I love it. I love all of it. There’s always some small part of me that’s watching from the shadows saying, “holy shit, this is cool. We’re doing it.” When I was walking a mile down a road in a Chinese city in manifestly inappropriate shoes to get to an international terminal with the baking heat reducing me to a puddle, there was still that part of me, that little girl from Nowhere, Georgia who was elated to be there.
I came to Rome full of the best intentions. I had itineraries and back up itineraries. I memorized the train system and my requisite five words of Italian to communicate to locals that I did not speak Italian but grazie, grazie, grazie. And, of course, when you come to Rome you must see the big…
The joie de vivre soaks into you the more you let it. I found myself today, for perhaps the first time in my life, wandering with no real idea of where my feet were taking me. I have lived for so long with the words, “move with a purpose” essentially tattooed across the backs of my eyelids that this careless degree of meandering was as foreign to me as the pursed-lipped French being euh’d all around me.
The term ‘au pair’ translates to ‘at par.’ Less opaquely, it means ‘as equal to.’ This indicates the unique place the au pair is expected to play in the family. Unlike the traditional domestic help, the au pair is meant to be considered a member of the family.
No one ever wants tourists; maybe their money but not the tourists themselves... We're bumbling around like curious sumo wrestlers wearing tutus at the ballet. We don't fit, we want to fit, and everyone is a little uncomfortable.
The steeping of the tea and watching the tea settle in the glass are a vital part of enjoying it here on this mountain in Sichuan province, thousands of miles away from my world of to-go cups.