I can’t sleep. I wonder how many times my mattress has played host to the insomniac tourist; too many to count probably. I just hope this bed has learned not to take it personally. “It’s not you it’s me,” I feel tempted to whisper into my pillow.
People here stare. People in lots of places I visit stare. It’s the lonely and gratifying lot of not really looking like anyone else. It happens less in certain places I suppose, but there’s usually a steady gaze as folks try to play world atlas with my mug. Luckily, I never take it personally.
This evening, I had a cup of tea at a place called the, Art Gallery Caffee on the corner of Al-Rainbow and Uthman Bin Affan Street. It was a cozy little spot that reminded me of a sidewalk café in Europe or some slightly less trodden path in Manhattan like Alphabet City.
Here I did not stare, but listened. I overheard four-twenty something’s philosophize about travel, dating, and work. The most notable sound bites were one man’s claim that whales didn’t have faces preceded by the belief that French men were overly aggressive. The latter seemed to be one of the few, if only proclamations the two men and two ladies seemed to agree on.
To date I’ve traveled to 31 countries in my lifetime. I’m often asked about the people in the different places I visit. To me, the inquiry is a less formal way of asking, is the rest of the world decent, which is to say, is there still hope?
My take away is that people are people. Sure, there are often distinct culture differences, but I believe that at our core we all want the same things. Still, I must say the one demographic of people who are universal in their life’s desires are children. All they want is to play. What a novel idea.
The other day Julanna, a twenty-something from Jordan, told me “there’s a reason for everything.”