Solo Travel Diaries – Bus Driver’s Whistle

This time, when I was traveling alone, going back to my parent’s place, my two forms of writing mixed up. I had another almost while waiting for the Bus driver to whistle.

… …

My bus was to arrive in about an hour. I have had my dinner and it was an overnight run, so I was desperately waiting for my bus to arrive. Nothing exciting was expected from this travel, as usual. It was supposed to be one of those travels that I don’t write about, that I hardly even remember. Guess I was wrong about that.

The bus-stand was about a few meters away from the waiting area. And for informing the fellow travelers about a bus’s arrival, the driver used to blow a sharp, loud whistle. The fascinating thing about it was that people in the waiting area always knew whether the bus driver’s whistle was for their bus or not. Or so it seemed. Or maybe the buses were all strategically timed that no two buses coincide on a single time, making a whistle unique for that time.

I was wondering about all this as I had nothing better to do. My phone was about to die and I had to keep it at rest for it to live up till the morning when I will reach my destination.

I was humming a song, or a tune, I don’t really remember. But I remember that instant when a bus driver’s whistle made me look towards the exit of the sitting area and then quickly back to the wall infront of me, as if I had seen a ghost.

She was dressed in peach-colored some-kind-of-top and the legendary blue jeans. And yet I felt a blurry outline around her persona, I saw a live-portrait of her. Her hair was rolled up hurriedly, a bodkin was visible. And she was wearing no makeup at all. Yet she managed to portray such an eye-candy.

I looked away as soon as I looked at her, and she had already caught me looking at her in that 2 seconds of time-line. I stared at the wall opposite to me, and continued with my humming, which had increased its pace to several beats up the bar.

Every time such a situation happens with me, me and some stranger, either I fart words so bad that the other person runs away or I don’t do anything at all. And I wished this time wouldn’t be so. I prayed…

With almost impossible turn of events, she came up and sat beside me. I figured that all other unoccupied seats had some weirdo sitting on the next seat. And I looked a good guy on my first impression, to be honest.

I didn’t want her choice to be proved wrong. So I didn’t do anything impulsive or stupid. Really, I did nothing. I casually sat there, and just sat there. She was listening to some sort of music and was deleting multiple pics from her phone. I came to know it afterwards that my humming had stopped somewhere in the middle of this chaos.

But then somehow I found that in proving her decision to be right, I was just letting go of this opportunity. I liked her and wanted to know more of her. And if I do not speak, I won’t ever find out if I had a chance.

So I started rehearsing our conversation in my head, several iterations, several scenarios practiced. I gathered up my courage and straightened up my posture to bring out my voice which had gone deep down my guts, and was hidden somewhere in my intestines.

The bus driver’s whistle blew, a bus’s arrival was announced. Everyone around me got up and went towards the stand. I watched her go as she gathered her luggage and glided towards the bus.

A fly flew inside my mouth and I choked on my open mouth, ready to speak “Hi”. I coughed continuously till I had the damn fly out of my food pipe and got up clumsily to see her climb the bus. Even if I ran, I didn’t stand a chance to reach there in time, if I ran that is, hypothetically.

Next in half an hour or so, my bus arrived and I got the usual boring seat beside a fellow who snored all the way to my stop. I couldn’t dare to sleep and see the whole episode of my failure all over again. So I decided to stay up, watch through the window, the objects fly by me, in a blink of the eye, like the opportunities in my life.

This time, my solo travel diary was almost an epitome of me being a loser, well, almost a loser.

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That Hide & Seek Game

Remembering that hide n seek game and those series of emotions that flowed in the hidden light of the night’s darkness.

… …

We were running frantically towards the end of the street. We had 30 more counts before he would open his eyes and would see us running, holding hands…

My heart was pounding, not just because we were running out of our breaths, but because we were running together. Without any prior planning, we both had simply looked at each other and at that second had decided that we were gonna hide together in this game.

She was holding my hand so tightly, almost pulling me along with her. Probably her excitement was more than mine, or probably her fear. She didn’t look back, towards her brother, who was counting with his eyes closed up against the tree. She was a rebel, and that day she showed it.

The count was almost complete. All of our other friends had already chosen their hiding place and were almost invisible unless, ofcourse you knew already their usual hiding place. We knew where everyone used to hide, quite easy to mark an area where each one of them used to hide. We were running towards a new area altogether.

