I’m sitting here typing at a colleague’s work station in Shanghai, someone I’ve never met.  We’re on a work exchange.  We swapped jobs for a couple of weeks.  Right now he is probably at my home in Seoul after a day at work sitting at my desk, working on work I would normally do.  I’m doing work he does here in Shanghai.  I will soon walk back to his home where I am staying for a couple of weeks.  It’s an radical sensation when you feel like you’re living someone else’s life.  For a brief moment in time, we will glimpse each others’ lives.  We don’t really know what it’s like to actually be someone else, but still we’re immersed in a different reality than our own. 
His life here in Shanghai isn’t too shabby–I’m doing my best not to clutter it up with junk.  I wonder what he thinks of mine, especially since he doesn’t have any children.  I can tell our personalities are different, so who knows what he’ll think after living my life for a couple of weeks.  He lives a DINKs lifestyle (double-income, no kids), whereas my life is built around child rearing.  Maybe it will be enlightening.  I doubt he will play with play dough or drink juice boxes.  If his wife becomes pregnant in the next couple of months, I will definitely wonder whether she became enamored by all the children’s toys laying around the house.  His life has certainly been enlightening to me.  I’d forgotten what it was like not to have any children.
If nothing else, it’s been fun.  Trying exchanging your life with someone else for a change.  It’s pretty cool!

Books by MG EdwardsMG Edwards is a writer of books and stories in the thriller and science fiction-fantasy genres. He also writes travel adventures and children’s books. A former U.S. diplomat, he served in South Korea, Paraguay, and Zambia before leaving the Foreign Service to write full time.

Edwards is author of six books. His memoir, Kilimanjaro: One Man’s Quest to Go Over the Hill, was finalist for the Book of the Year Award and the Global eBook Award. He has published four children’s picture books in the World Adventurers for Kids Series: Alexander the Salamander; Ellie the Elephant; Zoe the Zebra; and a collection featuring all three stories. His book Real Dreams: Thirty Years of Short Stories is an anthology of 15 short stories.

Edwards lives in Taipei, Taiwan with his family. He has also lived in Austria, Singapore and Thailand. For more books or stories by M.G. Edwards, visit his web site at www.mgedwards.com or contact him by e-mail at me@mgedwards.com or on Twitter @m_g_edwards.

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1 Comment

  1. Angeline's Gravatar Angeline
    April 19, 2006    

    Hi Mike, your life is very interesting!  Thank you for enlightening me on Shanghai.  Greetings from Singapore to you and your family in Shanghai. Enjoy your stay!

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