Today I felt like I’m learning how to live here, a little, at least.  My visitor and I traveled back across three (skinny) countries so that I could get her to the airport.  There were tons of border crossings.  At the last one, there was a very insistent guy who wanted to "help" us with all the formalities.  First he wanted $10 to give to the border police for our luggage.  I smiled, said no, walked over, shook the policemen’s hands, and they let me through-there is no luggage fee.  Our helper tried the same thing with the customs lady-$4 this time.  I didn’t get mad, just laughed and said "good try" to our helper.  He laughed too, and walked away happy with his tiny tip.

That’s a good ending to an interaction-nobody mad, everyone laughing, a story to tell.  All in all, a good day.

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