“I’m the postman. I’m also a photographer. I’d rather be a painter, but since I don’t have the time, I take pictures instead. I can’t think of anything else to tell you.”
“What about something you’ve done in the past?”
“I taught English in Japan for four years, and that was my favorite job. Being a foreigner is a lot of fun. I traveled a lot when I was younger. I’ve been to 40 countries. I went all the way across Eurasia without taking an airplane. I would hitchhike, walk, take a boat, or ride a train.
“I found that, the more I traveled, the world was both expanding and getting smaller at the same time. That’s the paradox, the contradiction. The more different the people you meet are—and they can be very, very different—the more similar they look after you talk to them.”
“How did you get into delivering mail after being a teacher and traveling so much?”
“Well, here’s something else about me: I’ve had so many jobs in my life that if you ask me to recite all of them, I would never be able to. There are too many for me to remember, and not a single one of my jobs has been related in any way to the previous one or to any other job I’ve had. All my life, I have changed jobs every few years—different countries, different cities, different professions. It keeps me young. Everything is new. I don’t choose my jobs because of money. I choose them because they are interesting to me at the moment.”
“Still, could you try to recall some of your jobs?”
“OK. I was a whale-watching videographer. I picked oranges in Greece. I did construction in West Berlin. I was a heroin counselor in New York City. Oh, I was also a diplomat: I worked at the United States Embassy in Madrid. I’ve been a postman for one year. I’ll do it maybe another two or three years, and then I’ll change to something completely different. I don’t know, maybe I’ll be a doctor. I’m not done living yet.”