(July 22) It’s been exactly a month since that reporter Will Weston wrote his article “Work and Play Among the Ecotopians”, and a little over a week since I first came here to see for this country for myself. I will say, getting here was not easy considering the relations between Ecotopia and the U.S are still very much on the rocks, but because of Ecotopia’s international relations with other countries, I was able to use my second citizenship to allow me a visit of decent length. And since I’ve gotten here, I have to say it’s been incredible!
In the limited time I have spent here, I have already noticed a good number of differences between our cultures—most of which I think are positive. Perhaps my favorite difference is in the people. Back home I walk on the street and see people’s emotionless expressions as they view others merely as obstacles to pass in order to get to their destinations—it’s all so impersonal and inherently capitalistic. But here everyone seems so much freer and more sociable! People smile and say hello as we pass, they are helpful if I have questions—they treat me like they genuinely care. I think it has something to do with their reduced work weeks, a concept that seems so foreign to Americans (but evidently works very well for the Ecotopians).
(Later) A group of people I met on the train invited me on a hike into the nearby mountains this morning. It’s impressive and honestly admirable how much care Ecotopians put into maintaining the environment and keeping nature healthy—instead of living over nature (like Americans too often do), they try their best to live together with nature. The hike was very enjoyable and the view at the peak was fantastic! Along the way, my new friends were even able to identify almost every species of flora and fauna we saw! When we finally got back from the hike they also invited me to my first war games tomorrow—not sure if it’ll be as a spectator or a participant but I’m excited to experience it either way.
I’m really looking forward to the upcoming weeks I’m spending here; I must say that at first, I was a bit skeptical of Ecotopia and what that reporter was writing, but even after just over a week of being here I can definitely see why he decided to stay!