30 Days of Indie Travel- Day 12…CONNECTION
BootsnAll says: Travelers meet dozens, if not hundreds, of new people on every trip. They may become friends, enemies, lovers, and resources; they may stay in your life forever or be forgotten the next day. Tell about a time you felt a powerful connection – for however long – to another person while traveling.
It was a hot afternoon in Vegas and I was not able for the heat anymore. I left my friends sunbathing by the pool and went inside the hotel to seek solace in the air-conditioning. Instantly, I felt better. A cold glass of water in my hand, I was feeling hugely refreshed as I walked slowly through the casino. Preferring to people-watch than gamble I leaned on the window ledge and watched the buzz of the casino.
You get used to the noise of the machines after a while but it’s a shock at first. The fruit machines spit out music and change at regular intervals, the sounds interrupted by a yell of triumph or a howl of anguish from a patron, made anonymous by the shield of the machines.
A little boy was sharing the ledge with me, his eyes focussed on one machine in particular.
“That’s my Dad”, he said proudly, pointing to the operator of the machine.
“Why aren’t you sitting with him?”, I asked.
His smile not breaking, he explained that kids were not allowed on the casino floor and as the window fell outside of that limit, he could stay over by the window and watch his Dad play.
I wondered how long he’d been there. I instantly felt extremely sorry for him.
Every now and again, the little boy’s father would get excited and rise from his chair – a small win, but a victory. The little boy would stop mid-sentence when this happened and jump up and down while cheering his hero on.
I stayed and talked to the little boy for half an hour, about anything. He was precocious and very smart. When the time came when I had to leave, I was sorry to leave him. His Dad had barely looked at him for the whole time, except occasionally to reprimand him for stepping over the casino boundary.
Even though thinking about this memory makes me sad, I like to think I did a little good by staying with that boy for as long as I could and giving him the attention he so obviously wanted from his father. I don’t consider this to be the deepest connection I ever made whilst travelling but it is one that I think about a lot.