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Now that I am back in British Columbia, I realize that the quantity/quality of interaction with people in the new environment  is a function of receptivity of the local community AND one’s own confidence level. i.e. QI=f(E,S) where E stands for Environment and S stands for self confidence.

When I came to BC at the end of June,  I felt rather strange though BC is like the second home for me as I have spent the summers  over the past 15 years or so. I felt isolated, not being able to relate to people who look familiar to me.   I could not figure out why.  One thing was clear.  I was physically and mentally exhausted when I arrived.

It was partly because of my own fault as I made my travel plans too tight (i.e. I had no day off to speak of right before I left Tokyo and in fact traveling within Japan the days before) and my health was not good (I was coming down with cold and cough.)  I had  several worries too as I was being late for the deadline of the draft, was quite at a loss as to what to do with my project and students at KMD as I found out that  I would retire in 9 months or so. I had more than I could handle and started losing confidence in my ability to handle things. Naturally, I did not feel good.

To make  matters worse, I found out that my close friend in BC had to undergo severe medical treatment and  was not able to do things together.  Naturally, I was at a loss and had  difficulty interacting with people.  I myself felt that I was isolated and did not feel at home (which is very unusual for me, as I  am the kind of person that feels at home almost anywhere in a day or two!)   I could not get myself up to try something new, and felt I lost the will to do anything.

It took about 10 days before my health fully recovered and I was able to concentrate and felt ready to try something new.

Now that I am back after a hectic, but inspiring and productive week in Japan, the whole scene seems to have changed. People I meet at the circuit class say Hi and talk to me and I feel much more comfortable. I do not feel isolated and feel at home.

So here is my hypothesis.  Whether you can have good interaction with people or not, in new environment,  depends upon two things-the friendliness of the people in the local community AND how comfortable you are with yourself.  Thus QI = f(E-environment, S-self confidence).   Let me know if my hypothesis is proven or not from your experience.

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