Why Write?

Originally, I created this blog to document my trip to India. Upon my return, I realized that I couldn't shake the writing bug.
So, feel free to read about my adventures in India and stay tuned for my traveling updates!

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Perfect Proposal

Rose petals sprinkled on the ground. A poem read in perfect rhyme. Sweet nothings whispered into the wind. A man on bended knee making proclaimations of undying love. And a woman. Oh, a woman, who is desperetly lost in the eyes of her true love.

I bet I have your attention, right? I hope you're thinking of your favorite love story. I know I am a hopeless romantic. However, what I'm about to tell you is nothing like the Notebook or Romeo and Juliet. In fact, you may need to shift gears and think something along the lines of Arabian Knights meets Tom and Jerry.

For some strange reason, I keep getting marriage proposals wherever I go. One, two, three proposals since living in Bahrain. Yes, it keeps on happening. Do I emit a vibe or something? Easy target? The word, "visa" stamped on my forehead. Who knows?

So, yesterday, I received a proposal from a man I hardly knew. In fact we had just met. His name was Hassan and he was my taxi driver. I didn't see this one coming, that's for sure.

This is how it happened. I had gone to a party the night before and left my car at my friends house before we went out. So yesterday morning, I had to retrieve my car. Feeling a little bit groggy, even after two cups of coffee, I ventured outside to hail a taxi. In Bahrain, there seems to be an endless supply of taxi cabs parading the streets so I had no trouble hailing one. What's the first thing the guy says when I get in the cab, "You are a most beautiful woman." Well, that woke me up out of a fog, let me tell you! "Oh great, here we go again" was the only thing that popped into my mind.

I tried to focus on the mission, to get my car as quickly as possible. I gave him directions to my friends house, trying to keep my eyes focused on the road. As we drove along the bumpy, littered streets, I listened to the comments, let's see what were they again? "You are my most beautiful customer…You have made my morning…You are kind and beautiful. You can call anytime and I will take you wherever you need to go."

Finally, we arrived at the destination, and he blurted out, "You need a man, a good man. You need a husband to take care of you. I would be most happy to marry you. It would make my heart happy." 
"Ummmm thanks," I muttered as I shoved 2 dinars into his hands and jumped from the cab. Talk about awkward!!!

So, it may have not been the most romantic of proposals but I sure got a laugh out of that one. I think I can afford to be picky now. At least I have options. NEVER A DULL MOMENT IN BAHRAIN!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Travel is My Drug

Confessions of a Travel Junkie

Sometimes I wonder exactly what my problem is. At times my spirit seems so restless. I crave change. Why do I feel the urge to explore? Will it ever disappear or is it just apart of who I am? Maybe I need to check myself into Travel Addiction Anonymous or something? 

Over the last two months,  these questions have haunted my mind. Honestly, since the last time I made a blog post, my life has been pretty normal, apart from the fact that I live in the Middle East. Yes, I have witnessed the protests. Yes, I have maneuvered my car through the littered streets of Bahrain. Yes, I have come in contact with the smoldering embers of the tire fires that frequently pollute the roadways. I even pass armored vehicles on my way to work everyday. But none of it phases me anymore, not even the suggestive comments and stares that I endure from the men here. It's all common place. My life has become simple…routine…  I go to work. I eat. I dance. I spend time with my friends, who are fabulous by the way. But I guess I have a problem with normal or something because I'm feeling the need to
"go" again.

Ever since High School, I have fed and nurtured this urge and somehow it's taken me all over the world. I have lived in so many random places it's almost ridiculous.  At times, this appetite for change and travel has raged out of control, only subsiding after a dramatic feast of sorts has taken place. Randomly moving to New York for a year or spontaneously traveling to India are a few feasts that I can think of. Other times, it's been a quiet subdued hunger like when I lived in Hawaii. There I was satisfied with exploring the other islands, making trips to see family on the mainland, and a few trips overseas. Whatever the case, it's always there, brewing and bubbling within me. I plot. I scheme. I dream.

Sprinkled across the globe, are a trail of memories and friends that I have left behind. Maybe I just like adventure? Maybe I can't sit still for too long?

Butterfly Girl. That's the nickname my family has bestowed upon me because I can't seem to stay in one place for very long.  I flutter. I float. I glide. Maybe it's my parents fault? Yes, I'll blame it on them. They are the same way…traveling here and there. But are they as extreme as I have been? Where do I draw the line? More importantly, should I draw the line? Sometimes I ask myself if I can live a normal life again. I've lost sight of what that looks like anymore.

My time in Bahrain is coming to a close and my teaching contract is up the end of May. Come June 1st, I will be nestled onboard a 777, headed back to the States, where I plan to assimilate myself back into the American culture. Hawaii, Virginia, San Diego? Where in the world will I end up? I'm not going to lie, I'm a bit apprehensive. I have spent the last year and a half living abroad and part of me is nervous because I don't know if I'll like it. Will I even fit in anymore?

One thing is for sure. I am not the same girl who came to the Middle East in January of 2012. I have lived. I have loved. I have laughed. I have longed for. I have lingered. I have lost. I have soared through the pain.
Just like the caterpillar, yearning for transformation, I have been reborn into a butterfly. I have learned to accept the unexpected. I have learned to open up my heart again. My wings are stretched wide. I am now ready to fly. The question is, do I land on the next fragrant flower that comes across my path? Do I stay a while? Or, do I keep on flying?

Butterfly Girl

Your parents brought you home, on a July afternoon
Nestled in a blanket, like a butterfly’s cocoon
Held in arms of comfort, to shield you from this world
So fragile, butterfly girl

Three years old and grinning, spinning round the living room
Arms outstretched like wings, you danced sweetly to a tune
Caught up in your colors, we watched you spin and twirl
So brightly, butterfly girl

Butterfly girl, you’re growing so fast
Charming the world, as the days pass
Each changing wind, making you strong
But, please don’t fly away for too long

Now that true colors are here for all to see
Cherish every moment that sets your spirit free
Cause your Mom and Dad will tell you that it goes by in a whirl
We love you butterfly girl, we love you butterfly girl

Written By: Annie Bauerlein
* My Aunt wrote this song for me on my 16th birthday *