May 8, 2014

What I love About Travel

What I love about travel: there is always a destination and there is always a journey. If I could travel without the limit of budget or destination, I would definitely sign up for many many adventures. Alaska, Petra, San Miguel de Allende, Oxaca, Paris, Seam Reap, Halong Bay, Bangkok, Valparaiso, Turkey, Greece, Colombia, all the national parks in the US. And I would for sure go back to Venice, Italy and Iguazu Falls in Argentina.

Today I took the Marta train to the airport and for me the public transport system in Atlanta has always been like poker. Sometimes like today the train comes 3 minutes after I reach the platform and sometimes like today you get the crazy car with people in "rare" form being who they are "people".

Today I boarded at the Medical station in Dunwoody and the "Preacher of the People" was in full Sunday service mode. He was a young black male, urban and hip with a bit of rough mixed in. He was talking to a friend about what is wrong with America, not what is wrong with Obama and the political system, but what is wrong with America or as he said "this great country America".

He was loud, he spoke very fast, his friend nodded and never said a word. Many on the train snickered when he asked, "when did being a baby momma to five kids with no Daddy become a job and why should someone like that get government assistance" ? He added "what they need is assistance to get off their a........ ! His monologue went on for at least 10 minutes and then he stopped talking and started smoking a cigarette.

A male passenger called him out on the smoking and he said people can do whatever they want until they get caught and he kept on smoking. He was off at the next stop and the smoke in the train dissipated as fast as the quiet that engulfed the train when the Preacher man stopped talking. He was so loud he was actually making me nervous. I thought he was high because he was so loud and spoke so fast.

On the other end of the train we had a mini movie script going on. There was a tall man, "basketball tall" in a white linen suite with a Panama hat.

He had on some awesome white leather types shoes with the Nike logo and no socks.. He looked like he had stepped out of a long ago menthol cigarette commercial, remember those? Or maybe he had been transported from a near by Caribbean island. He was working the back of the train, he approached 3 ladies during the 30 minutes or so that he was on board. He was nice, polite, I could not hear what he was sharing with them, he always ended the conversation by reaching out for their hands and greeting them with a friendly handshake.

Maybe he was doing a survey, testing an idea, or maybe he was a really cool angel dropping into other lives during their ride on the train. The ladies he approached never seemed put off or uncomfortable with his presence. How I wish I could have heard what he was sharing with them. At the Fort McPherson stop he got up and walked out smiling and very light on his feet. I also noticed that his linen suit was wrinkle free, how does that happen ? Maybe the clothes that angels wear never wrinkles.

The Atlanta airport was hurried, lots of people going to and fro everywhere and lines, lines, lines. I had the TSA pre-check, so I got in a shorter line and I didn't have to take off my shoes, jacket, etc. When I got to the gate I sat next to 2 ladies who were speaking Spanish.

They are discussing when the flight would arrive in Orange County and seemed confused, so I got in on the conversation in Spanish and confirmed the time. I followed up and asked where they where from and both had just flown to Atlanta from Panama.

We proceeded to share all the information about what families we are from in Panama, where we lived, the elections and then they started offering me Panamian food from their carry ons: Yame, Otoe and pan de Rosca. They were Mother and Daughter, the daughter was named Maria Elena Santamaria. The mother, Ilaudra Saucedo, she is an established "Tamborito" singer - Panama's native song and dance. I got a photo oh her most recent CD.

Needless to say getting to the airport and being at the gate went by really fast. I am now in row 23, seat A, looking forward to getting to Orange County and spending time with Toby.

My seat mate, not sure how this happens, transformed from a business man in serious business clothes and demeanor to a surfer dude in a t-shirt, shorts and flip flops by the time he got off the plane.

I don't know when or how he changed, I remember noticing his pale blue starched business shirt when he sat next to me. He was not happy to be in the middle seat and his shoulders very broad, the blue of his shirt was almost at eye level. When we started the descent he shuffled in his seat a bit and that is when I noticed his Dana Point logo t-shirt and I started to ask myself is this the same man that sat next to me 4 hours ago. He also was peculiar in his choice of beverage, he had a water (no ice) along with an orange juice. He drank the water and juice three times during the flight always dunking the Biscoff cookies in the orange juice.

It is now 6:39am in San Juan Capistrano, Toby and I area headed out to walk the Dana Point Harbor.