Flirting While Flying

Have you heard about Virgin America’s new twist on the mile high club?

Now once the seat belt sign is turned off and you can move about the cabin freely, you can send a drink, snack or meal to someone who caught your eye via their new “seat to seat service.”  You get a little help to grease the wheels for some in flight flirting.

Sir Richard Branson’s latest social service to launch this is a video called, “Sir Richard Branson’s Guide to Getting Lucky.” I remember when a guy I liked once asked me  if I was a member of the “mile high club”. I was so naive I didn’t know what it was so I faked it and said, “No, not yet.” Soon the mile high club will have card-carrying members with Virgin America!

You can read more about this in the Huff Post article, Virgin America’s Seat to Seat Service will Send Drinks to Your Crush, Help You Flirt While Flying.

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Where do you meet a live Mystic & Yogi in India?

Sadhguru

Sadhguru

“Why are you going to Coimbatore?” he asked me. I noticed his mustache was little long. He blue and white shirt was neatly pressed, he spoke English and he was dressed like a business man.

“I’m going to an Ashram for a week. I’m not exactly sure of the name, I think it’s called Isha. It’s a last minute decision.” I told him.

“Ah, yes, how do you know about Isha?” He asked

I explained that I had been travelling with friends for the last week when our tour guide Bharat, from Delhi, mentioned it. He has been going for a few years and loves Guru Jaggi Vasudev. He recommended I go for  Mahashivarathri, a Hindu festival celebrated every year in honour of Lord Shiva, the Adiyogi – the first yogi.

Dhyanalinga

Dhyanalinga

Bharat found out Sadhaguru was leading a program  called “The Innerway” for 5 days before Mahashivarathri. All my friend could tell me was that it would be  transformational and something I  must experience while in India.  I went on-line and read what I could about the Guru and his Ashram / Foundation. He’s a mystic and a yogi who facilitates mediation and yoga programs all over the world. The Ashram has a Dhyanalinga yogic temple, with a 13 foot 9 inch lingam made of high density granite. The temple is purely a meditative space that does not ascribe to any particular faith or belief system. The Isha Foundation is a non-religious non-profit organization entirely run by volunteers. One of the many social initiatives funded is called Project GreenHands. The project is currently in the Guinness Book of World Records for planting over 8.2 million trees by over 2 million volunteers. I decided to throw caution to the wind one more time and do the program.

“I have many friends that go there. I’ve been once. It’s very powerful. It’s magical. You’ll experience magic after a week there. Really,” he said. I could feel the excitement in his voice.

Not knowing how to respond I stayed quiet. Silently I was thinking, “Good,  I want to experience magic in India. I wonder what he means.” I listened to him tell me about a German colleague that was considering going to the Ashram on his last visit to their office in Coimbatore. In the end the colleague decided not to go. He wasn’t open to a new experience  that he  didn’t understand or have context for. It sounded like he was trying to advise me to stay open to a mystical and spiritual experience. Something different from our Western ways of thinking and understanding. Again,  I sat quietly nodding my head and agreeing it was about staying open.

After the plane landed we said goodbye at the baggage terminal, he gave me his business card and said, “Here’s my email, please write me after your week there. I would really like to hear what you experience. Really. Please tell me about it.”

I smiled politely and gave my word that I would send him an email as we shook hands and said goodbye.  Waiting for my bag at the carousel, I felt inside this was the sign I was heading to the next place I needed to be. Whatever doubts or negative thoughts I was holding onto were all in my head.

timthumb

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Family Friends

Looking for a break from the crowds at the Trevi Fountain, I sit at an outside table on the cobblestone road of Via del Lavatore and order a beer. Next to me, two American college guys are talking to each other in low, monotone voices. As I look up, one of them flashes a smile. He has rectangular, thick, black glasses, a light five o’clock shadow and a rash of faint pimples all over his neck. Leaning forward he says to his buddy,

“So any cute girls in Madrid?”

“Yeah, there are cute girls.” his friend replies matter of factly. There’s an awkward pause between them.

“Do you have a girlfriend or something like that?” asks the guy with the glasses.

“I did …at some point…” his friend says. As he leans back in his chair I notice his blue, flannel button down shirt is tucked neatly into his pants. His hair is neatly trimmed and his skin is smooth and shaven. Before he can finish he’s interrupted by, “At some point? Where was she from? Did you split up or something?”

“Nicaragua. Right before summer,” the guy in the flannel shirt responds quietly.

There’s a lingering silence in the conversation. Two more people sit down at a table on the other side of me. The guy in the blue flannel shirt leans forward and rests his arms on the table hugging his beer.

The guy wearing glasses asks, “Yeah… sooo…how do you like the Peroni?”

Looking up from his beer he perks up, “It’s good… remember when we all went out for dinner that night with your father and we were so smashed. Charlie was SO nervous and he was like, the only one who was completely fine. It was me, I think both Joes were there, Connor…”

They laugh together.  Tossing his head to the left, his heavy bangs brush against his thick glasses as he remembers, “Yeah, you guys were SMASHED. It was so funny.”

“I think your Mom knew and like, that’s why she drank back that whole bottle of wine,” the guy in the flannel shirt chuckles.

The kid with the black glasses has an air of cool, collegiate confidence. “She totally knew. Yeah, you can’t fool Carrie, she the master of knocking back bottles of wine.” He laughs at the thought of it, “Yeah good times. A lot of fun.” Sitting up in his chair he looks into his glass before taking another sip. In a slightly louder, sing song voice he says,

“Sooo, tonight we’ll go to Campo de Fiori … 1 Euro shots…then Trastevere. Trastevere’s fun, it’s like where all the study abroad students go. Some cool bars there.”

Both sit back in their chairs as the late afternoon breeze ruffles the red and white checkered table cloths. People walk by looking at maps and pointing towards the Trevi Fountain. A waiter leans against the doorway of the restaurant with his arms folded watching people go by. I glance over at the two guys and smile, remembering a time when I had almost the same conversation in a different setting.

After a moment, the guy with the black glasses breaks the silence, “Well, do you want to pay and keep walkin’?”

“Yeah”, the guy in the flannel shirt says, “Sounds good.”