様々な分野でグローバルに活躍する「普通の人々」が体験を語り、次世代の普通の人々のお役に立てればと思っているサイトです。

日本在住歴約40年のRon McFarlandと外資系勤務が長い齋藤信幸が、それぞれの海外体験を語ります。

Global Interaction & Understanding - A Personal Journey : No.6 初めての海外旅行でロンさんが確信したのは。

2019-12-22 12:47:56 | Ron's Life Story
この旅でRonさんが確信したことは、グローバルビジネスを人生の目標とすることでした。

このRonさんの伝記を読み、私はRonさんの人生の後を追っているような気がしてきました。1979年、初めての海外出張がRonさんが学んだ大学のある米国San Jose。1983年からの同じSan Joseに駐在。米国の文化、多様性、懐の深さに触れました。自分の人生をどうすべきか、この時、決まりました。それは、会社に自分の人生を委ねず、チャレンジして自分で責任のとれる人生を歩むことでした。

From Vienna, I took another overnight train to Munich, Germany. In Munich, all I can remember is drinking more beer than my body was prepared for. In the hostel, I meet a couple of traveling American girls, and they wanted to go out on the town. So, off we went with me being the chaperon again. In a beer bar, we met a couple of Danish guys traveling around. I think everyone in the whole place was plastered and a German fellow came over to us. He had heard us speaking in English, and he wanted to voice his views of American policy on a few issues, particularly the Vietnam War. I don’t remember what the issues were, but I do know he was very proud to be Germany and the Americans were somehow inferior. Anyway, the five of us (the two American girls, the two Danish boys and me) quickly departed. At the next place the Danish guys mentioned that is a problem they have with the Germans. Also, they mentioned that Denmark is one of the largest countries in Europe. They included Greenland, a Danish territory. Anyway, I spent the rest of the night with my head in the toilet. Munich was also a beautiful city to me and a city of great engineering. Here again, I had no idea that years later I would be working with both the Danish and Germans and loving working with both of them.

From Munich, I was off to Switzerland. I wanted to get out of the larger cities, so I headed for Interlaken and Grindelwald, Switzerland. If there ever was a place that you would want to tuck yourself away in and write a book, that region is it. With extremely slow moving trains winding in the hills and rolling slopes that are breathtaking in beauty, it is a great place for inspiration.


In Switzerland

From there I was off to Geneva. It is amazing that Switzerland is a country with German spoken in the north, Italian spoken in the south and French spoken in the west. Also, if someone from each of those regions are together more than likely they are using English.

Geneva is the French side of Switzerland. Geneva is one of the most international cities I know, even though the spoken language is French. Many non-governmental organizations was there (IMF, WHO, GATT, etc.) in those days. From Geneva, I took the train to Bordeaux, France and spent a day in the French wine country. I met a Japanese person there who was also traveling like me.

From Bordeaux, I traveled to Paris and met the American girls I met in Italy. That is where they were studying. They showed me around and told me how to get around on the Paris Metro. In those days, next to London, Paris had the best subway systems in Europe. Paris is the world of fashion and art. You can see mirrors, so people can regularly check their appearance.



In Paris with my American friends


From Paris I went Belgium and spent a day or two with one of my sister Israeli Kibbutz member’s family. There is a lot of action in Brussels, even though it is in one of the smallest countries in Europe.

From Belgium I went to Holland for a day or two. Then, I took the train/ferry back to London. On the train, I met two South Africans. In those days, I smoked but wanted to stop. So, we bet that would not smoke until we got to London. Well, I won and they lost. A month or so after that, I quite for good and have not smoked since. Now, I’m one of those people that dislike the smell of second-hand smoke on my clothes.

Back in London, I saw Jimmy again and then was back to San Jose.

In the maiden trip, I learned my love of travel and fascination with different ways of living and thinking. It really opened my eyes as to the options we have available to us in life.

When thinking of different nations, I think of the Olympics and the different teams representing their countries. Those teams are competing. I started to wonder in those days of what could be achieved if we work together instead of just competed. Is that concept possible, I thought back then? Yes, even then I thought it was (and still is) possible. So, I looked at the multinational business community. The international business community, which supplies goods and services worldwide, was the way to go for me I thought.

