Monthly Archives: November 2012

Segue to a Segway

There are some words that I just love to pronounce. They roll off the tongue playfully and are just plain fun to say. “Segue” is one of those words for me. It is Italian for “it follows.”  Unfortunately, I don’t get to use the word as much as I’d like to. A lot of people don’t have a clue what it means.

According to Wikipedia, a segue is a method of smooth transition. A segue allows the host or writer to naturally proceed to another topic without jarring the audience. A good segue makes the subject change seem like a natural extension of the discussion.

And now, joy of joys, I can say it more often, because I have just discovered the segway, my new favorite form of transportation. The name is brilliant, because when you ride one, it is like an extension of your body. A better body. One with wheels.

Getting our seg legs!

If you haven’t been on one, let me tell you, it’s a blast! It takes about 5 minutes to get comfortable with it (if you have a decent sense of balance). You just have to lean to control which direction you want it to go.

G and I tried it out on Black Friday – we went with a couple of friends on a Segway Tour of Savannah. First we had to watch a short safety film with a stick man riding a segway. We went away thinking that this was going to be potentially dangerous, because the streets of Savannah are pretty bumpy, what with all the cobblestones and brick roads. And the segways aren’t allowed on the sidewalks.

We warmed up for about 5 minutes. Leaning forward to accelerate, backward to slow down, right and left to turn. As the tour started, one of the other guys on it said to Lisa (my friend in the turquoise top),

“This is your first time on a segway?”

She nodded.

“Wow, you are good!”

It’s a segway, people. It only goes 12 miles an hour.

Me and Detlef, our friend from Germany. Notice Lisa trying to get in front of the other couple….

We rode around for about 90 minutes, stopping at some interesting streets and houses and squares. Savannah is rich with history. The other couple on the tour was determined to be in front, and some of us didn’t like that because we couldn’t get up any real speed. They were sloooow.

Fortunately, the only mishap was our tour guide’s segway shut down on her near the end of the tour. So the other guide, whose job it was to bring up the rear and continually remind us all to remain in a single line, gave her his segway and G got to take over for him.

G acted all serious, blocking the street to help us cross and reminding us from time to time to stay single file, but we mostly ended up riding side by side so we could chat and a couple of times we waited til the other couple got a ways ahead so the four of us could get some speed up. It was a lot of fun.

G bringing up the rear. He tried to get away with the vest but no luck.

I’m so happy that I’m going to be able to say segway more often. We plan on doing the tour every time someone comes to visit!

Anyone else out there have words they love to say?

Categories: Travel | Tags: , , , | 6 Comments

There’s No Place Like … Someplace Else

The world is but a place of shadows. The guest pauses for but a few nights and departs confused, never knowing for sure where he has been. Beyond the horizon he feels certain he will find a better city, a fairer prospect, a more sonorous group of singing companions. But when his camels are tethered, he will find himself engaged with still yet another set of shadows. – James Michener in “The Drifters ”

I  am cursed with a wandering spirit. Like the ancient Bedouin tribes of Saudi Arabia,  I live to travel, and I feel the need to keep moving.

Not every day, mind you. But often. Like many other Third Culture Kids, I get itchy feet about every four or five years.

Third Culture Kids

Third Culture Kids (Photo credit: Earthworm)

I start dreaming about moving to a new place, meeting new people, experiencing a new environment. Or I think about moving somewhere that is close to where other friends have chosen to live. Most of them are TCKs like me, or else they have the same travel bug. Another thing about TCKs: they have friends all around the globe.

I never think about moving HOME. “Why not?” you ask. Simple. I have no home. I grew up in an ARAMCO compound in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. My dad is retired and living back in the States, so I couldn’t move back to Arabia even if I wanted to. (Unless I had a job there, or was married to someone who had a job there.) But the house I grew up in is gone, replaced by a park. And, quite frankly, I don’t think I would be happy living in Dhahran now.

Maybe that’s why I can’t seem to settle down completely. Because I don’t have a true home.

Over the years, I have met people who remained in the towns – and sometimes even in the very houses – they grew up in. I looked at them with a mixture of awe and pity. On the one hand, I felt sorry for them for not getting out and experiencing this big wonderful world we live in. On the other, I was just a tiny bit envious of the roots they had planted so deeply in their communities. Knowing everybody (and everybody’s business) was something I could never relate to.

That reminds me of another quote:

The tragedy of plants is that they have roots.

It’s hard to imagine staying in the same place for the rest of my life. I suppose if I found the “right” place I would feel differently. But then again, what is the “right” place, anyway?

I’m interested in other people’s thoughts on this subject. I’d love to hear yours!

Categories: Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

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