Well, I haven’t written post in over a year. It’s about time for an update I suppose, and it isn’t a good one. When I posted back in autumn 2013 that I’d decided to escape the contaminated environment back home by moving to another country, I wrote, “The interesting thing now will be to see how long it takes for this new city to become unbearably contaminated”. Well, the answer to that was a little over a year; the city I live in now is completely contaminated.
When posting about my first big contamination experience some six weeks into life in a new city, I wrote that I was “…enjoying the lack of contamination around me after the unbearable cage that the environment back home had become”, but also that “I knew that this new-found freedom wouldn’t last forever (and probably not even very long), because eventually I’d run into someone who had big nasty warts, and it would all start from there”. And so it did. As I wrote:
“However. The trail now starts. That guy with warts – where does he go? Where does he eat? Which shops must I assume are unsafe due to their proximity to his?… What if he uses the subway? He probably does, in which case he uses my stop. Which means it is no longer my stop. I’m already walking the extra 10 minutes in the other direction to use a different station. If I lose that one too, it will 20 minutes yet another way to use a stop on a different line altogether…. So, although flying over here got me a temporary respite, it hasn’t rewired my thinking, and I expect things to slowly snowball from here”
And that was indeed how it slowly but surely happened. The contamination spread throughout the city. At first, in just a few places; I could remember them as no-go zones, black holes on the subway map. But gradually, as there were more and more of them, it became the other way round; I had a number of safe zones, islands in a sea of contamination, and then one by one I lost each of them. The last safe supermarket was finally contaminated during the New Year holiday, when I saw an elderly customer there with a huge wart on his face. Since then, the procedures I have been following are very similar to those I had back in my home country, as are the amount of time and money they cost me.
So, what to do? Leave this country and relocate to another? I am seriously considering that course of action. But won’t the same thing just happen again? Well, yes, probably. But, that said, the country I came to on this occasion was a poor choice – the number of warts I see on peoples’ faces and hands here is far greater than any other place I’ve been to, which has made things much worse. I can’t say why that is; though I have a few pet theories relating to cultural reasons, there’s no actual evidence.
Maybe I should go to a country that I have been to before and liked, and that I don’t recall encountering many warts in – South Korea and Thailand are in that category. But maybe even they would eventually be contaminated.
Perhaps I can just keep relocating to new countries every year or two, escaping the contamination when it gets too much… but it’s like trying to run away from your shadow. It will always be there following close behind. I make a proportion of my income online; if I can grow that to a high enough level, maybe I don’t need to live anywhere. I can just keep travelling, constantly on the move, a month here, a month there. Would that be a good way to live? Better than the way I’m living right now, for sure. I’m still thinking all this over, but a move seems not so far off now… next update from Thailand or Korea?!