Over, Sideways, and Under

Over, Sideways, and Under

travel

One girl asked about the countries the other had been, and the other responded with a big “Hmm” followed by a “Do I need to list them all?”

February 7, 2014

There are days when I catch myself eavesdropping on a nearby conversation. My ears, like my brain, wander when it’s bored. The other day, as I was eating lunch in a small Italian cafe, I was drawn by the conversation between two teenage girls. The cafe was empty except for the three of us and the staff at the counter.

They talked about the places they’d been. One girl asked about the countries the other had been, and the other responded with a big “Hmm” followed by a “Do I need to list them all?”

Surprised that such a young girl (probably 15 to 17) had been to so many places, I continued to listen.

She started with Asia–China, Japan, Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, India, and so on before moving on to Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Tanzania, Egypt. Then to a handful of US states, and lastly to Europe. I was amazed. For each country she mentioned, she added a comment about how she felt visiting there with her family.

As I walked back to the apartment, my mind raced with images of the things she did in the places she visited, and I wonder if there are others like her I could meet in this new city—a city of abundant stories.

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