Sunday, May 28, 2006

There but for the grace...

Pretty Lady's favorite ex-boyfriend and his lovely wife have just published an extensive cover story about their adventures to date. I highly recommend that you go read the entire thing; the pictures alone are worth it, but the stories and the messages are better still.

While traveling, Pierre and I had frequently talked with strangers and it often made for dynamic debate but rarely did it turn to anger. Here, there is a tension and a defensiveness we haven't encountered elsewhere, nor had it been in the US before we left -- and the undertow of hostility startles us. It wasn't until I returned home to my own country that I heard the words "If you don't like it here, you can go live in another country", or "You'd better watch what you say" followed by "You live in the freest country on Earth!"

Every time Pretty Lady reads an update on their adventures, she is overwhelmed by two feelings; pride and joy in their achievements, and an overwhelming gratitude that she had the courage to leave darling Pierre before she found herself on a motorcycle in the middle of the Sahara. Temperamentally, she simply is not suited to this lifestyle, and no-one could be happier than she that Pierre found another lady (as much like Pretty Lady as possible, in all other respects) who was.

But you have to admit, he is awfully cute.


Anonymous said...

I went and looked at their article. And alls I can do is sigh.

Part of me understands their feelings toward America, and part of me does not. But I also realize I don't feel I am a typical American. I am a Christian first.

Does American foreign policy really affect the world the way this lady was saying? I think the answer is yes. I would like to think that we don't have that much influence... but I think I know better.

I guess if people in other countries want to hate me, well I will remind of this - I haven't done anything to them. My country has... but I haven't.

I hope people in other countries understand... But I have my doubts.

There is nothing I can do. By the way, I didn't break things.

Anonymous said...

But I bet that was quite a journey for them... very interesting and very disturbing at the sametime..

Pretty Lady said...

I hope people in other countries understand... But I have my doubts.

I do believe they do their best, and often do better than we do.

Anonymous said...

The mysteries of Pandora's box revealed....
could it have been that whgen she opened the box....the furies (we call them opinions) flew out to the four corners of the world and attached themselves to ALMOST everyone. And the world has not known peace since.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Interesting read, and one I must take more time to go through in toto. But meanwhile, I have a question: who is paying for their year's trek?

Pretty Lady said...

who is paying for their year's trek?

I have five words for you: Software engineer. Netscape. Stock options.

And it was two years, at least--one for Africa, one for South America. Now, sadly, poor Pierre has to go back into a cube, which he's not too happy about.

I, personally, would have cashed in the stock options, found one really great place and stayed there, making the occasional two-week excursion. But that's the difference between us.

Anonymous said...

I would have been MUCH happier with your plan. Plus, I like having something tangible (read real estate) to show for large sums of cash.

I like to travel, but find that it often tires me and usually doesn't take me too far from myself, ever. It's rarely where I am or what I am doing that makes me happy or unhappy. It's who I am with.

Pretty Lady said...

It's rarely where I am or what I am doing that makes me happy or unhappy. It's who I am with.

I can see that we are kindred spirits. I subscribe to the Buckaroo Banzai notion of travel: wherever you go, there you are.

Not that I don't enjoy it; it's just that scenery alone is merely the icing on the cake. Plus I like gardening.

Anonymous said...

If you like gardening, it must be your Kansas gene pool coming through. Most people here have some kind of plant fetish. It varies - flowers, vegetables, wild or tame, fungi (mushrooms; I'm an amature mycologist..or was when I had more free time...) - but it's the rare person in Kansas who doesn't at least have a single house plant! One of my uncles (now deceased but still a favorite)used to tell people he was "an oxygen" farmer - he had so many trees on his property.

Things and places are lovely and to be used and enjoyed. But it is people (including ones self) and relationships that most often determine the level of true soul deep my world at least..