This I Believe

Cheryl - Bedford, Texas
Entered on July 27, 2006
Age Group: 30 - 50
Themes: community

I believe in being a tourist. I believe in seeing as much of the world and the people in it as I can.

We live in a small and slightly beat up house, we haven’t yet paid off Sallie Mae, my husband’s computer really needs more RAM, and I don’t get my hair cut very often. I believe these things are not important.

These are some of the things I remember. I believe everyone should have memories like these.

Sitting in an empty diner in Kyoto. Jetlagged, lost, and tired. Ordering dinner with no common language. Watching a conservatively dressed woman and her son, who looked like a cross between Marilyn Manson and Gene Simmons, make our dinner. Watching the diner wave back at me when served.

Rubbing my ice cold hands and grumbling that no glacier cruise really needs to be longer than an hour.

Trying to photograph the stray cat population in the Coliseum.

Listening to a middle aged woman in China rapidly tell me about things I couldn’t understand because I told her that her dress was pretty – one of three words in Chinese I knew. Both of us feeling happy about the conversation.

Being followed through the Austrian National Treasury by the President of Bulgaria.

Saying the Lord’s Prayer silently to myself when the monks at the mountain top Buddhist monastery made us all take prayers.

Surviving 24 hours on the bus on Irish black bread and a small jar of jam riding to Edinburgh. Seeing Pizza Hut and thanking God.

Going on my first snorkeling trip and having the boat break a mile from us, stranding us in the reef.

Getting very, very dizzy on the Tea Cups at Tokyo Disneyland.

Learning to say that we really don’t want any of the lovely tostones.

Realizing that flagship stores in Manhattan are just smaller, more crowded versions of the ones in the mall back home.

Finding out that I’m basically allergic to an entire rain forest.

Getting the same cab driver no matter where we went in St. Croix.

Taking pictures from the plane of Siberia.

Four different grandma’s smuggling the lone college girl muffins from the tour hotels because I’m not a morning person.

Standing alone atop the Acropolis, looking down, and realizing how far I had come.

I believe in visiting the grocery store in every country I can.