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Admissions of Guilt

Nostalgia in Greek means: "The pain from an old wound." And I know talking about guilt, pain, remorse, things older than memory is not a popular page turner, or in this case scrolling on your phone screens. So as summer summer ends here in Beijing, lets get a quick tally of our actions. Let's set the record straight with ourselves, and have an admission of guilt.



Once in Manilla, on my very first solo trip in Asia I got mugged after dinner around midnight. They got all of the money that was in my wallet and my bank card. I had my passport and some money tucked away back in the hotel room. So there you are, stranded in a foreign country... Not much money or no money, no sense of self-security, dignity totally stripped. Some people do glorious, beautiful things when these moments occur. Some make quick decisions with roots deep underneath them, others improvise with old habits. I tend to fall into the latter.



Ended up latching onto a huge traveling group of people. Looked like a snowball rolling down a hill picking up all stray dogs and cats like me along with it. Was the first American they let into the group. For three days they carried me through paying for everything. In fact I noticed no one paying for anything, which I never questioned but sure wondered about the next morning. I woke up extra early to meet everyone... But no one, not a sound of talking, laughing or suitcases bustling in the hallways... Just me and the bill. I walked over to all their rooms, doors were open everywhere but not a trace of them. They all had vanished! I only had enough money tucked away in my passport to take me back to the airport which is a full day's drive away, or pay for my room and then be stranded with nothing.



I left. I cut through the jungle forest until I hit town, then I ducked into the bus stop and never looked back. I wondered if that traveling circus operated like that... A virus that absorbs and moves on? I have fought to never be like that. Here I am, only enough money to get back to the airport & make my flight...



... Made it to the airport and finally back home. The next morning I went to the bank and transferred everything I owe that to that bungalow. I also wrote them a gigantic apology letter and explained my situation. They replied back a month later: "First thanks for paying what you owed. You're the only one of that group to send us a guilty thank you, and pay. Just be more careful at midnight ok?"


My late summer admission of guilt. What is yours?