Monday, February 28, 2011

My top ten moments spent with locals: I met them by chance and they are still in my heart

1. Albanian Nona: She dotingly tends to my cuts after a near-death experience hiking to get to her mountain home.

2. Russian Nadia: We wake in her Moscow lounge/bedroom giggling whilst recounting stories of table dancing away the night before.

3. Russian Boris: After tracking me down at Nadia’s place, he leans out his SUV’s window proclaiming “Russian and Australian family reunite HA HA!”

4. Georgian Goram: The morning after attending an infamous Georgian Table of dangerous toasting marathons, war-troubled Goram slings his arm around my ruined husband in brotherly camaraderie.

5. Georgian saviour: After being scared witless by the treacherous road up to mystical Tusheti I feel the opposite coming down with the Georgian Off Road Champion.

6. Turkish Yilmez: After dinner in his Amasra apartment I feel touched when helping him understand an English love letter from his Russian internet girlfriend.

7. Afrikaans Melinda: We feel elated - she calls me her angel - as we escape a toxic situation together in rural Freestate.

8. Namibian Jacques: He convinces me to drive while he hangs out the window, yelling to the desert his joy in being alive.

9. Kyrgz hostess: She tucks me into bed under dense quilts in her isolated yurt in the mountains of Kyrgyzstan.

10. Serbian Maja: Four month pregnant, tears glisten as I read her email explaining a dream she had of when we would meet again; she is selling flowers in Zemun and I arrive holding the hand of a little girl.

This post has been entered into the Grantourismo HomeAway Holiday-Rentals travel blogging competition