(Originally written 26 September 2016 after having returned from California)
I was at a Fast Food Outlet at Minneapolis International Airport on my way from the West Coast of the USA to Denmark, while I met a young woman working her shift.
“Do you like your job?” I asked in a very Western Way, which I tried to do while in India, but was sadly disappointed when doing so. Like and Job didn’t fit together in that instance, while I probably should have asked, “Isn’t it great having a job, or Nice place to work, you are lucky”.
This young woman was happy with her job, because it gave her the opportunity to meet new people while doing so.
Next question: “Do you have a passport?”
The answer was “No”, but she wanted to get one eventually.
Next question: “If you had a passport, and the money to travel, where would you go?”
She thought a bit before answering. “To the jungle”, she said.
I answered a bit facetious: “Los Angeles, perhaps?”
“No, the rain forest”, she replied without blinking. “Or better yet, Japan”.
Hmm. They did have those Snow Monkeys in Japan, I thought.
“Keep your dreams alive, save your money, and go” – That was my advice. I told her how I was living in Denmark, speaking the language on a daily basis, and so on.
She then asked: “How long before you were fluent?”
Funny thing, but I don’t even consider myself fluent today, even though 25 years have gone by.
My reply: “Youth and interest play a bit part in learning anything new. Put your mind to it, and you can learn anything!”
Her face beamed with the expression of joy and wonderment. I imagined that I made a difference in her dreams, and that she too would take up my challenge to someday journey outside of USA’s borders, and experience something different and foreign.
I ended with telling her, that a number of Danes could travel to the usual tourist destinations, and feel safe knowing that someone there could speak Danish, and that the signs at restaurants and hotels, would be in Danish as well.
I thought that Japan was a good choice. Let yourself experience something so foreign, that you might just lose yourself, or get yourself lost in all of that foreignness. Try something different for a change, and see how the rest of the world lives.
My path led me away from that Fast Food Counter and onward to the next Gate and the next Plane……………
Wonder what ever happened to Wonder Dog? Or what about Linda? Those were things that I used early on, but disappeared over time.
As an added treat, here is a rare photo of Wonder Dog, enjoying his first ever Ice Cream Sandwich Cookie in Yosemite National Park
Seeing as how he is a teenager and all, and not always sure about being my son, when I act other than he expects me to, I have not included his photo in this blog. This being the last one, however, I felt that he deserved at least a short mention, as well as receiving my thanks for a great trip, and his much appreciated photographic talents!
Linda has faded into the shadows of Northern Michigan, which is how all former “loves” tend to be, with them liking that distinction, or not?
I thought of continuing this blog with any number of additional photos, but that would only prolong its existence.
For all of you who shared my trip, I extend an appreciation for your reads and likes along the way. I felt that this was a fitting point in time to end this blog, so as to remain credible within the confines of my 3-week trip last year.
Happy Traveling……Down your own Inner Ear…….