Thursday 23 January 2003, A level Year 1, Surrey, England

Figuring out what one was good at and therefore what to do for life was no trivial task. Even though I had strong interests in Economics, I had no idea where it was going to take me in the future or even if it was useful at all. One thing I had been able to pick up from the press was that the economists were very good at explaining things, but only with hindsight. Their forecasts about the past worked a lot better than about the future. The worst part was that I was still a long way away from even becoming an economist.

But for my roommate and best friend Dennis, it was all very easy. Dennis loved connecting and chatting to people. He was the happiest when he was talking to others and would usually be able to spread his energy around the crowd as well. On our first day at the boarding house, before I even finished unpacking my stuff, Dennis already began going from room to room introducing himself. Two weeks into the term, he had already known most students of the school, the second years included.

Ever since then, he became my source of what was going on at school while I supplied him with the few pieces I managed to understand from the newspapers. Whatever I read always seemed so dull compared to what Dennis had in return. I often wondered whether we were really in the same school and boarding house. There could be so much going on after class!

Today, Dennis had a chat with another boy in our room and nobody else was allowed to stay and listen. Afterwards, the boy left happily with Dennis’ electric cooker and Dennis seemed very happy as well.

“So what was that about?”, I asked Dennis.

“I had a fortune telling session with him”, Dennis replied

“Fortune Telling!? No wonder it was so secretive. But why did he leave with your cooker?”, I wondered.

“Well, he was so grateful for the advice that he gave his Rolex watch to me. It would not be nice if I didn’t give something back, wouldn’t it?”

A cooker for a Rolex at high school already, I could not wait to see what Dennis was able to do once he graduated from university!