Or, as Braeden says "scaywee."
My best-est Maui friends and neighbors popped over last night. Although we see each other several times a week and talk or text every day, for some reason we were all pretty chatty.
I'm not sure how we got on to the topic of travel. Maybe because they are planning a trip to Seattle to spend a week with their son and his wife. Traveling from Maui is a BIG expense at the best of times and we went online to check prices. How cool is it that you can see ticket prices by the day! One day it is $184 to go to Seattle. Another day it's $747! For the same flight on the same day! And the prices change just about every day. I think I am going to buy one way tickets from now on and then travel when the fares are down.
We started talking about the out of the country travel I got to do the last five years of Mr. Ralph's career. I'm so glad for the experiences but I would NEVER travel to a foreign country on my own, especially big cities. I am definitely a country mouse. Landscape and natural beauty is the best. While we were talking I suddenly remembered many SCARY things that happened on some of these trips.
Mr. Ralph had meetings or conferences during the day so I was on my own. On my trips to China I had Haijing (wife of a sales manager) to lead me hither and yon. Thank God for her. Especially since I have a shellfish allergy which SHE could communicate to each restaurant or host.
When crossing from Hong Kong into China to head to a resort (think Disneyland for adults) which featured lots of Biamp products, there was a checkpoint filled with uniformed people. With rifles. And they all looked very angry. They collected all of our passports (there was a van of 7-8 of us) and had us each get out of the van so they could stare at our faces while looking at the passport. After they waved us through, one guard pointed a weapon inside the van ... which turned out to be a high tech thermometer to see if any of us had a temperature! I thought I was going to die.
Argentina was very scary. I wanted to take a cab downtown to shop, then walk back to the hotel. The doorman asked my name and room number, and before I could get in a cab ... he got in and wrote down the cab number and the cabbies name ... in case I didn't return safely! He admonished me to go into a restroom if I wanted to look at my walking map.
We always got to stay in the nice, safest parts of each city but Chile was another fright. A helicopter landed on my hotel!! How scary is that? The whole building shook. I thought it might be a movie star or celebrity. I rushed to the elevator and when it stopped ... two BIG burly guys dressed in black with walkie talkie ear buds, blocked the entrance while saying "please wait for the next car." By the time I got down, the handsome looking man they were protecting was ushered across the street. Apparently some big time business man!
Don't even get me started on the Caribbean islands. We stayed at one mostly inclusive resort and if we wanted to leave the grounds, a hotel employee had to accompany us. Boy did he have fun while some of the wives went trinket shopping!
There are lots of places for me to visit right here in the good old USA. I'm not going to say I'll NEVER travel to a foreign land .... I'd like to take some of Mr. Ralph's ashes to Scotland ... but it will take a lot of convincing. And maybe my own bodyguard!
Me and Braeden do not like scaywee.