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Published: November 12th 2007
I don’t consider myself a funny person but when I met my first and best friend here in San Ramon, Pablo Hidalgo … making him laugh was a joyful part of our time together. Now, many years later, our friendship has deepened and the laughs are a regular part of our day. Here in San Ramon, making people smile and laugh is held in higher regard than showing how smart or knowledgeable you are.
The other day my Chinese friend Kenneth asked us to take a look at a property he owns and try to help him sell it. Kenneth speaks no English (although he plays excellent English music at his bar Sol Naciente) and I speak no Chinese. Our mini global group got in the car and Kenneth and I did the talking … him speaking Spanish with a Chinese accent while I spoke Spanish with my North American one.
Pablo, the quintessential Ramonense couldn’t stop laughing at the 2 of us. He said listening to the 2 of us speaking our non - native Spanish, was hilarious and surreal.
He said he had never heard a Spanish conversation quite like the one between Kenneth and I.
In this Globalizing world, you have to just dive in and connect with different people with whatever tools you have in common. I’m sure there would be less conflict in this crazy world if people just tried to communicate in their imperfect ways. As the world gets smaller, laughter between people from diverse cultures is a step in the right direction.
Making Pablo laugh on a daily basis makes MY life a little simpler, softer and sweeter.
On a recent trip to Ithaca, NY I had the good fortune to see and hear the Dalai Lama. One of his main messages was that national borders have become obsolete and that "we are all brothers and sisters."
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