Monthly Archives: December 2013

Enjoying the journey

In fourth grade, I lived right down the street from school, yet I remember routinely swinging into the classroom as the last bell rang each morning. I still tend to be a last minute person, except when I’m flying. I actually get to the airport well ahead of time so I don’t stress if lines are long. Most of them have wi-fi and I travel with my computer, so there’s no problem entertaining myself. However, I usually get into conversations instead.
I had to make a last-minute trip to New York state from Sacramento over the Thanksgiving weekend. Most of the flights were over a thousand dollars, and I’m going to India in January for $1300. So I dug until I found something half that price – which of course meant flying all over the country there and back. Also, every plane was packed, so my seats were in the far back. There was only one connection that was tight, and when I explained why it was essential I not miss it, the flight attendants got someone up front to swap seats with me just before we landed. They also made sure I knew my next gate and told me to get a ride there from the guy driving people around. People are really nice when they know you need some help and aren’t demanding about it.
On the way home, the weather had Newark closed, which had everyone in the airports scrambling to rearrange things. I chatted about life and men with a lady who was originally from Africa while she waited for her re-routed flight to get back in the air.
The last leg of my journey, I sat next to an imam from Pakistan who is a doctor of theology, here to study people and try to figure out why Jews, Christians, and Muslims ignore all they have in common, including their common root in Abraham, and kill each other in the name of religion. While it is not the custom in his home culture, he initiated a handshake when we introduced ourselves.
That’s what I try to do when traveling elsewhere – adapt to their customs as best I can and learn enough of the language to show respect for their culture.
Anyway, I’m going to try to blog a bit as I go if I have internet access when I get to India. If not, I promise to post something by the end of February instead of being OCD about photos etc.

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