Sunday, August 23, 2009

The Wrong Side of the River

In Chapter 2 of Three Cups of Tea, Greg Mortenson loses his way and is rescued by his Balti guide who revives him with paiyu cha. After regaining some strength, Mortenson takes the path on the wrong side of the river, losing his guide again, and finds himself in Korphe where the headman offers him more tea and a place to stay.

Describe an incident you have experienced with hospitality or the kindness of strangers when visiting a foreign place -- or a new place closer to home.

8 comments:

  1. At a school i have never seen before nor any of those who attended in a State i have never been, arriving the first day of freshman year in high school was a challenge. Yet i have never felt so welcomed before. Like Mortenson, i was confused about where i was, i wanted to more about the place and all of the people and they all helped me try and find my place in the school. By tutoring me daily if needed or having other students show me where things where, i was able to gain multiple friends very fast and learn the school in a heart beat.

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  2. When I went a funeral over summer, for a friend I'd met through my work, I was a little nervous since I was going somewhere I did not know anyone else. Going alone to a funeral, for some reason, was a bit scary. After I arrived though, his family and other friends had tried to comfort me and others there, as if we were all family on that day and at that moment. It was such a warm friendly feeling at a time in need and from such an unexpected source considering that his family, the ones who should be comforted first, were more concerned with everyone else. I will never forget that unconditional and unjudgemental love I felt that day.

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  3. When I was ten years old my family and I went to Hong Kong for holiday. It was the first time we went there. That day, we were waiting for our flight in the Hong Kong Airport. The airport was so big that we had to go by train to reach the departure gates. We spent our time by taking a walk in the duty free stores. Suddenly my father realized that my sister was gone. We couldn't find her then a stewardess asked what had happened and she helped us finding my sister. At last she found her in a bookstore. If we didn't meet the stewardess, we wouldn't have found my sister. The stewardess actually was in a hurry, she was on her duty but she was willing to help us.

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  5. When I was 13 years old I visited my grandpa for the first time. I was scared at first because I had never met the man before, however as we walked into his cozy little home a hundred miles or so from my house I was glad to see that he was everything I thought a grandpa would be. He greeted us and we quickly entered his house to find pictures of my mom and my aunts on the wall. He offered us a drink and welcomed us to the pantry filled with all the candies and cookies you could ever want. After doing so we watched t.v while he and my parents chatted about life. He approached me later and complemented about how I looked just like my dad. As we drove away from the house I was glad to finally meet my grandpa!

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  6. One when I was on a class trip to Italy I passed a traveling preformer in the middle of his act in Rome. He was dressed like a clown and his act was to remain perfectly still for hours at a time in some un-comfortable position until someone put a coin in a cup he had at his feet. I put one in (my dad was paying for me) and he instantly extended his white gloved hand to shake mine in appreciation. I reached for it and he quickly pulled it away, then extended it again a couple inches away. This was repeated twice more and then he extended it for real and I shook it. As I did so he smiled at me in a way that made me feel welcome. I was a foreigner in his country and he therefore had a natural right to regard me with suspicion and mistrust, but because I had fulfilled my financial and social obligation he signaled that I was welcome there as he extended his hand.

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  7. I was an incoming freshman in high school. My parents made me attend College Park rather then the school where all my friends were going. I was scared and nervous of the fact that i wasnt going to know anyway and basically have to open up to a whole new enviroment. However, i made a lot of friends on my first day of school, the teachers were all very nice and welcome, and everyone around the campus was very helpful when i had questions about my classes. Although i didnt get to experience high school with the friends i wanted to, i met some really great people and i enjoyed every minute of high school!

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  8. When I was a little girl in China, my mother had a friend who I called Auntie Huang. I knew very little of her, though my mother had told me before she had a few minor mental disorders. So when one day my mother suddenly informed me that we were going to Auntie Huang's house for her wedding party, I was very reluctant and terrified. I wandered lost and apprehensive into Auntie Huaung's house while some adults and many children swarmed past me. I followed my mother around, not knowing what to do, until she pointed out a beautiful lady with a musical voice and said, "That's Auntie Huang." Was this kind lady really the Auntie Huang I had feared? I greeted her politely, and when she saw me glancing past her at the large jar of candy sitting on a table behind her, she grabbed a large fistful and gave it to me. The candy was an assortment of chocolates and milk candy, which was expensive and considered a precious treat in China at that time. I was delighted, and like the other children, continuously held out my hands for more sweets until my mother stopped me and scolded me for being inpolite. After that, I viewed Auntie Huang as a very nice, generous, and beautiful lady. She had made me feel like I was at home and at ease, no longer a stranger.

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