Pulling Back The Curtain

2009 September 2

Last week, I asked my sister if I should devote more of GenMeh’s column inches to discussing the trials and triumphs of  my own life. She wisely pointed out this wouldn’t exactly mesh with my uber private nature.  Cards close to the vest and all that jazz. The privacy thing came up again when I mentioned this site to a coworker. He was agog that someone as reticent as he viewed me to be would ever be caught dirtying her hands at something with the salacious exhibitionist potential of blogging.  Apparently, I’m a riddle wrapped in an enigma wrapped in a bullet-proof vest.  I can’t help it that I was born with the voices of both Greta Garbo and Gavin De Becker in my head, can I?

command centre

GenMeh’s European headquarters

In all seriousness, while I do plan to write about my relationship with travel once I’m back on the other side of the Atlantic, GenMeh was never conceived of to be any sort of personal Dear Diary outlet.  But just for kicks, let’s pretend we’re besties. These are all the things I would have shared with you about my epically-long (still not over!) biz trip:

  • I would tell you about the tiny little Roma boy begging on the sidewalk in front of the central cathedral. And how seeing him sitting there all scrunched up with his shirt pulled over his knees and the saddest eyes in the world broke my (non-existent) heart to a degree that I emptied my purse of all the coins I could find. If it was a scam (this city does have its share of professional panhandlers), it was a damn effective one.
  • I would tell you about how my colleague turned to me at dinner the other night, looked me dead in the eye and demanded to know when I was getting married, stating that it was about time I started thinking about this. He followed this up by half-drunkenly and unrelatedly comparing me to Angela Lansbury in Murder, She Wrote several minutes later (note to dudes: There’s no chick on earth who would dig being compared to Jessica Freaking Fletcher, okay? ).
  • Or how about the fact that I fainted in the hotel hallway last night? My  first thought upon coming to was, “Thank God no one stole my purse while I was out cold.” My second thought was relief at not having carpet-burned my forehead.
  • I would try to explain to you how very strange it feels to be without words. Other than a few technical terms related to my work and those picked up by osmosis/constant exposure (i.e., sale, bakery, bank, exit, etc.), I have only thank you and an apologetic smile at my disposal.  We talk about being speechless so much in the figurative, but to be struck that way literally is both frustrating and very humbling. Not to mention having to depend on others to interpret everything from diplomatic meetings to dinner orders on my behalf.
  • You would laugh knowingly at how twitchy the familiarity of the standard upper arm grab + double cheek air kiss Euro greeting makes me and how I do whatever I can to head it off or avoid being cornered.
  • I would admit that I forgot my hairbrush on this trip, but that two straight weeks sans brushing has made no discernible difference, believe it or not.
  • I would tell you that I’m writing this curled up under a duvet (why do I not own one of these?) in my enormous hotel bed because we have been exiled from the local office due to lack of space and lack of wireless. I would tell you that this the most comfortable bed I’ve ever had the pleasure of sleeping in (LK, you called it!) and how I love it so much that I’ve taken to eschewing my usual right-sided sleeping habit to flop directly in the middle with my arms stretched out as wide as they’ll go (and they still don’t touch the edge!) in order to absorb as much of the comfort as possible. I would also tell you how I’m listening to Gillian Welch as I write this. It’s making me  just a little blue-ish, but Wrecking Ball is all I want to hear right now. Well, maybe Josh Ritter’s Monster Ballads, too.
  • And I would totally have bought you a souvenir by now (copper cevzes for everyone!), but let’s just forget about that part, shall we?

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