Tell About Your Trip Experience–Before Your Mind is Gone
Sometimes, even though we’re in the middle of something—a job, a family thing, a big change, a whatever—we may feel the need to disconnect from it for a moment and think about something else. The key for me, of course, is not staying away from my project for too long, else I run the risk of falling out of my groove. Today, as I sit here in the midst of my first full-length feature film and multiple websites, I found myself thinking about a subject that applies to WhichCity: talking about travel-related situations and moments I’ve witnessed before I forget them! Yep—while they’re still a bit fresh, I’d like to discuss some of the more interesting things that have transpired during my time abroad, and tell about my own trip experiences, before I lose my mind!
First off, I’m going to go back—way back—to my first trip out of the US. I was in high school at the time and one of my great friend’s grandmother offered to pay for me to accompany my friends and a couple of teachers to a multiple-city trip to Europe. The journey would last a couple of weeks and include Germany, England, France, and the Czech Republic. Technically, we traveled through Belgium, but unfortunately it was something we could only see by train as it rushed by. Still, the countryside there looked great!
My fondest memory was about, of course, a girl. Well, I guess you could say a woman, because she appeared to be older than thirty. We were staying at a hotel in Prague, where we’d have a simple breakfast and then return later for dinner. The lady I mentioned was a worker at the hotel, and I saw her occasionally as we came and went, as well as when we ate. The first things I noticed about her were 1) she had a purple tint—a dye—in her hair, 2) She would stare at me every time we were around each other, and 3) she would constantly smile at me. At this time, I was quite young (maybe around seventeen) and, while I felt that she was being more than just nice, I was also confused because it appeared that she could be twice my age. Initially, I brushed this off, but it happened nonstop and fiercely, up to the point where I just had to say something to my friends and teachers.
During dinner, I noticed that she was refilling my drink but not my friends’. As per the usual, she gave me the smiles and gazes, alongside the excellent service. When I finally told my friend and teachers about my feelings and observations, my friends immediately attacked me as if I was full of myself, which, of course, was to be expected. However, my school’s principal—a well-educated, traveled and cultured man—observed her actions and then confirmed what I had suspected: she was indeed interested in me and showing that heavily. This made me feel better about my observations, but at the same time caused me some confusion, due to the age difference. It was then that he enlightened me—something he did often. He told me that in this culture, women who aren’t married before the age of thirty will have trouble doing so later. He believed that, since I was a young foreigner, I was a good candidate for marriage, probably single and from a family with money (often, tourists are viewed as rich, especially in poorer areas). He pointed out that the combination of low income and the “leftover woman” stereotype (I borrowed this term from the Chinese way of describing it) cause women like this to hone-in on foreign guys like me.
Well, after his explanation, I was amazed and lost in thought. I’ve always had a big heart, so from that point up until today, I’ve wondered what kind of life this girl has had. I wonder if she found a great man in Prague, settled down and had a family. I wonder if she’s happy. I wonder what her name was. I may never know for sure, but I like to believe she found a great man who loved her for who she was and is—purple hair and all.
What do you have to say about your trip experiences? Some of us don’t yet have any stories to tell, but travel memories have been for me–and many–some of the most memorable of my life, including those memories from Prague, Europe, North America, and Asia. Marrying young is okay…just be sure to take your spouse with you, build your own travel memories, and don’t worry about being a “leftover woman” (or man!).