What to Look for When You Travel

Dear Nicalai,

I like being here in British Columbia, but I’ve got to tell you, these Canadians have an odd sense of humor.  As we walked downtown Victoria, Nona saw this sign and said, “Oh, let’s stop in here. We can get something to eat and do some reading too.”

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This wolf could wolf me down in about a nano second, but, turns out, the picture is not a warning but a joke.

“Are you kidding me!” I yelled back at her.  That sign tells me that we’d be on their menu.  “Keep walking, Nona.”

Papa told me, “Solbit, that sign is just an eye-catcher. It doesn’t literally mean that a wolf is in there waiting for you to drop in. It’s a joke.”

So, I asked, because — really — I didn’t know, “Papa, what’s a joke?”  Without a hesitation, Papa said, as though he were a walking dictionary, “something that someone says to cause amusement or laughter, especially a story with a funny punchline…but it could be just a picture, like that one.”

“Well, maybe it’s somebody’s idea of a joke, but I wasn’t amused, and you’ll have noticed that I did not laugh. What’s so funny about scaring me?”  Nona said, “Solbit, lighten up, girl. Find your sense of humor.” Well, that opened up a whole new line of questions, but I won’t bother you with those now.

We walked on.  No stopping to eat or to be eaten.  No reading either.  When we travel, I like for Nona to take photos that will remind me of the places we’ve been.  Here’s one that reminds me of our neighborhood walks here in Victoria.

Have you ever smelled honeysuckle in the summer?

Have you ever smelled honeysuckle in the summer?

When I see Nona taking a picture of that honeysuckle wall, the sweet aroma comes back to me almost as though the honeysuckle was actually in front of me.  I even remember asking Nona, “Please take a picture of that,” and watching Papa take a photo of Nona taking a photo.

Here’s a photo that reminds me of when we went walking in Beacon Hill Park, and I made a new friend.  This mallard — a kind of duck — saw me and quacked, “Hey, you are really tiny and really orange.  What are you?”

Ms Mallard said she travels too, mostly by air, and that Canadians are very friendly. She likes it here.

Ms Mallard said she travels too, mostly by air, and that Canadians are very friendly. She likes it here.

I replied, “I’m a plastic Jurassic, and I’m made to look like a little iguanodon.”  She said, “Oh, yeah, I see the resemblance to the iguanodon, but I thought they went extinct eons ago. Are you real?”  I said, perhaps some what defensively, “Of course, I’m real; you’re talking with me aren’t you?”

“Say no more. Know what you mean,” she said, and then, “Hey, my chicks have never met an iguanodon or a plastic Jurassic.  May I introduce you to them.  I know they’d like to meet you.”  Well, I couldn’t wait to met the chicks.

From left to right are One, Two, Three, and Four.  Really, that’s how she named them. Something about the order of when they came out of their shells.

From left to right are One, Two, Three, and Four.  Really, that’s how she named them. Something about the order of when they came out of their shells.

So, she brought One, Two, Three, Four over to meet me.  She sternly told them that they may not eat me, because I was her new friend from the United States.  Something I’ve learned about traveling to new countries is that it breaks down barriers and opens the way to make new friends.  Would the world be a more peaceful place if everyone got to travel more? I wonder.

So, what I look for now when I travel are opportunities to make new friends, and on most of our walks we find those opportunities.

I’m your friend.

Love,

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Solbit

July 2015

*New reader? Get oriented below.

  • You may be asking yourself, “Who is Solbit?” Solbit is a fictional character, but she is a real plastic dinosaur, sent to us unsolicited in a package we ordered from Photojojo. So, she’s a plastic jurassic. Solbit is short for the four names given her by our grandchildren: Sparkle, Orangie, Lulu, Breakit. We tend to use her given names for when she’s been naughty. Thank you for visiting Tales of a Plastic Jurassic. Solbit likes company and hopes you’ll come back.
  • You can learn more about Solbit at her About page and in the earlier posts, “Solbit: How I Got My Name” and “Solbit: How I Got to Travel.”

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