Wednesday, 26 August 2009

People are strange, when you're a stranger

When being asked for highlights of the trip, I tend to slip into autopilot and reel off dolphin swimming, parachuting, scuba diving, mountain summits, getting my 1st proper suntan for 20 years etc. But it's the people who really made it memorable. In no particular order
  • The American who turned up in Bollywood without a penny, and now dubs generic Yankee voices onto local films when a local actor is playing an American but sounds nothing like one;
  • The girl who was dumped by her live-in partner of 3 years the night before setting off on 4 months of travels;
  • The girl who admitted she's still with her boyfriend because she likes his family, even though she's felt little for him for several years;
  • The oldest fellow-hosteller I met, a cheery Midwest American in Waikiki who looked about 90.
  • the 14 year old daughter of one of my couchsurfing hosts who calmly informed me that she had a boyfriend and a girlfriend but neither of them should expect her to be faithful (Mum named her after a song by The Damned, so I've little sympathy);
  • the girl travelling with her somewhat dissolute father, reluctantly meeting his costs rather than the other way round;
  • the Chinese girl who lectured me for half an hour on why the leadership were quite right to massacre the Tiananmen protesters;
  • the Kashmiri in Sydney who claimed to have had both Indian army and Pakistani-affiliated rebels interested in kiling him in his teens;
  • The guy at Darwin hostel haranguing his female companion about "What you just don't realise is that music is my LIFE" - my 'total wanker' detector has never gone off so fast or so loud.
  • And the weirdo who left his job for 6 months without pay, but still checked and answered his work email about once a week - oh hang on, that was me.

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