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float with us, 1: hello world

Updated on January 21, 2016
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—oh. Sorry. It's not ready yet.

This is a little embarrassing.

I think you can understand if I explain. At the very least, I know you'd do me the courtesy of trying.

Here's how it goes: in this space, we are what I call Outside. I used to know the proper definition of what here is, but it involved these weird symbols and lines upon lines of mathematical proofs. For my sake much more than anyone else's, I summarized it up as simply being "Outside". Not the definition of the word, but more of the... weight of it. And not weight as in body weight, but weight as in dry weight. Or "weight in oil". You see the nuance, yes? I hope you do.

No, don't worry about your nuance not being my nuance. That difference means you've already understood. Yes? Because if your nuance is solid enough to stand out from my nuance, which to you is only impressions and interpretation, then...

You're right, I'm sorry. We seem to be heading down a spiral of sorts. And by we I suppose I should admit: I.

Let's look to less roundabout things. Like greetings.

Salutations! My regards. Ni hao. 你好. Did you know that those literally mean "You / good"? More of a well-wishing, an imparted blessing than a formality.

Compare this to the automatic roll of the tongue: "Hey, how are you?" In Australia, "how are you" has replaced "hello" and its other one-way variants. More of an effort and a chance for its people to connect with each other. More interactive. Though it's gone the expected way of things: instead of elaborating and answering the question, the common response is "Good, you?" - rhetoric, of course, and the two go their separate ways.

Because though on paper, outside of context, it seems to operate on a deeper level of human connection, the practiced truth is that it's just the same as anywhere else in the world.

You and I - we're not like that, I hope. Did I actually say my greetings to you before I asked you to come in? Oh dear. I can't remember. Look at me, leaving my manners back at the old place.

Hmm? Oh, right, yes. We're currently Outside, but that doesn't mean I don't know about the Inside. True, I've got a few gaping patches in my knowledge, like the whole of Mexico (isn't that a type of bun?), but I've got enough to go by on. For small talk, you know. Small talk is important when keeping visitors.

You're not really a passerby any more, after all. If you were, you'd have left. But you are here, and you are my guest, and I do really appreciate your company.

...

Well, now that we have dispensed with formalities, I have to ask you: are you allergic to anything by any chance?

For the watchers:

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