He announced his hunt beginning with a roar, declaring that soon he’s gonna catch all of us.

I smiled. “Not us, not today.”

We took a sharp left at the end of the street and then a right and disappeared in the maze of turns, till when we reached a deserted neighborhood leading to a dead-end.

We looked for a place where we could hide, from everyone. There was an old van, rusting at the end of the street. It was dark, and probably this part of the neighborhood had no residents. Not even stray animals could be seen. Was it luck or something fishy; Mr. Fate’s prior warning before he hits hard, I thought.

We went behind the van. It was parked right ahead of a street parkbench, such that the bench was not visible in any way unless you move around the car all the way to its back.

We went and hid behind the bench. We felt like tiny people as we could easily be hidden behind the bench from head to toe.

She finally let go of my hands. Holding hands… So pure, simple, emotional, and sweaty… Uncomfortable.

I sat there rubbing my hands on my jeans, slowly wiping off the sweat of it. Just then, she grabbed my shirt and pulled it so hard that I was pulled along with it. She asked in an anxious tone “They won’t be able find us here, will they?”

I was about to shrug when she herself said “No they won’t. This is the perfect place.”

I continued staring at her. She was beautiful beyond my ability to describe her beauty. So I won’t. But yes, she was way beyond my league.

We sat there talking about various possibilities, fantasies about what could happen if they catch us here. She was not willing to become the seeker, no matter what. Almost all of her plans had me showing myself up and then taking the seeker with me, keeping her safe. So much for the game, I thought. But in the end, she will again say “Nah! I won’t let you go…”

Time passed, rather quickly than I thought (read ‘than I wanted’). She occasionally touched my hands, and I rather skillfully took my hands away. Hey! Don’t judge me! It was summer and I hated sweat. I’d rather prefer something equally emotional and direct, not involving sweat.

I think she sensed it too, as her lips had tightened and she was looking at me without blinking, from my eyes to my neck, and back. Her neck was tilted and I could almost hear her heart beats, which were risen way up above normal excitement level.

There was mumbling sound nearby and then a ruckus, and our whole gang, one after other, appeared out of nowhere in the street that we were hiding in. They were laughing at the seeker, who had been trying to find them since last half hour, but had no luck in doing that. (It was half an hour already?!!)

I saw them coming towards us, scanning and analyzing the street for some good hiding place, and then I saw her pale and disappointed face. She was looking at me, her expressions were hard to describe. But they said “Damn!”

I gave her the ‘its fine’ expression and she nodded.

We had not disclosed anything to each other yet about our desires or intentions or imaginations, but I think they would have been same for both of us. We couldn’t do what we wanted to do that day, but being 10 year old toddlers, we hardly cared. We soon blended with out friends and forgot the whole episode.

Now I don’t even remember what was it that we wanted to do that time, but it doesn’t matter. After all, what could possibly be in an innocent 10 year olds mind!?

Fear of Tests

Fear of Tests

No matter what test it is, there’s always a fear of test crawling into my confidence, slowly weakening it.
… ….

No matter what kinda test that I’m supposed to give, there will always be a fear of test imbibed into my inner self, crawling over my confidence and slowly weakening it.

The fear of test doesn’t go away as we grow up. It stays, hidden, ready to attack whenever another test or task comes up. It was so dearly implanted and nurtured by parents, teachers and society during my education years that now it is almost impossible for me to ignore it.

Usually, we sense this fear as soon as we get to hear the word – test or any of its synonyms. We feel so dejected by the fact that we are supposed to be giving a test soon. And that is not just the only food to feed this fear.

No matter how meager the value of the test is or how less it’s gonna impact our life, everything around us conspires to make it such a big deal for us in our lives that we also believe in that!

When it comes to giving a test, there’s always a cost of exam attached. Hence, we fear that our expense might not yeild proper return if we don’t clear the exam in the first attempt.

Our family members keep on reminding us about our exams and that we should be working for it, that we should be practicing for it. It keeps on hitting our gut so hard that the test is such a big deal and we won’t be able of clear it is we don’t try hard.

On the day of exam, our mom brings ‘dahi shakkar’, giving us best wishes for the exam. But that too reminds you of the exam, the seriousness, if you have forgotten it.

This all happened with me recently… I had my driving test.

