started even doing tricks. At one point he played with his head, then picked up a beer and drank while playing with one hand, then he started playing with the bottom of the beer bottle. Amazing.

At one point Blu busted a freestyle and referenced me (which was cool as hell). Overall the show was just alright. The vibe of the whole night was great but both performances could've been better. Towards the end of his set Blu really seemed to be losing steam. It was kind of like forgetting the other verses made him lose some confidence or something. He just looked like he kind of didn't want to be there. He invited MCs from the crowd to freestyle. A few guys came up and rhymed. I busted a short free with them. It was mad cool though cause for a lot of the time I was just chillin in the cut with Blu and talking while the guys rhymed.

After they got offstage Exile kept spinning for awhile then the guy who was managing the show took over. I got Blu's email backstage and then left out to work the crowd. Oddly enough I probably got more props during this time for my performance than when I first got off stage after spitting "Pompous". In a way I think people were disappointed with Blu or something and they realized that I did quite well. Either way I gave out my number to a few MCs who wanted to collab or were talking about getting me on shows and it was a good night. Had a few conversations with some folks and also noticed a lot of women looking at me. Didn't approach any though. Meh. All in all it was a really great night though.

"i don't be fucking around on that microphone"

-royce da 5'9




Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Thursday, September 2, 2010, 10:32 PM Cape Town Time- My Dorm (LBG)

            Even after the craziness of last night I was able to wake up at 7 AM to work on my paper.  I got a decent bit of work done. Mostly outlining and really organizing my ideas for the paper. I also organized a meeting with my tutor about the paper. He gave me some good pointers and things to think about and include and he also gave me an extension until Monday. Unfortunately, learning that he had created an extension actually had the inverse effect of making me not really want to do any work at all. lol.

            This afternoon I had my group at LEAP School. A lot of the boys weren't around so we had a much smaller group than usual. It was still alright though. I played a few songs for them and then did an activity that is basically a rhyming game. It was a good session and I really do like the boys who stick around.

Also today I was feeling a little bit down. Had a good conversation with my homeboy Lamar about how I present myself to people and the ramifications of that and he spoke a lot of sense. My issues with being in a new place aren't necessarily unique to me but they are definitely recurring. I don't know. We'll see. It's always difficult though to be in a new place where people don't really know you because they make very snap judgments about you.

Also talked to my boy Jose. We had a good conversation about poetry and writing and about why we write and the importance of that and how to stay committed to the work. Whenever I talk to him he makes me feel like I need to approach that craft with a renewed focus and I'm thankful for that in him.

I also wrote two things today. The first was a Statement of Poetic Purpose. It was basically a short essay about why I write and a little about my life and what it has meant to me throughout it. Jose and Kevin Coval both dug it a lot. Maybe I'll throw it up here one day once I edit it a little.

Also wrote a poem about Drake. I really like this poem initially. I think it has some potential. Its in the same form as the poem to Soulja Boy in my chapbook. I think this may end up being a series of pieces. We'll see.

Tonight I just chilled with some friends in my dorm. And that's it.

"i left the office, got a phone and called my partner jack and I asked him, remind me why I'm rappin? and right before he answered i remembered my passion in the past
when I was scribbling in my tablet to box out my mom and dads scrappin
to help me when my grandmother passed…"




Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Thursday, September 2, 2010, 2:03 AM Cape Town Time- My Dorm (LBG)

            Class was okay today. My African Poetry teacher cancelled class for Thursday so that was dope. The Wednesday cipher didn't happen because the weather was rainy and really cutting up.

            Went to Young In Prison. It was good to work with the boys. Right before we got there they had been using drugs. I don't know but it makes me sad that at such a young age have been socialized to seek drugs and all that and that people within the system will get it to them. I don't know. Still, it was a good day. We made collages with them about what a friend should be and the guys I was working with really did well with that project.

            After that I went to the library. I wish I could've been more focused but I did get some outlining and a little bit of writing for my paper done. I grabbed dinner at Cocoa Wah Wah and after that went back to my dorm.

            A bunch of us went to Long Street to a bar called the Waiting Room. It was pretty good. Every 1st Wednesday they have a hip-hop open mic. It started mad late though. Before it started I kind of floated around, ciphered upstairs with a few guys, which was alright.

            The open mic had a different format then I've seen. Basically the DJ played beats and people would spit and then pass the mic off round robin. You had to be a little aggressive to get a shot on the mic. It was dope though. I got about 3 rounds in and I worked the crowd well. A lot of the MCs there didn't seem to have much show experience. They tended to look down or not interact with the crowd and also to not rap really on the beat or try to ride the beat. At the end of the open mic the host got on and said he had a prize for the cat who repped the best on the mic that night and then called me up. I really wasn't expecting anything, especially not a prize. I got to have a little moment of shine to spit a 16. It was very cool. I got a shirt that says "The Fraternity of Capestreets". And it's red and white. Hahahah. Klearly I was meant to win (Kappa moment, my bad).

            It was really dope. I talked with the host afterwards and he told me to hit him up on facebook so that we could connect and build. He's opening for Blu & Exile. It felt good to get a little bit of traction in the scene here. Hopefully I can parlay it into something. I would love to do some shows while I'm here. Maybe I'll even see if there's a place where I can get my record pressed up here. We'll see.

