Wednesday, July 28, 2010

born a ramblin woman

Traveling for work hasn't been easy. It isn't exactly peaches and cream to fly into a city you've never seen for a few nights and examine nothing more than cheesy drapes and a board room while leaving your children behind. On occasion you are actually given the chance to go out and explore the locale. Such instances can drum up interesting conversation between a native and the naive.

My recent travels, both personal and professional, have brought about some interesting sights and sounds that deserve recognition for being out-right ridiculous, and at times, completely heinous. Here are some prime examples from 2 of my most recent trips:

Bahamas (personal trip, but with my professional besties)

  • In getting off the cruise boat in the port: "Pretty ladies want some braids?...braids?....ladies want some braids? 'bout some braids for the pretty lady?"
  • In laying on the beach: "Jet skis...jet ski rentals...want some jet skis....ladies rent jet skis?"
  • "Banana boat ladies?...ladies want to ride banana boat?...banana boat ladies? (Repeat 2 or 3 times while laying in same spot on beach and giving the same answer each time to the same people asking...which results in...)
    • Ladies want jet skis?banana boat? how about bahama papa? free of charge! all the pleasure you desire! no? how about some jet skis? (at this point the only reaction is laughter...did I seriously just get asked if I wanted a "bahama papa" of charge!)
Kansas City (current work trip still in motion)
  • In getting on the plane and sitting next to a single lady: "Whew! Ladies! YES! No Men! Boy am I glad! You will not believe! husband just left me for his high school sweet heart!" (Just clicking my seat belt) "I'm heading out to help her husband and tell alllllll about it in court!" (story continues for about 30 minutes as flight takes off and attendants come to order our drinks) "I'll take a bloody mary" (leans towards us) "never ordered a drink before on a flight...yes, first time!" (woman proceeds to make drink and down it as fast as me the thought that this may not be quite her first time)
  • In sitting in the hotel lounge overhearing a seemingly well-off southern/mid-west couple's conversation: "We are heading to our favorite spot tonight...yes...they have got this group...all blacks...but boy they can sing!" (do people seriously talk like this?!) "But thank goodness it isn't Saturday...or else all those hoodlems would be out!" (Now, what do they exactly mean by this?....I then turn to my gal pal and breathe a sigh of relief for the fact that I may not have money, but at least I am not ignorant!)
  • In sitting in a good 'ol Kansas City bbq joint when the waitress approaches us: "fruit punch!" (huh?) "you have got to try jack daniels and fruit punch...goes together real well" (look at my lowly jack and ginger and give a nod in acknowledgment that a jack and fruit punch might not taste all that bad)

All in all, finding out about new places can be both fun and alarming. I consider myself a yank...and will continue to be a little naive in certain areas of the world that don't fall into my common place. No matter where my travels may bring me, I can't help but be that outsider that eavesdrops, and asks dumb questions, and down-right stares.....for better or worse, it's just in my nature.