Day 20

June 13, 2017

The ride from Eugene to McKenzie Bridge is rather uneventful, apart from the rain that decides to cling to me like a leech. Precipitation does seem to be the main difference between the dry and sunny California and the succulent green Oregon: it rains here almost all time!

 

My mind is taken by the discussion I’ve had with Otis in the morning. He’s a Stanford University writing teacher and we’ve exchanged about the written word and the economy of sharing.

 

He made an interesting observation about the American relation to money which is something that often defines people here: how much you earn, how much you spent on your car, how much you’ve accumulated and what social position it has granted you.

 

Is this also what defines you and me?

 

I have the impression that in Europe it’s mostly your job: the social function you perform every day. In the Middle East, it’s your marital status: the whereabouts of my husband were continually the first concern of people I met in Turkey. When in school: it’s your major that is most relevant to the outside world. And you don’t get away with it as a toddler either: you’re reduced to being a cute boy or a pretty girl. If it’s not your gender, it’s your race, your religion or your sexual orientation. There is ALWAYS something. As a cyclist: it's all about where you started, where you're headed and how fast.

 

But whom am I really?

Who are you?

Who is the person standing next to you?

 

For today, I am a cyclist on steroids, for I started scratching myself to my bones because of the rash. And when blood becomes involved, I usually think it’s a good time to get some medical assistance.

 

 

 

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