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Rudy's View: Traveling With Twists (6/8/2001)

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Have you ever taken a trip that wound up very differently than you expected? Maybe you met someone and fell in love. Or found a job when you weren't looking.

What is traveling without the twists? Things go wrong sometimes and you learn about yourself...about your companions. Or things unexpectedly turn out better - you gain entry to your destination in ways tourists normally don't. Suddenly, you're a traveler. Or a sometimes a new resident.

Years ago, I spent a few days in Bangkok on vacation. When I departed to come back home, I'd somehow become the co-owner of a condominium that wasn't even built yet. For the next few years, I was confused...confused when I learned there's no such thing as a mortgage - that it was an all-cash deal. Confused when I found that in Asia, it's standard not to build out the kitchen - that was my responsibility. Confused when I learned there would be a two-year wait for a phone line...and, confused again when it turned out a $2,000 "fee" would deliver me a line within days.

Traveling is nothing without surprises. The interesting people you meet, the weird situations that come up. Sometimes the worst jams I've been in turn out - years later - to be the best. Those are the stories, like this one, that I still tell.

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