I don’t own a car. I haven’t had driven car ever in my life. I took driving classes, which were pretty bad actually. And I didn’t have any practice for the driving test. And I can go on and on giving excuses for my lack of preparation for the test. But yes, I did have that fear of test even in this case.

All the events that I narrated above happened with me, except ‘dahi shakkar’. But yes, praying before God happened in my case, that’s the way we do it in my family instead of ‘dahi shakkar’.

Then all the fear accumulated and came out while giving the test in various forms like perspiration, heavy breathing, and haste and lack of confidence. My mind went blank and I did miserably at the things I was good at actually. The result was negative. And I came home with my first failure in life.

People say that failures are very important if you want to achieve something big. Well, it certainly didn’t feel anything like that. I let. E while episode pass by and thought it to be just a driving test. Not a big deal. But the fear of tests was not to be defeated so easily.

As soon as I came home, my mom came out running, eagerness on her face… She had already assumed my result to be positive. And it took me great effort to prove it to her that I was saying the truth when I said I failed.

Then her expression turned from eagerness to worrisome bothersome tension. That expression which can give you goosebumps instantly inside your head. The fear of test started to creep into me again.

She asked me several questions about what went wrong. I sincerely answered. Then she gave several advices on how I should have taken up this task and explained to me how poorly I had practiced and what were all the flaws in my methodology.

After an hour of discussion from her side, and listening from my side, I actually started to feel bad about not clearing the test. And that was another food for my fear of tests.

Then I spent the whole day thinking about the whole episode and it bothered me to much to not have cleared it at one go. I was already scared for my next attempt. And that was when I had lost the game… even before playing it.

All the people who knew about my driving test asked me questions for the next whole week. And they never let me conquer over the fear of tests in my mind. All of that made the roots of that fear strong and well established in my guts.

The constant nagging, reminding of the tests, setting of expectations and my good self nature of trying to honor their expectations, all the time, made it worse.
I was on the verge of breakdown… When my friend talked with me about it and laughed. She said what’s the big deal about a driving test! It doesn’t even impact you in anyway serious… I calmed down for a bit.

But people were always trying to bring out the fear from deep inside my heart… For it never dies. It stays, lives with us, feeds on our confidence and helps us in every way possible to fail the test. Brings us all the pain of not meeting the expectations and the mockery & harrasment from society.

So I dedicate this failure to all those who helped me not forget my fear for tests and to all those who have made sure that the fear stays with me forever… Thank you.

Small Bites with Family: Accidental Booze

A series of funny and interesting incidents that happen with me and my family.

… …

Previous posts under the same series:
This time it’s gonna be about the time when you accidentally drink infront of your parents…
What happens when someone offers you a vodka shot and you take it openly, without realizing that someone is watching you… ๐Ÿ˜›
… …

Now for those of you who found this title weird and think that what’s wrong in doing this, kindly consider that I come from a dry state and here no one would have ever seen me drinking before.

So this happened when I had gone to a different state for giving my presence in my sister’s wedding. This state doesn’t have restrictions on drinking and it’s very normal for people to drink.

It was sangeet night, the night when there’s open battle of dancing between bride’s side and groom’s side. Battle is namesake, everyone just wants to enjoy and dance.

We were on the dance floor and we almost had forgotten where we were and who all were watching us. Our concentration was mainly on dancing and impressing people in nearby vicinity.

But then suddenly, someone from our group comes with a bottle of water and offers it to everyone while drinking it himself. Being from a dry state, you never suspect a water bottle and humbly accept it with gratitude. So did I while taking a big gulp from the bottle, till that person took it away from me.

But as the vodka drains down your throat and every thing it touches heats up, you know that it’s too late… In my case, I came to know it a little later when it has successfully landed on my stomach bed.

I ignored it and kept dancing. Good thing is that a few gulps doesn’t do any harm / good to me. I stay sober nonetheless. I didn’t see anyone around me. But back in my mind, I knew that everyone had seen me drink from that bottle.

When my eyes accidentally met my mom’s, she immediately gestured me to come down the dance floor and talk. And I knew it will be a serious talk.

I somehow managed to keep a calm face, innocence on it. As I didn’t suspect the water bottle to contain anything else than water, so I couldn’t be held guilty, I thought.

