I’m an AW blog chain virgin here, so don’t get all huffy if I screw this up. Well, let’s see, this chain started out with some lies, then we moved on to hatred and jealousy, and next up was years from hell. But Family on Bikes did throw in a bit of travel, and growing from experiences, so I’m going with that.
I go though fits and spurts in my life when I keep a journal. One needs to chronicle such events as First Real Boyfriend (he’s sooooo cute!) and My Mother is Mean (grounded! the nerve!) But my last real journal was from 11 years ago, when I spent a month volunteering in India. By myself, which was a) a big deal for me at the time, having lived a fairly cloistered life and b) incredibly stupid, and probably pretty dangerous. I reread a passage recently, and realized the importance of writing things down, if only just to focus on your actions for a little while.
I had a couple of days in Delhi to explore on my own before catching a train to eastern India. Being what I thought was an intrepid traveler at the time, I took off on foot from my hotel, which was a huge white Hilton, you couldn’t miss it, right? Um, no. After a few hours of walking down dark passageways, through parks that looked familiar but not quite, it began to get dark. Shit. “Hilton? Heel-ton?” I would ask rickshaw drivers and shop owners, pointing to where I thought it was on the map. No, no Hilton there, miss. Of course I didn’t know that the name had recently changed.
A very scrubby-looking man overheard and offered to take me there. “I know this place,” he said, “You come with me.” That didn’t sound like a good idea, but as my other option was to camp out on the street, I went along. He told me he was a Kashmiri refugee, and he lived with his brother in a park. We crossed busy streets, him just holding up his hand for cars to stop, me trailing behind trying not to get run over. I pictured myself walking into some tent, being sold as a sex slave and never heard from again.
Finally we found the Hilton, in all its palatial glory. Of course this man would want some money. “Helpers” always want money. I tried to think of where I’d hidden it on my body, hoping he wouldn’t notice the rest of the bills and mug me. I pulled out some notes and handed it to him.
“No,” he said, “Don’t do that. I took you here because you were lost.” I still remember the hurt look he gave me, just before he turned and walked away.
Life in Scribbletown
Polyamory From the Inside Out
For the First Time
Family On Bikes
Writes in the City
Elf Killing and Other Hobbies
Spittin' (Out Words) Like a Llama
As Yet Untitled
Mad Scientist Matt's Lair