Saturday, December 19, 2009
We are back in Missouri for Thanksgiving and Christmas. As I huddle beneath the woolen folds of my gigantic sweater and sheep skin slippers, I am reminiscing of white sand beaches, sunsets beneath the swaying palms, and and my comrades from afar. If you travel a lot you have probably noticed the phenomenon I will call "Comrades Abroad!" This condition occurs most notably when you are in a foreign country where little or no English is spoken. When you hear someone speaking English slowly to (in my case) a Spanish speaker who can't understand a word, your ears perk up; and you are drawn to it like your favorite song. It doesn't matter if the person is talking to you or not. The attraction is that they are talking and you understand them! And even better you can talk to them and they will understand you! All timidity melts away through that common bond of language. The beautiful thing about this phenomenon is that you don't have to be an American or a native English speaker to be part of this fellowship. The last week of our stay on Isla Mujeres, I met a Japanese young woman vacationing on the island. She was walking down the beach in the same direction I was headed. Now this phenomenon is amplified 30 times if you are walking with a 3 lb Chihuahua and I was. If they are too shy to talk to you - they will talk to your dog! If you are having problems making friends, get a Chihuahua. Just be prepared to have a new appendage added to your body and a new best friend - the Chihuahua. But that is another blog. Back to "Comrades Abroad." In the course of 10 minutes this sweet Japanese woman and I learned where each were from , what we were doing, and exchanged business cards. Whaalaa, a comrade is born. On this trip I have met a delightful comrade from Buenos Aires, Argentina named Karina whose salutations always include a kiss on the check. I love it. I have met some guys I refer to as the surfer dudes from Australia, Tequila Sheila and Leonard from California (a country of it's own,), and Manwella from Brazil. That is the beauty of traveling -new places and new friends. The only thing that compares is the pleasure of familiar places and things like this gigantic woolen sweater, these worn slippers or my old friends that I can laugh and drink coffee with. So since I can't stroll the beach right now, I will snuggle a little deeper into my sweater and brew another cup of coffee and if you driving by comrade your mug is waiting.