ubud jungle

A Tiger Trap Love Story

Bee took the next step forward in the darkening evening, humming inside with vacation happiness and that nice buzz from the 2-for-1 cocktails at dinner. She fell straight into a tiger trap—otherwise known as a giant hole on the side of the road.

In many other parts of the world, there would have been a sidewalk where she stood. Smooth, except for the occasional cracks children hop over to improve their luck. Wide enough for streams of people romanced by their own distractions to pass each other, without making eye contact or brushing shoulders. Protected from motor vehicles whizzing past, simply by being elevated from the road and reserved for pedestrians.

If, for any reason, such a glorious sidewalk is obstructed, a bold warning sign bordered by unmistakable florescent orange cones alerts the pedestrians to ensure their safety.

Not here. Where the sidewalk ends…a lot. If there was a sidewalk to begin with. Even still, it’s no tiger trap.

A married couple Bee once knew went to Southeast Asia for their honeymoon. It was a romantic adventure, until the husband fell into a tiger trap in a remote part of Cambodia. She had been hiking in front of him. When she turned around, he was gone.

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changi airport

Enlightened in a Foreign Comatose Airport

The world Bee had known shifted permanently when the woman rose from her prayer mat. It was 5:07am, in a foreign comatose airport halfway across her microscopic universe.

After 18 mind-altering hours on a plane, Bee couldn’t remember how to walk. Each step was its own careful performance as she dragged her body across the vertigo-inducing carpet. She felt like that dead guy from Weekend at Bernie’s. But without the other two dudes keeping her upright—no 1980s windbreaker and bushy mustache to help her out either.

Humming its mechanical song, the moving walkway carried nobody. Regardless, it glided forward on its devoted expedition.

People clung to shadowy edges, avoiding dim spotlights from the airport heavens above which mocked their undereye circles and ashy skin. Weird music floated across the cavernous terminal—failing to soothe, succeeding as an agitator.

Bee stumbled when she saw her, this veiled woman so beautifully grounded on her protected island. The top end of the woman’s prayer mat rested against the moving walkway. She pressed her slender, dark hands against the mat and sat back on her heels. Her mat was crooked, but she didn’t adjust it.

While everyone else avoided the unflattering overhead lights, she basked in her exclusive sunbeams. While everyone else waited impatiently for their journey to begin, she savored the journey that had already begun.

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