"don't you hate it in the cipher when your rhyme is through, and some wack rapper rhyme right behind you"

-punchline & wordsworth



Monday, September 6, 2010

Tuesday, August 31, 2010, 10:37 PM Cape Town Time- My Dorm (LBG)

Today in Literature class we went over what to expect and how to approach an exam. He had some good things to say, nothing super obscure but some things that I think will help as a I prepare.

Today at LEAP School I chilled with a group of the boys who are in my Thursday session. It was pretty cool. We talked about how our high schools are different and also how they learn differently as bilingual students who are generally learning in schools that don't speak their native language. They were surprised that I had problems saying the clicks in their language the same way that white people do and I had to explain to them that because I was socialized in a Western language only from a young age that the nuances of their language are just difficult for me to do with my mouth. I did also though get a chance to talk to another group of boys and help them with an oral presentation they had to do. I got to use a lot of the things I learned from Jack Kent Cooke and also things I've picked up from doing slam. It was a good time.

I also started putting down some serious writing for this history paper. I'm really trying to finish it by Thursday afternoon so I can meet with my tutor and see if there's anything he could suggest to improve. I'm trying to knock this one out the park.

Tonight I had dinner with a friend and watched Salt. Salt is a crazy movie. Some very cool action and kill scenes. Dope

"for the dark night, any kid who's ever talked white…"

-illuminate mics




Sunday, September 5, 2010

Monday, August 30, 2010, 9:12 PM Cape Town Time- My Dorm (LBG)

Most exciting thing about today is that I copped Blu and Exile tickets for 80 R (about 11.50 USD). Friday night will be fun and a nice little present to myself for handing in my history paper earlier that day. I'm really looking forward to the show to see Blu and also to see the opening acts that will be some local Cape Town acts. Hopefully I can make some connects or at least meet some more people who are on the scene.

In my study abroad seminar we had some decent conversations. We had an activity where we discussed and tried to identify dominant American values. One that virtually everybody agreed on as a value was freedom. Americans just generally love freedom, even if we don't understand what that means or anything…it just sounds good (don't it?). Haha. Other than that we talked about these evaluations that we did to try to identify the type of learners that we are. I apparently learn best from conversation and hands on things. This makes so much sense to me when I think about myself and where I learn. Even in high school I remember having way more so-called intellectual moments on the train, or a poetry slam, or the studio, than in a classroom.

I also got my first big assignment back. Didn't do as well as I would've liked on it. Got the equivalent of a high C. It'll work out though. Just gotta ace everything in that class from here out. That counted for about a quarter of the grade so I still have 75% to make up through other assignments. Small things to a pimp.

"trouble i don't shy away from it i annihilate"




Saturday, September 4, 2010

Sunday, August 29, 2010, 11:45 PM Cape Town Time- My Dorm (LBG)

My god it was a beautiful day today. Just a very idyllic Sunday, which is always nice. I had breakfast at Cocoa Wah Wah with a friend. We had some good conversations about Cape Town and being foreign here and such. She also had a lot of interesting things to say about male and female relationships and how they differ from here and the US.
After I got back from there I took a nap and then went to another café that I've wanted to check out in Observatory (another community adjacent to my own). It had a very cool vibe and a nice outdoor section as well. And please let the record show that I hate eating outdoors (other than a barbecue or cookout it just seems weird to me). But it was cool there, got a little bit of work done and started outlining for my history essay.
This evening I had a really good conversation with my roommate about the differences that he's noticed between American and South African men and women. He observes that the American women seem more prone to promiscuity than the men (which I've observed as well). Why that is we weren't sure but in a way it seems to be a function of reputation. I say that to mean that women in our society (globally, not just American) are looked at less favorably when they're promiscuous than men. So being somewhere foreign (or with someone foreign) allows people to act out their most adventurous selves without having to put their reputation in jeopardy. It's definitely kind of an inequality of our society that I don't understand or agree with but I think its definitely something present that affects behavior and kind of makes the inequality of society something palpable and observable in behavior.
"women they do the same things men do…but they a little better at it"

Sunday, August 29, 2010, 2:04 AM Cape Town Time- My Dorm (LBG)

Today was pretty chill. Went to Cocoa Wah Wah and spent a few hours there. Ate breakfast and chilled. Had some good conversation.
Later on I went upstairs and chilled. Talked and goofed off for a bit. Nothing much. Today was a very plain day but you need those sometimes.
"relax, relate, release"

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Friday, August 27, 2010, 11:51 PM Cape Town Time- My Dorm (LBG)

    First big assignment turned in. Felt good to have something under my belt but hopefully the grade comes back right because if it doesn't I'll have very little recourse because my professor will be in Germany for the next 2 months (we switch lecturers in the class at 6 weeks).
    After class I relaxed a bit. Did my laundry and then went grocery shopping. I've spent a good bit of time this week working on a short story. Maybe it'll see the light of day one day. Who knows?
    I ended up staying in tonight and having dinner with a South African friend. It was good. Got to have another one of the many conversations about the similarities and differences between SA and America. One thing that we did talk about that was pretty interesting though was the sexual habits of South Africans. In a lot of ways they didn't seem that different, at least in a collegiate or urban context. I think where the difference in the HIV rate and all that comes from is from a rural and medicinal standpoint, and also cultural somewhat. Its complicated but I think in a way at this point it doesn't come down to the people having different behaviors than America but just that the problem is more out of hand here so its harder to manage. I don't know. It would make me feel very nervous if I was living here permanently and faced with the prospect of having to get into relationships and all that but maybe I would feel differently if I were in that situation.
"I had dreams beyond our borders"