I don’t want to give the impression that adversity ruled my trip, or that I was somehow dissatisfied with my experiences or demanding of something better. That’s not my way. It’s my style, to put it in metaphorical terms, to “sense the currents of the universe” and let them guide me. Meaning, I don’t try to fight my way through life, fighting for my own way, for everything to be the way I think it should be. It’s quite likely a fault of mine, to allow the bad with the good, when perhaps a bit more fighting for what I want might have me feeling a bit less restless at this point in my life. But I firmly believe that flowing with the currents of the universe has generally protected me from getting caught up in the rocks along the shore.
It’s a touchy-feely approach to life, I admit. I acknowledge karma as well. And most of all, I try to have a sense of humor. Usually when I start noticing a string of negative events happening, I find it funny in an ironic sort of way. If I’m to be the butt of a universal joke, I’m going to laugh along.
At the airport in Montreál, a young French girl and a young German girl had to go through American customs before making their connections to the States. Both of their flights were already boarding, while they faced endless delays through security and customs. The French girl seemed truly distressed about her circumstances. The German girl threw up her hands and giggled at each turn of events. I’m sure both missed their flights, but the German girl probably stayed healthier. And the stories she tells her friends back home will probably be more entertaining.
I think I write better when I’m feeling some passionate emotion, and frustration and anger are definitely passionate. I also think adversity is interesting. It’s the conflict in a story, the obstacle to the hero’s journey. I enjoy identifying it, building on it, creating a mood and then writing about it.
But the reality of my trip was 98% wonderful, with the 2% negativity being hardly more than annoyance. There was NO point, not even a millisecond, where I wished I was home. I could have stayed and endured Communist-era train cabins and surly checkout clerks and dishonest vendors and rain and gastric distress and dirty clothes and stifling heat and urine-soaked subway stations and bruises and blisters for many more weeks. To be able to see and experience a new place, to see it through the eyes of the residents, through the eyes of history, is just … good.