Edit Blog Post
Published: November 16th 2019
Travel, whether you like it or not, teaches you many things. It teaches you about the world, it teaches you about the past and hopefully about the future, but the biggie is, it teaches you about yourself. The good, the bad and the ugly. Oh, the self reflecting that travel can inspire. It can be so damn annoying, can’t it?
I have observed, experienced and thought a lot about the fruits that have been handed to me directly from my family tree. Some are sweet. Some are overly ripe. Some are healthy for me. Some are delicious and some I prefer to let fall to the ground. Of course, all of that makes it sound like I have a choice in the matter. Some days I try to believe I do have a choice and other days I just sit down under the tree and take what it gives me.
There are the branches of the Hunt family tree. They bear the characteristics of being badass, no nonsense achievers who have an insatiable and possibly off putting love of sarcasm. Then there are the Crenshaw branches. This tree bears the fruit of hardworking, incredibly social
and successful people who have a penchant for telling you everything they think you need to know. Everything. They will tell you if you have gained weight, are making unhealthy choices, might be doing something incorrectly and obviously how to do things properly according to them.
As a therapist by profession, you can understand the daily struggle of vehemently fighting off several of those genetic “gifts.” It is typically frowned upon to be either sarcastic or bossy while treating mental health issues.
I don’t know if I can blame this on my family tree, too many years on this earth or travel, but I have realized I have a low tolerance for lack of problem solving. No, today we will see the glass as half full. I have a great appreciation for decisiveness and problem solving. I like to eliminate annoyances. I relish efficiency. I prefer to handle a matter and then move along. But this is me and I am fully aware that some people do not value this sort of process or timeline as much as I do. I am okay with that and can, with ease, allow them to do things
their way while I focus on doing things my way.
That is the thing about travel. You see so many different ways to get to the final goal. Some ways are admirable and some ways allow me to learn from others’ inefficiencies. I choose to learn through observation without involvement, judgement or direction. Usually, this is easy for me. Sometimes I must look away and sometimes I just move along in denial in hopes I don’t assume my culture is superior to other cultures. Oh that can be hard and especially in the case where some being is hurt by another’s lack of decisiveness or inability to problem solve.
I was walking to Camel Hill at Pushkar and heard the worst screeching and carrying on I had heard in awhile. It was obvious it was coming from a young camel. I told myself to keep walking. I told myself not to look. I told myself this is not your place. And I am sure you can see where this is going. I glanced over to see a great struggle going on with a camel and some men trying to load her into a truck.
The situation had been going on for while, I told myself. This is their animal and their home, my internal rebuttal.
I walked over to the truck observed for about 90 seconds and could not help myself. And this will be known as the day Valeri could not stay in her lane.
There were several older men trying to encourage a camel to get into a truck bed, but the camel had all four legs hobbled. All the camel could do was scream and cud. One was trying to lift the camel by his tail and the other had a rope through his front legs and was trying to pull the camel into the truck. There was absolutely no way this was ever going to work.
Culture, gender roles and respect aside, I inserted myself into the situation like a bulldozer. I know, I am wincing just thinking about it, but to soothe my shame, I remind myself I was not judgey or rude. I just took over. Like a boss. But, then again, most people don’t like a boss.
“Where are your camel sticks?” I kind of
barked, referring to a loading method my father and I had learned and used at the Pushkar loading docks where sturdy poles are placed under a hobbled camel and used to lift the camel onto a truck.
”They are bent,” one of the older men responded.
“You don’t have more?”
His blank stare indicated to me that was either a stupid question or I had run upon a language barrier.
”This is never going to work. He must be lifted,” I explained and gestured in an attempt to overcome any further language barriers.
“You are going to lift him?” the man said with a sassy tone.
As I took off my sunglasses, removed my purse and hung it on the side of the truck, there was a collective chin drop from the older men, a young boy eating ice cream and the gaggle of photographers soaking up the scene.
“Yes I am. And you are going to help.”
Everyone stood still as if in shock, but my now authoritative tone jolted them back to the task at hand.
“You grab there. You move over there. And you with the
rope, drop the rope and lift there.”
Everyone obediently obliged while I took hold of her back right flank. Before I could command, “okay lift!” the very young boy eating ice cream even grabbed underneath the squawking camel in effort to be part of the team.
Everyone lifted and within seconds the camel, still angry and vocal, was safely positioned into the truck.
With a “what that really so difficult” irritation, I brushed the sand off my hands and grabbed my purse.
The gaggle of 20-some year old photographers were still standing there staring when one approached me. “Did you get a good shot?” I said half hoping sarcasm does not translate across cultures and languages.
“You are so brave,” he said as if I had just saved a child from a burning building.
“What are you talking about? I am not brave at all. I just saw a problem that needed to be solved.”
PHOTO CREDIT: Apparently, my snarky comment to the photographer was not taken as sarcastic at all. God bless language barriers. After this event, he sent me the photos
he took of the successful leg of the loading process. He also sent me some photos that he took of me just standing at the fair. They are included with this blog and obviously I cannot take photo credits for any of those.
Tot: 0.38s; Tpl: 0.032s; cc: 12; qc: 27; dbt: 0.0131s; 1; m:saturn w:www (220.127.116.11); sld: 2;
; mem: 1.3mb