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The Wandering Jew and The Island Girl
For so many nights, I was thinking if i really made a right decision. I would be travelling with someone I don’t even know, with a different race and a different culture.
The idea started out as picking up a stranger who is willing to join me on my roadtrip back to my island. I said yes. I was hoping everything would go smoothly. But to tell you frankly, I was too disappointed and frustrated as hell from the moment I met this guy who has a totally opposite personality as I am as I ever expected.
But you know what, I learned two basic things from this experience. One thing is how to overcome all these feelings. The other thing is how to just enjoy someone’s company. It is silly right. But the friendship that was built was totally beautiful as i did not expect it to be.
We are travel buddies. But most of the time, people judge us as a couple. Aside from our countless fights and arguments, in Filipino culture, we should be misunderstood as having an intimate relationship as we share rooms or even beds at times. This trip has taught me, it’s a different thing.
On the first day, his American accent with a slight Jewish accent seemed to be irritating on my ears. He is one of the bubbliest persons I’ve ever met. And his fondness and closeness to pretty girls was quite so annoying for a traveller like me.
The Day won’t be over without us fighting. But at the end of the day, when we meet up in the room, we always look at each other and smile again. The best thing that makes me feel like a real person and a real friend is that when you have to accept the fact that you are totally different and still you learn to accept and you learn how to live with that.
Over a million times I have thought to separate from him and go with my own way. But I preferred to stay and did not give up. My goal was to finish the race and all will be over. So over. But while on the road, our hearts become one and our goals become united. We were building a rapport. And one thing I learned is acceptance of someone whom you don’t like and respect and everything follows.
“Are you going to miss me?”, same question for a stranger whom you’re going to bid goodbye eventually. He makes a joke about it anyhow, deep inside me, I felt a slight fiercing pain to accept the fact that you didn’t like this person at first but the moment you say goodbye, you just realized how deep your relationship has been that makes you to feel more comfortable with each other.
His difficulty to pronoun “S” like “Smile”"R” accent definitely makes me smile and he would play angry whenever I make a comment about it. He has a natural weirdy way to make someone smile on his unexpected jokes. He might sound arrogant at times or I just misunderstood it. He uses it to charm girls on the way.
Most often than not, I misunderstood him as a JAP, (Jewish American Prince). He spends more time than than me in the bathroom. He carries more than baggage than i do and he is acting like a prince on the road. But, that is how we are different from each other. And I must admit it makes me a little bit of fuzzy to take care of his indulgence pr whatsoever you call it. But I just needed to accept that fact that we are totally different and that difference will make us feel like better and matured people as we finish our journey, we learn so much from each other.
I’m giving him the real life experience of backpacking. And on the way, I know he is learning from me somehow. I notice him being patient enough to handle my mood swings too. He is up to riding ordinary bus and jeepneys just like ordinary Filipino. Well, aside from occassionally being too sensitive and picky, I can say we were hitting the road and we were having fun. In the end, I try to make fun out of it. And it worked! This man too is learning from me and we’re both matured enough to act like one!
On him being choosy, picky, a prince, name it. But when we didn’t had a choice whether on the street or on a homestay, he was also up to a homestay. In a simple house with simple life. we stayed and he ate the family’s food without complaining. He was cowboy for a few days. Showered in cold water and lived like a local in Negros. From there, we developed trust and friendship with each other too. Proving something that people with a different outlook in life can meet in the end. And finally be at ease.
Being a typical island girl, this travel buddy always helped to build my confidence to show people what I’ve got. He has the guts to approach even politicians which I don’t usually do. At times, he is mad at me when I don’t follow his advice. After the pageant in Don Salvador, he dragged me towards the mayor of this town to have a souvenir photo. And this time, he won!
Whether I accept it or not, I am having fun with him, my travel buddy, who has become a very good friend. It just proved me so wrong that a woman cannot travel with a man and keep friendship intact with an intent just to be travel buddies on the road. No matter how different 2 people could be. And now, I stay late up night to take a long glance at his face. Saying goodbye won’t be an easy thing. But that is part of our travel tales. I will never forget this experience and this friend of mine!
“I have found out that there ain’t no surer way to find out whether you like people or hate them than to travel with them.” – Mark Twain