Marriage Proposals Abroad!
Traversing the globe, living a nomadic life throughout my teen years, as a family we came across many unusual travel experiences; from the“Weird and Wondeful” to the down right bizarre and comical. As a female with two other female companions there were many occasions where we found ourselves in quite strange situations regarding the opposite sex. On my 16th birthday I had a lovely Ukrainian woman spend half of our journey across the Black Sea on a cargo ship trying to persuade me into a smart match with her son who was, in her opinion, a very worthy match because he was a successful dentist working in Russia. Border guards entering Uzbekistan were overly friendly, hopeful one of us may say yes, while we were only hoping they would allow us entry into their country. I swear my brother almost agreed to one of the proposals which included several chickens, sheep and a cow and was about to leave me behind in Pakistan.
My sister and I turned down many camels and left many a broken hearts in our wake in India, across the Silk Road, Egypt and around Africa.
But the one proposal that stood out the most was on a local bus traveling east across the country of Uzbekistan, headed towards Turkmenistan. My sister and mother were sitting in the seats behind me when the second of the two bus drivers on the overnight journey casually but with eager intent walked down the aisle towards us. Shamelessly making his move, he was quick to his point. “Lovely daughter,” he said to Mom, leaning in staring straight at Bree. “She married? I no married. Boyfriend? I looking beautiful wife.”
Mom laughed, “Yes she is beautiful. But I don’t think you can afford her.”
“Yes, Momma, Momma, yes you give me good price,” he said. Reaching into his pocket he presented Mom with a wad of crumbled bills in his sweaty, open palm.
“No, no, this is not enough.”
“You’ll need a LOT more than this,” she said, all in good fun.
“Okay!” he said. Dashing back down the narrow bus aisle he knelt down and reached under the bus driver’s seat. Rushing back with an amused grin on his face he proudly presented Mom with a duffel bag. Unzipping it under her nose it was stuffed full with bills stacked and bundled with elastic bands.
She hesitated before laughing.
“Not enough?” he said. Mom quickly began back-peddling, before he ran off and found another bag of cash.
“Well, actually, she’s not for sale.”
In a country where the largest bills aren’t even equivalent to $1USD, it wasn’t impossible to fill a bag with cash in Uzbekistan. Still, I’ll never forget Mom’s surprised face and the way he so proudly opened up his bag of cash, like a scene right out of a movie.
Upon entering Uzbekistan, we had exchanged two one hundred dollar bills for Uzbekistani Som. At first we couldn’t understand the locals’ flustered expressions and insistence not to change that much at once until they started stacking bundles of cash on the counter. Oh. I guess we need a backpack instead of a wallet!
Every tuesday we chat about a different travel topic on #TRLT Twitter chat. This week we’re exploring UNUSUAL TRAVEL EXPERIENCES! What are the most bizarre situations you’ve ever found yourself in while on the road less traveled? Share your story in the comments below and join us for a live chat this Tuesday December 19th.
Search the hashtag #TRLT on Twitter to find us and don’t forget to include the hashtag #TRLT in your tweets to participate with fellow travellers. I am there each and every week hosting with fellow founder and friend Shane Dallas (public speaker, visited 100+ countries, currently living in Kenya) and amazing travel host, and good friend, Jessica Lipowski (accomplished author and “foodie” in USA) and hosts Anton Magnin (specialist in family travel in South Africa), Mia from @Touchse and Ian from @RTWBarefoot. Don’t be a stranger!