When we first moved into our home about eight years ago, there was a very petite, very elderly-looking woman who walked up and down the street every morning. She looked so strong and hardy for her obvious advanced age. I wanted to take my kids, ooch over, and flag her down to chat, but always just waved shyly and said “good morning.” The reason I was so hesitant? Plain and simple: I had no idea what to say to her.
Things that were readily apparent…..she lived alone, she had lived a long, long life, she seemed friendly enough, should have made it easy to strike up a conversation. Were you married once? Has your husband passed away? How long have you lived here? But where to start? What to say? What if I offended her? What if she couldn’t understand me well and it was painfully awkward.
Well one day, I did it.
[Gen, one of our new contributors here at Texas Schmexas,
is blogging from Chennai, India, where she and her family
are living for a few weeks this summer. You can visit her
personal blog for more photos and stories about India.]
I have been to India three times, but every once and a while I get a scared feeling when I walk out on the streets. My heart beats a little faster and my body is a little more tense and uneasy. The feeling doesn’t last long, but every time it happens I feel a bit unsafe for just a moment.
(c) 2013 Gen Alexander Photography. Used by permission.
Afterwards, I feel silly for even feeling this way.
During these moments, I am taken out of my comfort zone. My focus is narrowed in on my immediate surroundings and all sorts of present dangers.
But then I get back to the reality of why I am here.