Thursday, September 06, 2007

It is All About Hospitality...

Thought I would share a touching moment. On my first night here a young man dressed snappily in the hotel issue waist coat appeared at my door to turn down my bed. (Can someone tell what that is all about - after being on the road for more than 20 years I still don't get that. A hangover from older days and colder parts when hot brick was put in your bed perhaps?) Anyway, in he came and fussed around a bit and then we found ourselves in conversation. And so its been every evening since. Last night he discovered this was my last night here in his hotel and he was disappointed that we would no longer have our broken English conversations, a laugh and a backslap. (I said slap!). Plus the few high fives thrown in. Heavens knows what they were about but they meant something to him and communication is, after all, more than words. Tonight he was waiting for me as I came in from meetings. He expressed his sadness that this was my last night here, sadness at my next destination (!) and as a token of his friendship presented me with this rather battered looking gerbera (the other flowers were standard issue to every room). He had stiffened it with wire and from what I had gathered he had made a special effort to get his hands on it. Which means he probably had to sneak it out of the monstrous displays down in the lobby. Flowers from blokes is not normally something that rings true in my own culture but this meant something special to this young chap and after carefully getting the stem trimmed, and placed in water, another high five and a "sad to be goodbye" he was gone. Who couldn't be touched by that? One of those moments that makes travelling in other cultures extra special. And which was a sign of the hospitality that is a genetic component of the Arab makeup.


LaDawn said...

Great Blog. Just landed on it from Next Blog. The photos are brilliant! I will be back!

Pickled Eel said...

Hey, glad you enjoyed the stay. Thanks for taking the time to comment.

Girl With a Polaroid Journal said...

its those sorts of things that make it so much better when you travel...
not that i travel very regularly or anything, but from the little bit of experience i do have i judge that true.

Pickled Eel said...

Even experiencing that sort of thing int he next town makes the trip worthwhile. It is especially good when you have been able to make a connection even though neither of you have a common language. Thanks for the visit. And comment.

R.H. said...

I've always remembered a bloke who did a welding repair on my motorbike in Tabriz as I passed through Iran. No language but a marvellous smile.

Pickled Eel said...

Thanks r.h. - that made me smile - it is a great picture. Sometimes that is all that is needed to see the heart of someone.

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