Here is another Post inspired by a fellow blogger. My story goes as follows:
When I was still a student, I frequently made use of a mode of transportation called “Mitfahrgelegenheit”. It is similar to car-sharing, but not quite like it. The system basically works like this: people with a car and people without a car, who need a ride, find each other on a website to share the costs of the trip. Let’s say person x wants to go from A to B by car on a particular day leaving A at a particular time. X posts this offer on the website, which was called mitfahrgelegenheit.de (but has lost popularity recently because of introducing a more complicated memebership scheme; I don’t know what people use nowadays, because I don’t live in Germany any more) and waits for people to call. Now, if person y doesn’t have a car, but also wants to go from A to B on the same day and time, y will call x and they share the ride and cost of ravel. Usually, if you are alone with the driver, you’d have to sit in the front and entertain the driver. Unless he or she has turned the volume or the radio to a level which makes conversation impossible. Then you are allowed to zoom out. If you are alone in the back the expected level of friendly small talk doesn’t exceed your occupation and reasons for traveling to B. If you share the back with another person, the situation is not as clear. Usually, you would try some small talk and see, if it develops into a real conversation. If not, you can put your earplugs in or listen to some music or pretend to sleep. I never sleep in a stranger’s car, but I have often pretended to do so, because I was tired of the conversation. You don’t have to want to talk to just anyone.
On that particular day, I was sitting in the back with a guy. We just went through the basics: where are you from? Where are you going now? What are doing?
He was kind of interesting, but a bit pretentious. So, I wanted to just get it over with and start my audiobook. He was from Palestine and came to Germany to study. He had just started a program to become a vet in a city, that I can’t remember. It was something I had no relation to, like Hanover or so. I asked him a – in my eyes rhetorical – question:
“So, do you like animals?”
He replied: “No.”
I asked the obvious question: “Why are you studying to become a vet then?”
He said: “I’m interested in animals, I don’t like them. That’s a difference.”
I said: “Ok.”
I had gotten him started:
“I think you shouldn’t study something that you like. It is much better to study a subject, because you are interested in it. For example, I really like music. My family is very musical. My brother decided to make music his profession. He now lives in Paris and really struggles to make ends meets through making music. He’s playing with his band every night, but they hardly make enough to support themselves. He told me how frustrated he is and how he less and less finds pleasure in playing music. It has become a duty.”
It is much better to choose a profession that you find interesting, but without the emotional attachment of liking or even loving.
*I can’t find the original post by the fellow blogger who inspired this piece anymore. I hope, you get it anyway.*