That trip convinced me that the international world was for me. In those years, I developed my goals and dreams for life….what my life’s purpose was. It was to bring the world closer together and to do it through people helping each other in a wide range of business and development projects. In order to do that, I needed both global interaction and understanding in where I could be helpful.

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Global Interaction & Understanding - A Personal Journey : No.5 イスラエルからギリシャへ。異文化の中、変化する自分に気づく。

2019-12-15 20:47:26 | Ron's Life Story
Ronさんが、ヨーロッパを旅していたのは、1972年。
私は、浪人中で代々木ゼミナールに通い、悶々とした日々を送っていました。
小田原のド田舎では、日常会話に外国の国名すら上がることはなく、今の、自分の立場が信じられません。
ただ、英語は一番好きな科目でした。
中学時代に当時としては画期的といえる外国人の英語を聴ける授業を受けたのです。
外国人の先生がいたわけではなく、「ソノシート」を使って、外国人の話す英語を聴くことができました。
当時の成田先生に感謝!小田原で一番ド田舎の「千代中学」万歳!!
お陰様で英語に興味を持ち、勉強を続けた結果、エンジニアとしては有効な差別化ツールになりました。

さて、ロンさんの旅の続きです。
イスラエルからヨーロッパへ移動します。言語・文化の異なる国々を旅する中で変わっていく自分を発見します。

From Israel, I was off to Europe and on my own for the first time. Up until that time, all my international travel had been with friends and family. Now, I was totally on my own and heading for unfamiliar, languages, customs and territories.

I flew from Israel to Athens, Greece with my Euro Train Pass, guidebooks on cheap hotels and cheaper youth hostels. In Greece, I got the first real impact of how deep that regions’ history is. The Acropolis, in the center of Athens, fascinated me. Just sitting with an espresso looking at people going about their day gave me a great deal of peace all by itself.



Athens, Greece

From Athens, I took a ferry toward Brindisi, Italy with a night stopover on the island of Corfu. On Corfu, I enjoyed observing the simple life of local fishermen. I also learned for the first time that there are long lunches around the Mediterranean. People go home for lunch at 12:00 usually. They have a light lunch and then go to bed for about two and a half hours. They wake up at 3:30 or 4:00, open their shops and such and go back to work. Usually workday ends at 8:30pm or 9:00pm in the evening. Well, the dumb American woke this poor fellow up at 1:00 PM to make me lunch. That was also the first time I went into a fish restaurant and selected among many fish on a plate, which one I wanted.

The next day, I carried on to Italy, immediately got on a train and headed for Rome. On that train, I met three American girls who were heading for Naples. We had such a good talk on the train that we decided to meet up in Rome at the Fountain of Trevi two days later.

In Rome, I was running all day long and right into the night. I stayed at a youth hostel and went around the city with other people who were staying in the hostel. I was stunned by the art and architecture. When the three American girls came in, I was literally sleeping on the ground by the fountain. They started taking pictures of me lying there on the pavement. As soon as one girl tried to prop me up to take a picture of me with my arm around her I woke up. I should have just stayed asleep. I spent two wonderful days with those girls and played the role of their official chaperon and guardian.
Ronさん自身の気付きは?
When in Rome, I met up with an American Architecture student from Notre Dame University in the United State that was studying one year in Florence. He said, if I needed a place to stay, they could put me up, as most of his roommates where traveling. So, I had a place to go to in Florence. One interesting thing I learned about myself when on my own is that I’m more open to people and my surroundings. When I am with someone or even in a group, my attention is mostly on them and less on the surroundings. Being alone, I was opened to all kinds of things. It was a new awareness for me.

 

In Rome and Venice

Florence was to me even more impressive than Rome. The art and history left pictures in my mind that have not gone way in more than three decades. That was equally true in Venice where I went next.

From Venice, I took an overnight train to Vienna, Austria, which to me was the city of classical music. I went to concerts almost every day. When I was in the junior college in Sacramento, I was forced to take an art related class. I selected “Music Appreciation” and went to classical music concerts in Sacramento. In Vienna, I learned where most of that music came from.

Ronさんのヨーロッパの旅は続きます。
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Global Interaction & Understanding - A Personal Journey : No.4 初めての長期海外旅行でイスラエルとヨーロッパへ。ヒッピー?

