Thursday, August 21, 2008

Bindiya from India

As we walked up the four flights of marble stairs to our hostel room, we hoped our two other roomies would be two things: female and awake. This would mean that we could get ready for bed in normal fashion; noisily, 1/2 naked and with talking of our day's adventure intermingled. Bindiya, roomie #1, was awake and ready to chat it up. What a sweet and hopeful soul. She is from Bombay, India and lives in London to work for an investment banking company. She is 26 years old, and "still not married." She wants so badly to come to the states and attend Harvard for her MBA. After high school she was told by her older brother that if she wanted to further study, he would allow her to do so. This is apparently Indian custom, the oldest brother is sorta in charge. Her high school teacher had to persuade her brother to allow this kind of craziness as most Indian girls are to be looking for a husband at that point. She studied further and is now preparing to apply to Harvard. She says the university she attended isn't one of the top in India and it's very competitive to get into a US school, especially Harvard. If she follows her dreams (which she wisely says we cannot live without having)she won't be ready to be married until well into her 30's. This is a major problem for her family and community. She describes them as "conservative and traditional, simple." They support her but are worried. She says it's only because they love her so much. Her bother is constantly giving out her phone number so that she will meet some prospects. She meets these men for dinner, lunch or an evening coffee and it just doesn't click. Bindiya wants fireworks and a soul-mate...her words not mine, alhtough I am no longer synical, I still would never use the word soul mate...I get it though. I can't help but think that there are people in my life attempting to get my head out of the sky by telling me (in a relatively subtle way) that my expectations are perhaps too high. Are they? Since I've never first hand observed marriage, do I have an idea that they're "just like the movies" and in fact, they're not!? Hmmm, Dunno. I do know however, that I want to wait it out and see ;) Maybe my hope is similar to Bindiya's. She describes the man she wants as "having more ambition and passion" than she. She met a smart and fun british man upon arriving to London and found out after dating for two months that he was married. He tried to keep her around by telling her it should be his guilt, not her's. Nice. She couldn't do that...especially to another woman. Bindiya is a wonderful person and I'm so blessed that she speaks incredible English, making it possible to share her story with me. She learned our language within three months and now has been speaking it for four years. She is hillarious and has lots of questions for us American gals. I started out our convo with the two typical roomate hostel questions: Where are you from and how long have you been in (fill in the city)? It got so much deeper so quickly and I'm so glad. Lord knows I can't stand small talk. Bindiya from India was so inspirational and discussing only Rome, the city we were in, would've been such a shame. Not only did I love the fact that I could call her "Bindiya from India" but I also can totally relate to her positive outlook on life and love...

Sunday, August 17, 2008


I work mostly nights and when I park my car in front of my cozy little house I pay attention to nothing beyond what I am about to embark on...what I like to call a Zone-Out TV sesh. This is a time when I lie on my couch and stare at the television using the same amount of brain cells and energy as taking a relaxing nap. Then I go to bed. On this particular Saturday I had worked what's called a "Porta-bar" (aka Portable Bar) for eight hours at a Luau and was very tired (mostly tired of making "Coco Loco's") So I paid no attention to the sign outside my house that read "No parking after 2am Sunday." I had briefly noticed the sign earlier in the week and decided that I'd worry about it on Sunday. Duh. So of course returning home on this Saturday night required nothing beyond my normal parking efforts. WRONG. As most of you have figured out, that meant move your fricken car Saturday night, not Sunday! Sunday morning, on my way to meet my good pal for some Starbucks, I walked 6 feet from my door to the spot where my car is usually parked. No Wanda the Honda to be found (My mother once wisely said, "only crazy people name their cars," she may be onto something) My first thought, "Did I leave my car at a bar and take a cab home last night? Definitely not, we're done with that stage." Second thought, "Could it be kharma for being on my way to Starbucks instead of supporting my local, fair trade coffee establishment?" No. Third thought: "Someone stole Wanda!" Also wrong. Conclusion after 5 seconds of utter bewilderment, my car was towed! So, $400 later I get to buy back the car I own that was parked outside of the house I live in from "Star Towing"....not the one down the street, but the one about 20 miles away. Makes perfect sense right? Here's what would actually have made sense to me...Sign on curb: Please do not park here Saturday night because we need your car off this street by Sunday morning. If it is in our way (although we will probably not really need the space for anything of importance) we will tow it to a faraway place where you will give us your week's paycheck. Thanks, San Diego PD. The hidden message-you are an educated 24 year-old and used to teach our youth, you should know the difference between AM and PM.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

...and the nun sitting next to me

After running like hell to catch our train from Rome to Naples, somehow the train attendent knew I was not supposed to be sitting in First class (young american girls carrying dirty backpacks and sweating like beasts are clearly only classy enough to be in the 2nd class) So, I moved...and ended up sitting next to a nun. She ate a sandwich, used her cell phone and totally backwashed in her water bottle. I wish I could communicate with her but unfortunately no italian for me. I take joy in knowing that my mom would be so happy to hear that one of her very own catholics...not just any catholic, a super legit catholic...was within inches of her one and only daughter. I'm assuming this means extra blessings or safety or something. Suddently I become anxious that writing about this nun is perhaps a sin. Even worse, what if homegirl is reading my every word? She is sitting RIGHT next to me. No, impossible. She would've been offended by the backwash comment. The chick across from me is (seemingly) so rude. She refuses to move her oversized and strangely hard suitcase, making it very difficult for others to drag their crap past our seats in the isle. Don't you see that the rest of us hoisted our heavy ish up onto the luggage storage shelf above our heads? This is what thoughtful travelers do. My guess is she's either American or French. Now she is tapping her fancy burkenstalk on the ground as if this doesn't bother any of us and we will all suddenly join in on her beats. She would be wrong, we don't like this tapping at all. We're all exhausted and are attempting to sleep on the already noisy train!

My mental note to this woman...

Dear Burkenstalk,
Welcome to Public Places. This is where other people (aside from yourself) are existing. Please control your selfish tendencies and join us in polite silence!
Thank you,
Me, the considerate traveler (and the nun sitting next to me)

5 minutes later...

1. Burkenstalk is definitely not American 2. She has braces...huh? Who 'da thought?
3. The nun is now eating another ham sandwich...

Hey, I could be a blog-tastic writer!

So I'm an avid journaler. There are times when my journal entries are prayers, times when they're a tool for venting and then times when I write short story-ish matter. One of my hopes (one of probably too many, some of you pessimists might argue) is to one day write a book. What you'll read, if your ADD isn't agressive like mine, will mostly share my crazy observations that one wouldn't dream up unless they were up in "Sara-land" (my head) which is a place I'm pretty sure you don't wanna me. Some describe people or things that have moved me and some consist of stupid crap that I find humorous. Most of it is uncensored. My motivation to share some of my craziness and become a "blogger" came to exist on my recent trip through Europe (backpacking to be be specific...and make myself sound rugged and cool to all of the male readers ;)) I had more time than usual to write, think and take in all that the foreign adventure had to offer. All that to say- Enjoy my long-winded and hopefully entertaining blog-tastic babble...