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Sunday, June 28, 2009

The Stories Skipped Over Because Life Keeps Movin’ On…

When I was in Houston, I met this great employee at my hotel. I can’t even remember her name now, but she had such a wild story that I had to buy her a bottle of wine.

She came from…(here’s where writing a month after the fact isn’t helpful). Something-ekstan. Kazakhstan? Uzbekistan? Turkmenistan? Tajikistan? There some ancient conqueror named Stan who either lacked creativity or humility.

Anyway, the “Stan”-girl was born with a birth defect on her face and needed surgery. Unfortunately, her country didn’t have the medical care that she needed. They threatened her family that if “Stan”-baby-momma left with “Stan”-girl, neither would ever return. Her mother made the difficult decision and took her little girl to get surgery.

Well, in America, where we get the same slap on the wrist for both jaywalking and crossing the border, we don’t quite understand the magnitude of that decision. Some countries aren’t kidding when they say, “Hey, don’t do that.” The penalty if they ever try to return? Death. No, not a trial. Not prison. Not, “Can I call my lawyer?” Just death.

Stan-girl was never allowed back in. She never saw her family again. Her mother never saw her husband again. As if that wasn’t bad enough, they relocated to HOUSTON! Just kidding, Houston-ites, but really… from Russia to Houston? Okay, so Houston does have the fourth coolest skyline in the nation (for those edifice enthusiasts). And Houston does have a pretty impressive space station (minus the not-too-small mishap of 1986). But buildings and rockets? I mean, give the girl with the face surgery a little hope! A mountain? A beach? A river? Nope. She gets (drum roll please) WESTHEIMER BOULEVARD.

She just officially became a U.S. Citizen this month (the legal way), so congratulations were in order; hence, the $8.00 bottle of wine from the Kroger drugstore behind the hotel.

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