|Danny, Thomas, Siprian and Jeff.|
Some of you know I’m a former journalist but few know that my favorite part of being a reporter was interviewing people. As a shuttle driver, I continued the interviewing, although most of my passengers wouldn’t have known that’s what I was doing because I spent a lot of time connecting before I really dug into what their histories were or what made them tick. People interest me endlessly.
I’ve been a bit put off here in Alona Beach, not by the locals but by so many of the foreigners who seem so distant. I’ve made several connections with Filipinos, rather easily, but getting past “hello” has been difficult with most of the European visitors. Today was a wonderful surprise.
|Leah and Norma, who take such good care of hotel residents.|
I went on a padi boat adventure with a group that consisted of 10 Chinese nationals, two young Polish men and a New Yorker. Once we were on our first island, friendliness broke loose and I was happy to chat with Jeff, the New Yorker (who really helped me in getting on and off the boat) and Danny, a young Chinese extrovert who was simply charming. Siprian and Thomas, from Poland, were all smiles and totally engaging. By the time we were on our way back to home base, Alona Beach, the entire group had bonded and there was no longer a language barrier.
When I returned to my hotel, I heard a voice calling out with an Australian accent, “I saw you this morning.” Turns out the voice belonged to Rhett, who had landed in our resort the night before with his sister, Lee, and her husband, Glen and he had spotted me in the overcrowded jeepney that transported us to our padi boat (that was quite an experience!). I really enjoyed our lengthy conversation on the Philippines: the shock of Manila and Cebu, the beauty of Boracay, the expense of ordinary things in a resort area and most importantly, travel in general. As a group, they were really well-traveled. I reveled in just conversing.
|Mom and her daughter, visiting from China.|
People fascinate me. Connections, no matter how brief, are my life’s blood. I can’t wait for the next encounter.