2019-12-08 11:32:29 | Ron's Life Story
Chapter #3: THE FIRST LONG-DISTANCE TRIP

Ronさん、初めての海外へ長期旅行。ヒッピー的な思考だったのかもしれません。

当時、日本人にも小田実の『なんでも見てやろう』に触発されて、世界一周を試みた人が沢山いました。『なんでも見てやろう』は、フルブライト留学生であった小田が、帰国時に1枚の航空券と200ドルを手に、世界一周した旅行記。日本人のグローバル化の第2陣いや第3陣ですかね。言い過ぎ!?無銭旅行の人も多く、現地で働きながら旅を進めた人もいたようです。今より、衛生状態が悪く、不便な中、よく行ったものです。

さて、第3章は、3回に分けて掲載します。

Shortly after returning from Mexico, I traveled to Israel and Europe for the first time. Those were the days when college students would hitchhike from country to country with a pack on their back. So, I borrowed a pack, bought a discount air ticket and a 1-month Euro-pass train ticket, and I was ready to go.

米国人が英語を学ぶ?!
First, I flew to London and spent four days with Jimmy Chan whom I mentioned in Chapter #2. He was at the London School of Economics at that time working on a PhD in Mathematics. I remember taking a bath in the smallest bath I’ve ever seen in my life in his apartment in London. Also, he gave me good directions on what to see and how to get around on the “Tube” or “Underground” as they say. For us, it’s a subway. In those days my international English usage vocabulary was improving too. I learned what a “WC” was. I learned that “being pissed,” means being drunk not angry and many other important terms.





In London with Jimmy Chan, a lifelong friend

From London I flew to Israel to visit my sister, Bonnie. When I was studying in San Jose, Bonnie decided to save up her money and live on a Kibbutz in Israel to learn more about the Jewish religion and Hebrew. She went to work on a Kibbutz that specializes in teaching the religion. Kibbutz is Israel’s way of setting up protective communes. The Kibbutz’s set up businesses (mostly agricultural and manufacturing operations), have schools, dormitories, cafeterias, medical clinics, and a wide range of recreational facilities. There are sports teams, social activities and a wide range of studies. Depending on the type of business they are in, there are rich Kibbutz and poor Kibbutz. The one thing common among all of them is that the pay is very low, but you have all the necessities of life. Some Israelis love that type of life, some hate it. This concept has even been exported with Israelis going overseas, setting up businesses and asking their home Kibbutz to lend them contract workers. Here again, the overseas operation takes care of everything, but the pay is very low, quite often below minimum wage. The Chinese have done similar types of activities to get cheap labor in their restaurants in many countries outside of China.

On my sister’s Kibbutz, they produced grapefruit for export to Europe, milk (They had a dairy farm.), and grindstone. My sister worked in the clothing and seamstress section. She made towels and mended work clothes. Years later, I had seen them at exhibitions around the world as their grindstone operation has expanded into a wide range of grinding tool accessories.

Bonnie met her husband (Julian) there on that Kibbutz. He was from South Africa and worked in the dairy. So, Julian would wake up at 03:00 AM to go milk the cows.

私が見たハイテク軍事産業に支えられたイスラエルとは異なる側面
I was a month in Israel, about two weeks in the Kibbutz and the rest of the time traveling around the country. I had no idea at that time that I would have the chance to make repeated trips to the country for work. I saw the Golan Heights in the north and all the way down to Sharma Shek in the south. I found the country fascinating.





Sharma Shek and Jerusalem, Israel
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Global Interaction & Understanding - A Personal Journey : No.3 アジアへの視線

2019-12-01 00:14:13 | Ron's Life Story
Ronさんの同居人たち、そしてアジアへの視線

Then there was Peng. He was a Chinese national that grew up mostly in Taiwan. His father was a high officer in the Chinese army on the mainland. His mother was an American of Chinese decent. She had a PhD in Literature and met her husband in China. When the fighting started, she took young Peng and went to Taiwan where she taught at a major university. Peng was a good 7-10 years older than us and held many degrees in electrical engineering and hydraulics from universities back east. For us though, he was our Chinese food chef. As a boy on Taiwan, as his mother was always busy with university activities and writing, Peng spend a lot of time with maids and cooks. That was where he learned to cook. We did a lot of chopping and cooking together. Also, on Sundays, we used to drive up to China Town in San Francisco, have Cantonese breakfast, purchase some Chinese specialty foods and spices and drive back home. He was my first introduction to the Asian world along with people from Hong Kong and Vietnam. In those days, my interest expanding on global experiences was in a discovery stage. That interest was also stimulated by the international business subjects I was studying.


