Thursday, November 21, 2013

Hold on tight...

This is a bit of a continuation of  my last post about driving in Asia Pacific.  Sometimes I am amazed at the things that I see people carrying/transporting on the motorcycles.  I really wish I could have a camera ready at all times to capture some of these moments.
For instance, about a month ago I saw a man driving a motorcycle with his dog. This may seem odd in itself but let me explain more...  Picture this, the motor cycle was a Honda CB (a similar bike is pictured below).  As you can tell from the picture the gas tank is on the front of the bike and is pretty long.  Well, on the gas tank sat a little Dachshund (yes, the long skinny "hotdog" dogs).  The little dog just sat there, no one holding on to it, nothing strapping it onto the bike.  Just sitting there ears flapping in the wind.  Oh man, I wanted to take a picture sooo bad! 

On a more recent day, Stella and I were in town doing a little shopping.  As we approached one of the very few stop lights in town I noticed a motor cycle ahead of us that I knew she would be excited about.  It was pink and purple with Hello Kitty all over it.  As I pointed it out to her and she got all excited, we were met with much the same excitement!  And not because of my bike...but because of my sweet adorable little girl.  As we stopped beside them (a little bit behind) the woman on the back of the motorcycle quickly pulled out her phone and took multiple pictures of Stella (wearing her helmet-you could hardly see her face).  As the light turned green the Hello Kitty motorcycle (which I must add was being driven by a man in a purple shirt smoking a cigarette) turned the same direction we did.  As we followed behind them I watched as the woman continued to sit (side saddle in her pink minnie skirt and wedges) texting or maybe even uploading her recent photo to facebook or instagram.  I had to pull out my phone and at least capture part of the moment. (see image below)  Not sure if this will seem as funny or add to you as it did to me...but there were just so many funny elements!

Who knows what we will see next...just hope I have my camera ready in time :)

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Vacation from my vacation...

Have you ever heard someone say that phrase?  I know I have...I know I have probably even said it a few times.  We plan these trips that seem like they are going to be so relaxing and so fun.  And yet, at the end of it we just CAN'T WAIT to get home and sleep in our own bed.
I kept thinking about this today.  The reason being that, today our neighbors returned from a vacation.  These were our neighbors I have mentioned before that took their trip to Mecca.  40 day "vacation" or trip of a lifetime!  WOW!  40 days away from home.  Sleeping in another bed.  Walking all day.  Experiencing new culture, new food, new language....and so much more.  You would HAVE to be exhausted!  I know I would be.
Well, it all started about 3 days ago. We noticed that people started coming by the house of our neighbors who were gone.  They stayed.  They cleaned up the yard and the house.  They washed the car.  And they made food...lots and lots and lots of food.  I know this because most of it was cooked right next door and there were "different" smells coming from their late and night and early in the morning. 
Today the couple returned home.  Welcomed by friends and family who live near and far.  WOW!  So many people in their yard, in their house.  And it wasn't like people were just there to say, "Hi welcome home."  No, they stayed and ate the food and talked and listened and hung out.  I was exhausted just watching...I can only imagine how this couple felt after traveling all day, after a 40 day trip.  When we left their house, which was over three hours after they got home, we saw people finally unloading their car.  I mean isn't that one of the first things that we do.  We might not get it unpacked right away but we at least bring it inside.  Nope, three hours later the bags started going into the house.
Now, why am I writing all this.  1) to share differences in culture here.  2) Because I am so challenged and encouraged by these people who make life about people and not stuff.  It isn't about what I is about loving other people.  It is about caring for friends and family and considering them above my own comforts.  There are days that the differences in culture make me go crazy....then there are days when I think wow, we could really learn a lot from our new home.