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You know I was thinking about what I had learned while I was in china. Not just the wushu related knowledge but other more general aspects of life. I had a lot of time to my self. That entire first week I could not get in contact with my wife, didn’t know where an internet caf’ was, and knew a total of zero people who spoke English (zero people that were actually at Shi Cha Hai, Tucker was in town — but was very busy with his job). This lead to a lot of time thinking, reading and writing in my journal; which had the side effects of lonely home sickness and self pity. I realized part of why this happened today on my way to lunch.

I was driving to go get some lunch, and I had planned on going and getting some burgers at Fudruckers. But as I was walking out to get in the car and driving down there I thought of trying out that little BBQ Place, Kenny’s. I have wanted to try it out even since I first discovered it ‘ which was probably the first week I actually was working here (so about a year ago). But I havn’t been. Why? Because I get nervous about just going in. No real reason why I am shy about walking through the door and getting me some nice pit cooked meat ’ but I am. Same feeling I got back when I was hesitant about going into the gymnastics club, or into wushu for the first time. Really, what are they going to say? No you can get BBQ here (or no wushu, no flipping, etc). This spooked feeling has been present for as long as I can remember ‘ going into any unknown situation.

It was an issue while I was in China. I often would lie awake at night hungry. But less then 100 feet from the front gate of Shi Cha Hai was a little shop that would be happy to sell me a snack. I just didn’t know how it worked. Eventually Morgan returned and was able to show me around ‘ however I would not have needed his assistance if I would have had the gumption to simply go out and do what I needed. At the time I blamed it on my lack of Chinese skills ’ but in hindsight I can see that my Chinese was plenty good for those situations. Plus I don’t have any language barrier excuses when it comes to getting some BBQ for lunch.

This issue gets me thinking, I have a feeling a lot of other people out there have this same apprehension for walking into places. It would explain why fast food is so popular. I mean, the food is horriable for you, dosent taste that great, poor atmosphere and service ‘ but everyone goes there. Maybe not as an everyday meal, but when you are traveling you instinctively look for that fast food chain you know and go there. McDonalds (or Burger king or Taco bell) are all the same everywhere. I was able to walk into McDonalds in Beijing and get a Big Mac by pointing to a nice little picture of it. If I wanted super size, I point to a picture of a big frys and coke. But the problem I see with this is what happens if you want to get a business running and don’t want to buy into a franchise? Say a wushu school? This is going to call for some serious thought into the exterior appearance of said school. It has to scream ‘Come on in, check the place out’ to the casual onlooker. This is not so easy to do if you put the school in a warehouse or in the back ally of a strip mall. But of course those places are the cheapest locations that could support such a school. Koryo’s Location is ideal. This TKD school is in a little shopping center ‘ not like a full out strip mall, but rather a building that has maybe three or four shops. Koryo takes up and entire side of the building, maybe 1/3 of the total space. There is a day care or the like on the opposite side and a hair salon or restaurant or whatever decided to move in to the other location. Good amounts of parking and lots of windows. It has a very clean nice welcoming appearance to it. The sign is not like a painted board or a cheap back light sign ’ but rather each separate letter is lit form the inside. Nice clean colors. A lot of martial arts schools pile nasty looking trophies (prolly the single most shoddy manufactured product to come out of Taiwan), a homemade looking sign, and no real area for walk-in’s to wait and look. I am not sure where all this is going, but I do know how important it is to figure out what specific queues people pickup and associate with ‘familiar’ and ‘inviting’. I am gonna go think about this and do my brainstorming before I write about it here.

Not as trivial as I originally thought.

Looks like Gerald is going to be up here for sure this weekend. Coming in Friday evening. I am planning on having some of the old wushu peeps over to my place for a little dinner and some Hero. I am beginning to think I ought to extend the invitation to the non-wushu fellas. It just has a little uncalled for awkwardness about it ‘ but I do want to see people like Josh and Dmitry and Duanne. Oh, I will have to remember to ask Kyle tonight at gymnastics if he is working on Friday night. Prolly is, being in the restaurant biz. I’ll run it by Kelly, because she gets stuck playing host whenever I invite people over.