She asked me did I drink anything that anyone else offered? This was a truth test. I passed. I told her what happened, exactly as it happened. She warned me to not accept anymore drinks from anyone as there it was normal for those people. I silently obliged…

I went back to the dance floor, handled the repercussions of the vodka on my body and danced my heart out. Again, everyone around me was a bit drunk, and ditzy. Whereas, I was sober, as far as dizziness is concerned. We all danced like maniacs, but the thought came to my mind afterwards that people might have thought that it was vodka that made me dance crazy…

When I came back from the dance floor, ready to leave the party, I felt thirsty. I grabbed a water bottle from a nearby waiter. My mom instantly snatched it from me and tasted it herself to check that it was actually water. I smiled at her while taking back the bottle, but I was thinking… How different people see a particular act, when they come from a different background and environment!

Anyways, the night went well, and vodka gulp didn’t have any visible effect on me. Fingers-crossed…

A Walk On The Road

Dreaming reality, while on a walk to some destination, narrated by an out of control mind…
… …

Just five more minutes of morning sleep… And you have your schedule delayed. As that five more minutes turn into hours of extra sleep. And as you know, the things we have to do in the morning cannot be skipped. Hence, only option we are left with is to get late.

This was one such morning for me. After the fight with all the things in my house, which were trying to make me more late than I already was, I entered the lift to go down to my vehicle. The boring music in the lift didn’t help better my mood at all. But that reminded me that my vehicle at the mechanics’ garage and I had to take some other means of transport. Damn!

I tried my luck with public transportation and private auto, but as the distance was not that much, none of them seemed to agree at an affordable price. So I had to take a long walk in the warm and soothing light of the global-warming-pissed-off-sun…

It was just a 5 minute ride from my home to the place I had to reach. But when walking in that heat, it would take more than 15-20 minutes. I had totally dropped the idea of getting a lift from someone, as people usually do not help strangers walking on the road, no matter how well they are dressed or look, as recent news stories are rather scary…

To make my “long short walk” less loathed, I started playing by myself while walking. I measured the maximum distance I could cover with my legs stretched fully. I made my each leg compete each other as to which could break the maximum distance covered in one step. People work more rigorously while they are competing someone, they say. And that was working… I was walking faster than I would usually. I was walking in my own mood, swinging my arms and waving my head, like a seven year kid would do.

(But while doing this, I didn’t notice that it would have looked totally ridiculous walk to others. But I couldn’t care less… :P)

A gear-less bike slowed besides me, the girl riding that looked me walking ridiculously and then laughed and stopped the bike ahead of me.

I immediately corrected my walk, rather tried walking in a more “cool” way. But I think it didn’t work out, as she started laughing as soon as she saw me again. ๐Ÿ˜›

“Yeah I know that was funny. But that helped me walk several hundred meters in this pi- angry sun.” I justified myself, while carefully choosing my words to not swear. ๐Ÿ˜€

“Yeah! The heat is totally f**king us today!” she agreed and I felt relaxed to know that she was of “cool” nature.

“Hop on if you need a lift. But you have to promise me one thing…” she offered.

“What?” I wanted to say ‘Anything, ma’am’, but controlled my urges.

“You have to promise that you won’t behave like those needy weird jerks that I meet all the time.” she said.

“Well… Would me doing things like I was doing just when you came count in those weird stuff those jerks do?” I played with my words.

She laughed again, and said “Definitely not. That’s… well let’s just say… tolerable.” She laughed again.

I hopped on her bike and she drove off.

“So where to?” she asked.

I said my destination and came to know that we both had to go to the same destination. It was a relief to me and to her also. We don’t trust strangers these days, be the lift-asker or the lift-giver.

She applied a sudden brake and, if you know how those gear-less bikes are designed you would understand, I slid directly onto her and had to hold on to her waist tightly to not fall off from the bike.

“Sorry.” She said in her childish tone.

“It’s okay.” I said. After a while, I added- “From when girls started doing these tricks on bike? To play with the backseat person?”

She started laughing again. “No no…! It was not like that! There was a squirrel on the road. Seriously!” she said justifying her sudden braking. “Although, you gave me a great idea for next time.” she added, and then giggled, while looking back at me through the bike mirror.

I smiled plainly. (Although inside I was not just smiling… I was jumping! Leaping! Crazily waving my head and hands and shouting my heart out!)

“Don’t get your hopes high…” she said “…yet.” Again she played with me and I enjoyed being played that way. ๐Ÿ˜€

We reached our destination rather quickly than I thought. She was driving fast. Another thing that made me like her more.

