On Friday I made a new friend. His name was Bob. Bob was born and raised in communist Yugoslavia, a completely different world than the one we now live in. I want to share some of his story with you, particularly the timeless wisdom he shared with me. I hope you enjoy the gleanings of my hour with Bob as much as I did. He grew up in a small town, in the same apartment that his family had lived in since 1938 (his mother passed away in 1999, and the apartment finally left his family’s possession after 61 years.)
True Friends Last a Lifetime.
Having grown up in a small town, Bob really connected with the kids he grew up with. They were babies together, went to school together, worked together, and played together. After leaving Yugoslavia at the age of 25 (in 1968), Bob fell out of contact with many of his friends. But in the 90s, with the advent of the Internet, Bob was reunited with his childhood friends via chatrooms. Now every night from 10pm-1am Pacific, Bob goes online and talks with his old friends, though now they use webcams to talk. He said it was like no time had passed, because, although the outside may change, hearts don’t change.
Be persistent… and use creative persuasion at times.
Starting at age 14, Bob worked as a truck driver. It was a little different back then; he actually went to school to learn to drive a truck well. As a driver, he had the opportunity to drive all over Europe: Greece, Italy, France, Germany, etc. After coming to the US (Los Angeles area), Bob went to get his driver’s license. Surprisingly, even though he had been driving for 11 years at that point, Bob failed his first test! When he went in for his second test, it was the same tester. In what little broken English he had Bob told his instructor, “Me drive. You shut up,” then proceeded to drive him all about the town, showing off his acquired skills and talents. He might’ve been a bit reckless, he admits. After a couple minutes, the instructor (tightly gripping whatever he could) started yelling to go back to the DMV. “I pass?” “Yes! You passed!” “Okay, go back.” So Bob got his license by taking the test again after he had failed, and through some creative persuasion.
That’s all for now. I cut this article in half to keep the length down, so keep your eyes peeled for Part 2, coming out next week!
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve received from someone older than you?
P.S. I think I’ve hit a good rhythm of having my blogs post on Mondays and Thursdays, so I’m going to try to keep that going.