Day 89 - Circumnavigating the globe by method of thumb, relying purely on the kindness of complete strangers along the way, conjures one constant thing...a roll of new fantastic pals. The showering of soundness...no matter where one finds one self on the edge of this planet, just keeps on coming. Be it in some extravagant super city in China or a 1 mule town in Kazakhstan...curiosity and the innate need to connect keeps the wheel of kindness in turn. All you need arm yourself with is an open smile and a bit of gumption.
Early one evening for classic example, we wandered past a cracking old pool hall on uthe corner of some street on a cross roads in some 'old school' rustic community in Guatemala. All open saloon doors with saw dusted floor. Chewed, flickering neon lights hanging, waiting for night to fall so the dogs that play can bring this place to life.
Strolling past later that evening all was in swing, the lights were on! The boys were out all colourful, richly imbued in custom...out the back under the corrugated tin the cards were spread, 'Centavos' being lost and won, out front the empty pockets were trading what skill was left on the tables. I couldn't resist...pushing the English head through the doors one gestured for a game. These guys were great...I approached the scenario with a jovial naivety, willing to accept any rules, just wanting to get involved and have a laugh, once those balls were arranged on the cloth all brows were furrowed with pierced eyes scanning the form...it was game on. No jokes and laughter here, act accordingly 'English man'...ruffle no feathers when in Rome et al.
No conversation was exchanged throughout the evening, just good old soundness and a shed load of smiles carried with good feeling...ultimately the only language needed to raise any spirit.
Of course the Thumb could of wiped this table clean, after a few missed shots and feigned profanity the day was called on a draw. I was just happy these guys took me in and entertained a wanderer in their midst, as they always do.
To partake and involve ones self in activity with strangers can only yield a worthy experience. A memory to stick in the back pocket and have a smile over further down the road.