“Thanks. You saved my day from ruining.” I said while getting off her bike.

“Yeah? How’s that?” she asked.

“Well, if I had walked all the way here, in this heat, I would have had a very bad mood. And then when that boss would shout at me for his own mistakes, I would have shot back at him and said things which I shouldn’t have. I would have then let out my anger on my friends, just because they let me to. And while going back home, due to the events of the whole day, I would have skipped my dinner and taken my miserable self directly to bed, where I wouldn’t be able to sleep due to hunger and anger together.”

“Wow! That… That was… Well. Thank you.” She said.

We parted at the entry gates, I was walking towards the way to stairs, and she was walking towards the elevator.

“Sure you don’t wanna take the lift?” she said, teasing me to take the elevator with her, winking “Lifts are good, aren’t they?”

“Yes, they are great. But there are some walks which are better than that.” I replied teasing her back. “Not all walks are bad.”

“Sure. Would you walk me back home tonight, after we have had our dinner together?” she said and smiled. I need not say anything, we both knew my answer. I walked up the stairs and she went on with the elevator.

—–

Well, I walked up the stairs, but not in the similar fashion. The paragraph above which I said would have ruined my day had happened in real. There was no lift, no girl, no talking and no nothing.

In real, I walked all the way to my destination, without any lift or any help from anyone. I was filled with sweat, exhaustion and irritation when I reached the place.

But an out of control mind made up this story to divert my attention from the reality…

Little Business Ad’venture’

When and how did I carry out my first, small business venture…?

… …

Everyone loves money. And I was no different even at that age when I thought money was useful only to fill up my piggy bank. And filling it up fully was the only life goal under monetary category that one would have.

I had a small red colored miniature Post box shaped piggy bank. I used to hide it behind my old clothes on the top shelf of my cupboard. As a child, I thought that if I found it difficult to reach that spot then it was hard enough for anyone to find it. ๐Ÿ˜€

I usually never asked for things or stuff from my parents or anyone else, except for daily food needs. Toys, games, clothes, chocolates and ice-creams… I used to get them without any tantrum, or even demand. The reason was that I used to take great care of all my stuff. Even after all these years, I have got some of my stuff from childhood without any scratch. And due to this, my parents used to buy me things without my soliciting for it.

But I had strong preferences in things I accepted. They had to be best or of high value. I didn’t accept things that were cheaply made or were commonly found with every other child. Say for example, I didn’t accept toffees and cheap chocolates. I needed a 5-star instead. But still if someone would give me something that I didn’t quite like, I’ll put it to some good use, at least. Or I’ll give it to other kids when they come to my place to play with my toys, so that my other toys were not harmed. ๐Ÿ˜›

A fair (carnival) was set-up in our town. My dad and his friends were setting up a food stall in the carnival. And mother was probably gonna help them with that. I was bored at their stalls where we had to serve people the food instead of eating it ourselves. So, I used to sit at the nearby Toy stall. The person was a friend of my dad, so he let me sit there.

The carnival was gonna stay for five days. First day I just sat there looking at all the people who came to buy different toys. I understood one thing from that. For selling toys, we had to influence the kids and not the grownups. They would just do whatever the kids would obstinate for or do tantrum for.

I too wanted to sell stuff. I asked my parents to let me sell stuff in that toy stall. Our neighbors gave me a box full of whistles which were shaped like a-biscuit-thin-harmonica. All the reeds played the same tone, same whistle. I had a real harmonica back then, so I had no problem in selling them, as for me they were not of high standard. My neighbors didn’t accept any money from me for these. They wanted me to fulfill my desire of selling things in the carnival.

Next day, I came to the Toy stall with that box full of whistles. The store owner gave me a corner place just outside the store. I sat on a small chair in front of a small table on which I neatly stacked the whistles under rows of different colors. As I had no cost in acquiring the whistles, I thought 2 rupees would be an appropriate price for one whistle.

Families and kids used to pass from the toy store often. And kids would force their parents to visit the toy store to buy them some or other toy. Whenever some kid came in front of the store, I would play that whistle casually, without saying a word. The kid would instantly get lured of the whistle in my hand. I somehow managed to know how other kids were different from me and how they were easily tempted for things that they didn’t have and someone else had.

