When It Comes to Travel…

31 Jul

When it comes to travel, there are all kinds. PH is irritated enough to log in for the first time in years to this account to post the following, because she has no other outlet for it.

PH made plans to visit a friend – they had come together on another occasion, and PH remembers some feelings of annoyance, but wasn’t quite prepared for what hit her in the face upon her arrival.

PH has worked with high maintenance people of all kind – is it a calling? – but she has been fortunate to never travel with someone closely in such a capacity. That all changed over the weekend. PH has decided to complete a list form, because she can think of no other method than to simply list the craziness that unfolded.

Crazy is a particularly sensitive term, because PH recognizes craziness in her own life. PH hates sound, waiting in lines and things that don’t go the way they are supposed to. PH does not, however, have issues with the following:

  • Having most (if not ALL of her stories) start with the phrase “this person I used to be friends with” or “this person I no longer like” or “this person I no longer talk to: (sidebar, PH cannot think of many – if any – of her stories that start this way. While there are people in her day to day life that annoy her, when meeting a friend for the second time, she would hardly think it necessary to tell a bunch of tales that only involve people she’s no longer friends with).
  • Issues with smoking. Look, the country PH and Friend were visiting was RAMPANT with smokers – it’s practically a national past time. There is just not a good reason to be precious about it. PH recognizes her own issues with sounds and for the most part – in public – will deal with the fact that the sound issues are HERS and no enforce them on other people. Smoking outside on a public street should be acceptable. Dousing your hands in essential oils and then glaring at the new acquaintance and then asking him to not smoke is a bit ridiculous.
  • To both of the above points, do not begrudge your father (in his 70s) for smoking at his birthday party. He is in his 70s. If he wants to smoke and it is something that has been culturally acceptable for decades, LET THE MAN SMOKE. Then, do not throw a pity party when HE WANTS TO SMOKE IN HIS OWN HOUSE.
    • Constantly be angry at her father for treating her like a child, when, many childish decisions have been made. PH witnessed (mostly) a man who was overprotective of his only daughter (having lost his wife earlier in the year).
  • PH perhaps, for better or worse, or by the definition of not living on the same continent as many of her loved ones, does not feel the need to call them multiple times a day. In a family SO DEPENDENT on the phone, when the friend forgot her phone at home and a car ride had been endured for 20 minutes, PH and Co. were forced to turn around and go back lest anyone think the friend was dead. PH gently reminded her friend that she literally had no way to contact her husband and that did not bother her in the least.
    • To a further point, after speaking on the phone multiple times a day to say “I hate talking on the phone” is just silly.
  • An obsession with saving energy. Look, PH lives in a carbon deficient country and accepts that’s not a good thing. She does what she can. She probably does more than most. Friend practically walked around the shared apartment ensuring that ALL LIGHTS WERE OFF AT ALL TIMES. PH smiled in glee when Friend accidentally left the air con in a room on all night.
  • This morning’s gem as PH stepped out to wear jeans: “I never wear jeans on a flight. I never wear jeans ever.” PH is still unsure how she was supposed to respond to this. PH believes (within reason) that each person should wear whatever makes them comfortable on a flight.
  • Air Conditioning. PH loves herself a cold room – ESPECIALLY after coming in from a long morning of walking around in 90+ heat. PH does not like Friend pointing out that the door to the bathroom should remained closed at all times because “the tile is too cold.” Readers, PH can assure you that in no way could an apartment with the heat of the day would cool so exponentially fast that it would be “too cold” for a number of hours.
  • PH could break down the issues with food to most likely the most difficult part of the trip. Friend has rules:
    • No seafood (unless caught that day – to the point at a fine dining establishment, Friend turned up nose at yummy squid, insisting she didn’t know when it had arrived).
    • No bread (from a grocery store). PH knows, the world might end when people are forced to buy bread from their local market instead of a bakery (for shame).
    • No croissants, (unless they are heated). If they are not heated, they are not edible. PH would like to point out that she would eat any kind of bread, even if it was off the street.
    • Hyper sensitivity about drinking. Friend doesn’t drink (this saved PH numerous amounts of calories and money, no doubt, but part of going on holiday is about having a good time), which is her choice – PH is not going to force booze on anyone, however, when other people find it strange, Friend was instantly incensed. PH wanted to shake her on occasion and say, “It is normal for people our age to drink. It is not normal to overreact when anyone finds it a bit odd (especially when there is no valid medical reason of any kind).”
    • Take longer than humanly possible to consume food of any kind, shape or form. Without alcohol, savoring a meal is a bit strange. PH believes friend was actually trying to take forever to consume food. People, this is not PH being easily irritated, this is ACTUALLY THE LONGEST TIME IT’S EVER TAKEN A HUMAN TO CONSUME FOOD.
    • The propensity that ice cream isn’t worth purchasing, only gelato.
    • Get angry when PH suggested Reese’s Peanut Butter cups were a fun American treat to try to the very nice driver. The scorn and disgust with which this suggestion was met was overwhelming. PH understands people choose to ingest any number of things, but sharing fun treats (even if they are bad for you, especially to someone who is never going to travel to the States) is not a bad thing.
    • Get IRATE when a restaurant which Friend suggested, served expensive bottled water. PH looked on in confusion when Friend nearly stroked out at the cost of water. Coming from the Middle East, PH thought the price was fair enough, but Friend considered LEAVING THE RESTAURANT based on the cost of the water (the meal was completely reasonable!).
    • Believe that every single restauranteur and waiter is out to talk down to Friend. PH witnessed such an ‘occasion’ which allegedly took place at the above restaurant. PH calls nothing. Perhaps PH is not looking for every single person she runs across to bully, hurt or take advantage of her.
  • Get ready with less than 15 minutes every time (even with strong hints from PH). Look, PH believes it’s rude to be late, so why put getting ready to the last possible minute every day? PH always left plenty of time making sure the bathroom was available and that she was not taking too much time in it.
  • Have a weird need to receive change for the exchange of services.  Listen, when PH travels, she enjoys tipping and feels no need to receive tons of small bills and change.  Over a matter of a driver where the total was 773 Lei, PH suggested (foolishly) that the pair round up to 800 Lei, so that they might each pay an easy amount of 400 Lei.  Friend was going to go so far as ask for her remaining change from this amount (after a driver was especially wonderful, and deserved every bit extra).
  • Believe that after all of the above, Friend is still going to meet the man of her dreams. PH has never met a more high maintenance person in her life and all of the above was gleaned in conversation over the course of roughly 4 full days together. PH was DELIGHTED when the nice driver showed up to take her away and back to her world.

Will PH visit Friend again? Not unless she can control a lot more of the situation or that other people are in the mix.

Thank you for listening.

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