A hard tale

Trip Start Aug 18, 2006
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Czech Republic  ,
Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Note well, anyone who is in the habit of casually dismissing those in the front line of the hospitality industry, that nearly all them are students, and will one day soon be richer and more powerful than you. The receptionist was a Phd student of international relations, who has traveled extensively in Iran, Pakistan, and India. She is 26, Blonde, and beautiful, and therefore somewhere near the top of the list of People Who Conventional Wisdom Would Prohibit From Extensive Travel In Iran, Pakistan and India. Of course, this doesn´t mean that bad things don´t happen, but its another example of the fact that bad things don´t necessarily happen, and that levels of fear that write off entire countries as ´dangerous´ are simply racist. I notice her shuddering and holding her hands together in front of her, and ask her if she´s cold.

No. Not cold.

- My boyfriend, we met in India, he is Israeli. He had to do his military service, he was trained as a sniper. He was doing... (she gestures vaguely, as if waving away the specifics) his thing, in Lebanon. He was hurt. He´s in hospital. I´ve just found out, his family have just told me, he has got worse and I don´t know if I can... if I´m welcome there. He´s in a coma so...

she trails off. She knows Yols has just gone home, so she asks ´in general´
-do you think long-distance relationships can work?

I smile wanly, thinking of all the times I´ve spoken with confidence on the subject and the relationships I´ve seen slowly collapse.
-´in general´? No.
- Me neither.

We smile sadly at each other and both access a private pain. I feel for her, she´s suffering, and she´s been awake for about 20hours, and has 6more before her shift is over. I reach accross the table and pat her clenched hands, once, and withdraw. I want to give her a hug, but I´m not who she needs to hug, and we both know this.

-I hope its ok.
I mean it. But what help is that?
I go to bed.
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