When the grownups would offer him things from the store, the kid would also point towards the tiny whistle thing that I was playing. And as it was way cheaper than the other things available in the toy store, the grownups wouldn’t hesitate incurring an additional expense.

Earlier I used to sell whistle to each customer of the toy store. Then slowly, kids came to the store only to buy my whistle. I slowly started to take over the business of the toy store owner. Kids were more interested in buying my whistle instead of his expensive toys, and parents too were not hesitant in buying their kids a cheap toy instead of shelling out more money on expensive toys.

I gave my last whistle to the toy store owner as a gift. In just three days, I sold all the whistles in stock and enjoyed the satisfaction of having my piggy bank full. ๐Ÿ™‚ I was so happy that I showed it to all. I opened the lid of the miniature post box and showed them that it was full till the brim. The toy owner too said to my dad “This kid took away whole of my business with his tiny whistles!”

Later I found out that the whole box of whistle had cost my neighbors only Rs. 20. And there were some 40-50 whistles in the box, which I sold each at a price of Rs. 2. And I didn’t even had to incur the initial cost of Rs. 20, so my clear profit was full Rs. 80-100!

That was my first ever business venture at an age of around 9. And I was so happy…

P.s.: And now I feel ridiculous at work.

Solo Travel Diaries – Strangers

While I travel seldom, of the times I travel, mostly I travel alone. Solo travel diaries are my weird experiments and experiences from incidents during my solo travel.

—–

Don’t talk to strangers. Stranger is danger.” something that we are taught since childhood.

But still, it happens, often, that you meet someone on your journey, you talk with them, and they leave a lasting impression on your mind, sometimes on your wallet.

I was standing near a charging booth, refilling the juice in my phone, which would help me stay alive that 9 hours solo journey.

While we don’t have anything to do when we can’t use our phones now-a-days, I usually have a lot of fun when my phone’s not in my hand.

I was whistling the tunes of some of my favorite songs, sometimes singing them along. I was observing the people around me and started noting down the types of people that one can find on a common station (probably future post ๐Ÿ˜›).

While doing all this, I had my one hand fixed on my mobile phone while the other on my bag. I just couldn’t let go of the fear of someone stealing things from me from that crowded place.

Suddenly, a man in his forties came from behind me and started talking to me.

“Hey. You’re a local resident of this place?” The man said.

Rather hesitantly, I replied “Yes.”

“Actually, I was here to meet my friend. He’s at the platform 10. (We were at platform 1). But the problem is I forgot my wallet at home and I need to buy the platform ticket. Can you please give me some money?” The guy continued, in English. Yes.

He was dressed decent and was speaking to me in a sophisticate manner and in English, in a state where very few do that. So, his first impression on anyone would be that he’s a genuine case. And he was asking for a nominal amount, so one would just give him money, with intentions to help.

“Actually, I don’t have change for that amount. Sorry.” I said the truth, but even if I would have had change with me, I would have lied to say the same thing.

“How much do you have? These shops can give you change.” He said pointing at the nearby shops.

I said bluntly “Why don’t you go and ask them directly? They would probably give you some money.”

This would have offended a genuine man. But he went on to talk to the shopkeeper.

While he walked to the counter, I watched him from the corner of my eyes. He walked to the counter, looked at me, and then was standing there for a while. There was confusion on his face. And it looked very genuine to me.

“He would give change if you buy something from him.” He said to me when he came back.

“I already bought what I need for the journey. And I gave him all the change that I had against those stuff.” I shrugged.

There was silence, a weird silence for few moments, after which he was about to speak something. But I interrupted him – “Why don’t you ask them? They might be having change and they might help you.” I was pointing towards the station officers.

He looked towards them. His face showed hesitation and he left, slowly looking around him, as if finding someone.

Then he boarded the train standing on Platform 1 itself. While moving towards the train, he briefly glanced back towards me.

I was watching him, indirectly.

He was obviously not a genuine case. He didn’t need any platform ticket. The train that he boarded left soon thereafter, and I never saw him come out of that coach. He might have needed money for some other reason, but he lied about the whole friend thing.

And I didn’t fall for it, being a cold hearted person. Had he told me the truth, I might have helped. Probably, still not. It’s hard trusting people nowadays.

While we may make friends out of those strangers while travelling, we have to be vigilant too. Not everyone’s the same.