Calm Water

the Sound, Washington State

Good morning from America. This morning started out just like any other day. Got up, ran to the bathroom, wash out all the bacteria from the mouth, then run to the kitchen to brew some coffee.

Cannot go to work unless I get my coffee. So either I forced myself to make the coffee or wake up Yobo (Korean for Honey) to make it. One of my best tricks when I am too lazy to make coffee is to say I like the coffee Yobo makes more. Hehehe.

I like to drink brewed coffee and it has to be French Toast. I usually make 6 cups of water and 4 and a half overfilled teaspoons of French Roast. After it brewed, just dump it into my tall cup, add some liquid Hazelnut Creamer, a teaspoon of sugar and the day just got off to an awesome start. I am smiling all the way.

My current job is simple, it enables me to think I am semi-retired. I am a taxi driver. Sort of. I turned on my apps and wait for someone to ping me. This morning, it didn’t take long before Mr. Jose pinged my phone and out I went. Jose was just a block from my house so I picked him up within minutes and found myself speeding toward the freeway. This one is the main Interstate which runs through Oregon and California, Interstate 5.

On the freeway, I put miss Burgundy on cruise control and there we fly. I asked Mr. Jose where he’s from and he told me he’s Mexican just visiting a friend in the state of Washington. I told him I am Micro and he was like what the heck is Micro. I said well, it’s some tiny islands gathered throughout the Pacific Ocean. I went on to tell him that in Micronesia, we have no homeless people. Everyone there is rich in their own ways. Everyone lives off the land, I told him. He turned and said you know my parents in Mexico are doing the same. Just living off the land, raising cows, grow corn and vegetables. Easy, simple life.

I turned and asked Jose, so why are you here in USA. He laughed and asked me to answer the question first. I said well, there’s lots more for me to do here than if I were back home. I got to drive a nice car, live in a very modern home, meet nice people like the Mexican dude I am in converse with, making money and so and so forth. He laughed and said, he came here for the same reasons.

Went up further north, I turned and reminded Mr. Jose, it’s only 4 o’ clock in the morning but we were both up. Back home, I can sleep in for as long as I want. I do not care about the time. Here, I have to be up to go out and make some money or I won’t be able to pay my bills. He took over and said he has to do the same. Although he hated his boss, he has to continually go to work so he can afford his rent. He told me it’s too muchy yo know. This life sucks mahn.

I know Jose. This life sucks. All we do is go to work, come home, eat and rest. Work, Home, Work. No money no Bueno. No money no house. No money no car. No money no electricity. No money no nothing. This life sucks. We must work!


But it’s the life we choose. We abandoned the simple life to come to America for this very complex, money everything life. No one forces us to come here.

I met so many other people from every corner of the globe and most of them told me the exact same thing. They left a simple life in exchange for a very complex money everything life. A couple from Kenya told me they have lands and their parents are living off those lands. They had so much fun and so much freedom, freedom in doing what they wanted to do. Yet they still find themselves in America wondering why.

Have you asked yourself why too? I wonder what really is so attractive that had brought us from a simple life style to one we are in today.

When sitting back and look at it, I don’t think I will really enjoy Micro as much if I were to go back. I would miss all the conveniences of this very complex money driven life style.

Rather than paddling miles on a tiny canoe to go catch me fish, I would prefer just heading down the street to Hong Kong Market, or drive to Spokane, WA to buy fresh tropical fish from Fairo Market.

See, it’s simple in some ways, if you can forget about how many hours you have to deal with Bossy Marianna to make the amount you’re spending on the fish. Or how many hours you have to stand in one spot to make the amount you’re about to spent.

Rather than going to the taro patch to get taro, I prefer driving over to Bombay Market in Kent to get me bags of already cleaned frozen taros. Or rather than climbing a skinny and scary looking bettlenut tree to get bettlenuts, I would prefer buying it from the Kosrean owned Micronesian Store in Burien, Washington.

I guess, if you work hard and earned a decent amount, then life is not as complicated. That is until the power company, the cable company or city water come knocking on your door.

Before leaving the islands, please understand something. In America, we live on money. Without money, there’s not much you can do. And to have money, you have to work really hard. Some of us have to have two jobs and probably spent most of our days at work.

And on Christmas Eve, it’s too damn cold to do anything outside of the house, so we bring the trees indoors where it’s warm and comfy. Instead of partying with the whole village, you are on your own. Same on other Holidays too.

Do I regret coming to America? No. Absolutely not. I enjoyed it here and I feel very much at home. But Ifalik will always dear to my heart and hopefully one day, not too far in the distant future, I will be able to visit her again.