Leaving my comfort zone is always a way to learn new things, be exposed to different ideas, and to remind myself that we are not all alike. And that it’s ok that we aren’t.
On this trip, I started the day with “Rafael”, and ended the journey with “Rafael”, our Uber driver. (The photo above is from another blog, and has nothing to do with the actual Rafael, even though the brooding mirror image gave me something to work with for illustrating this blog and his part in our journey).
During the trip, I met a bunch of people that got on my nerves (not a biggie, but part of leaving one’s comfort zone), and it reminded me of just how selfish we (and I) have become in the good old USA. Trust me, we are sadly lacking in decorum and manners, and could do with more respect for others vs. always having to be “on” when in a group of strangers. I came to see the world, and instead dealt with my own pettiness for lack of manners.
Chrissy, the dining room attendant, was so obnoxious that I sat on my complaint letter before sending it in this week. Let’s just say that someone with a Bouncer’s view of life should NOT be in charge of something reputed to be a fine dining establishment.
This next one, Mr. Obnoxiously trendy skater boy, was determined to shock everyone and ruin the trip for all who encountered him (mostly families with kids and the elderly). He spent most of the first day drinking to excess, having sex with Ms. Traveling Alone (separate image, below). How do I know this? Because they both came out of the bathroom after 20 minutes together looking disheveled, pants unzipped and naughty bits dangerously close to being exposed. Hmmm…
Then, we come to the girlfriend of the moment (I presume), Ms. Traveling Alone but-must-hook-up-with-a-guy (i.e., Skater Boy’s chick of the moment).
Not sure what else she had going for her, as she was way too busy being a groupie for Skater Boy, and I didn’t get any idea of who she was beyond being a convenient piece of sexual furniture who thought it very daring to be obnoxious in the Scenic Lounge (communal gathering area to enjoy the scenery), while determined to put on a show of her own. Sad.
Next, it was Mrs. Finding-Myself-because-I’m-not-old-enough-to-be-stuck-staying-home.
Mrs. Finding Myself complained about her coach seat accommodations, then over dinner (no one was allowed to eat alone) reminded us all of how much money she and her husband had made in life, and then told stories of all the places she’d been on the cheap (why???? if you have so much money, why not enjoy it???).
The saddest part was how fancy free she was now that her son was grown and her husband was busy with his own life, and yet she seemed desperate for an audience to hear her tales of adventure. I couldn’t figure out if I was supposed to be impressed, envious or her cheering section.
Mostly, I was just bemused that she was alone and working so hard to impress strangers telling stories of all the places she’d been and all of the things that she’d done and how wonderful it was to be all alone. Always.
(Many of these folks in the images are famous – I took their pictures because they illustrated a moment and an impression of a person, and not because of any underlying comments about the artist portrayed in the images depicted).
One of the saddest moments came when an Onslow lookalike (from the PBS show, “Keeping Up Appearances”) had a medical issue and needed to be removed from the train on Friday afternoon.
He and his wife were enjoying a lovely trip through the countryside, and it appeared that he was not feeling well for most of Thursday. Come mid-day on Friday, a crisis occurred, and he had to be taken off the train and sent by ambulance to a nearby hospital.
I’m thrilled that he was out and about and doing what he and she wished, despite any health issues, but sad that their trip ended in that way for them.
Anyway, the upshot of this story is that I’m glad I went and was away during some of the recent craziness. Trust me – I can do crazy all by myself, without help.