I'm gonna be in a book! Umm... sort of :P
The other day Indra wrote a note on how he adores Rome. I didn't like Rome. Well, it's not fair, actually. Apart from people driving like crazy and the city was a bit dirty and too crowded with tourists, I didn't really enjoy my time in Rome because of reasons that had nothing to do with Rome itself. Indra's note makes me want to go there and give it another chance.
I do remember one thing I like in Rome, though, which ironically also had nothing to do with the city. I was sitting in a sort of my hostel's common room, reading my new Peanuts book and sipping a cup of tea, when this girl started talking to me. She was a Chilean girl who studied in Spain, and spent winter holiday traveling on her own. We ended up with a little chat about this and that. That's the first time I realize that there's more to traveling than just sightseeing.
Anyone who knows me well enough may have figured out that I don't easily talk to someone I don't really know, let alone a complete stranger. However, I manage to have this little chit-chat in almost every hostel I stay. It surprised me, even now. And that is one of the things I like in traveling.
Last weekend in Berlin, I stayed in a mixed dorm with a Mexican exchange student in Spain, with whom I practiced my Spanish for the first time ('Quiero ir a Espana'). She speaks very fast (in either language) and she studies law, which she had to repeat several times before me and the other guys understood what she meant (lo? la? love?). These other guys were two recent-MBA-graduates from Canada who wanted to enjoy life before they stuck with work, and an American who just quit his job because it just helped McDonalds gain more profit despite of made the world a better place. We ended up talking until one in the morning (when the other guys went to a party).
The American guy asked me to give him an advice. What kind of advice, I asked. I don't know, anything. And I said something stupid and he seemed pleased with that, and he wrote it in a small journal. He said he asked the same question to other people he met during his trip. I asked if he wanted to write a book, and he was like, umm, I don't know, maybe.
The next day (umm, like, a couple of hours later, actually), we split on breakfast. We didn't exchange email or anything, so if somewhere in the future you find a book that quotes 'Rani, 30, Bandung, Indonesia', please let me know. It's probably me, I don't know, maybe :D