Mike Houser, Dan Minkel and Kwang Peng, Roger Williams House

Also, there was Sam Fisk. He was a graduate from UC Berkeley and extremely smart. He was in San Jose in a Master’s program in Psychology. He later dropped the program and decided to transfer to San Francisco State University and pursue a Masters in mobility and orientation for the blind. I meet up again with him years later in Hawaii.

Another person in the R & W House was Tom Tang. He was from Hong Kong, and we were not that close, but one summer a friend of his studying in the UK came to visit. His name was Jimmy Chan, also originally from Hong Kong. He went away to a British boarding high school, and then continued on for university and graduated school in mathematics in London. Well, we became the best of friends from that first meeting in the R & W House and are still in contact today, 40 years later. He now makes his home outside of Toronto, Canada. I visited him in Canada several times over the years, as well as meeting in both Hong Kong and Japan.

Then, there was Ken Holden’s. He was the #1 drug user in the R & W House and majored in Art. As a matter of fact, his class twice hired me as a nude model! I sat nude for an hour and was paid extremely well.

I learned many things living in the Roger Williams House through the other occupants, but something also sticks out among all others. We all had our problems of one sort or another, and we learned to care and accept each other as we were. That is something most of us did not get in our respective homes. We in a sense became a family.

As the Vietnam War was still raging, we were all susceptible to go to fight. Then, came the US Army Enlistment Lottery, which was the newest selection method for drafting men to enter the US Army, be training as solders and sent off to Vietnam to fight. In the system, there were 365 numbers, one number for every day of the year. The higher the number, the less likely you would be called up to go into the military.

Well, I got 108, a number sure to be drafted. That was a real blow, as I hated fighting and hated even the smallest of guns. So, I joined whatever military reserve unit I could get into for six years. I felt that would be much better than two years in the active Army and a chance of being killed.

Anyway, I found an Army Reserve training unit right in San Jose. I signed up for whatever specialty they had available, and there was only one assignment open to me, drill sergeant! So, I could peacefully, carry on with my studies, do my security guard job and go to my monthly US Army Reserve meetings without being killed.

Then, disaster struck. One day, I came in late from my security job at the refrigeration plant to be surrounded by policemen and a lot of sad, crying faces. I think it was Bill Minkel, another roomer who gave me the bad news. Bill Minkel, Ken Holden, David Koppel and several others in the house were also from Mountain View. On weekends, Ken Holden would hitchhike home to be with his family. Well, evidently a murderer picked him up and was brutally killed. His body was found in the mountains in the area. That was my last semester just before graduation, and I was going through final tests at the time.

The atmosphere in the Roger Williams house would never be the same. David Pool, another person in the house had an old camper, and we just wanted to get away. So, about 5-6 of us took off for Mexico. That was in February 1972.

Going to Mexico was my first experience outside of the United States, and I had a close feeling for the country growing up in California where many people originally from Mexico lived, like our neighbors the Osegueda’s. We drove down the Pacific Coast and finally stopped just past Mazatlan, Mexico. I think the last city we stayed in was San Blas, Mexico. We loved not only the warm weather but the people as well. Also, I was very surprised to see children playing outside very late at night. In spite of it being a poor country with hustlers, prostitutes and poor sanitation, the people seemed safe, even the women and children at all hours of the night. That was a first for me.

After I graduated from San Jose State, I moved out of the R & W House to a similar place with improved conditions. Peng also came along and took a room in the same place. That is when I first started to study Japanese (1973). In spite of him being Chinese, Peng was a great encouragement to me in those early years struggling with the language. He was not the first person that gave me great support.

Living with those people of very different backgrounds and nationalities and going to Mexico got me thinking about what I should do with my life. I had a feeling that the international community would have something to do with it.

多民族国家、モザイク国家といわれる米国では、幼少期から学生時代の多感な時期に、異文化と触れる多くの機会があることが分かりますね。

日本にも外国人観光客が増加しているばかりでなく、職場や日常生活で訪れる飲食店やコンビニなどでも外国人と触れる機会が増えています。

ちょっとした外国人との交流をとおして、異文化理解を深めたいものです。
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