30 Day Travel Series: Kung Fu Julian Saves Me From An Intruder

As the door cracked open I saw Julian pop up and take Kung Fu position on top of the mattress.

You know when you just get a creepy feeling from something and you can't put your finger on why? That is how Julian and I both felt about our $15-a-night hotel room in a small town in central Vietnam.

When we arrived, the lady at the front desk acted as though she hadn't encountered a soul in weeks. She talked and talked and talked, sort of looking right past us, telling us all kinds of facts and figures about the hotel. We didn’t care at all. After ten minutes of painful listening I just dramatized our situation to get us our key. I interrupted her and said, “We don’t mean to be short, but we have to prepare for a big workday tomorrow and we are both really stressed so could we just have the key?”

The hotel room was huge and bare. In the bathroom there was something bubbling out of a drain on the floor. The balcony offered a view the town. There was a small extra bed off to the side, it seemed like no one had slept there in years.

After dinner, Julian dozed off on the bed and I was next to him, trying to write a blog. Our huge room was like a sauna; we had the fan on but I still couldn’t concentrate. I decided to go onto our balcony, where it was still hot but at least there was a bit of a breeze. I hit a stride in my writing and was outside for hours.

I pushed the doors open quietly to come back in. As the door cracked open I saw Julian pop up and take Kung Fu position on top of the mattress. I could see that confused sleepy look in his eyes and his glasses resting on the bedside table. I knew he could barely see without them. Before I could react, he launched himself across the room toward me in a fighting mode I'd never seen.

I waved my hands in front of my face and shrieked, “It's me, it's me, it's me!!” I started to let out a blood curdling scream but as he was about to touch me he stopped and his hands dropped to his side. In his sleepy voice he said, “You scared me,” and hugged me. “This place is creepy,” he said. I agreed. “So creepy.”

As I was laying there trying to sleep I asked him, “You were going to strangle me, huh?”

He rolled over and said, “I don't know, I was just going to protect you from that intruder.”

This is one of 30 untold stories of launching a global project (with my boyfriend, Julian) about love, story telling and connecting change makers.

Read all 30 days here: http://www.smithmag.net/community/people.php/HBOX

Throughout Vietnam, South Africa, and Uganda, we engaged with 650 everyday people working to make the world a better place to share their stories. Inevitably, there were parts of our adventures we couldn’t tell while on the road, because we were a start up trying to prove our merits as a serious social change project or because of nervous families monitoring our journey. But the truth is while we worked passionately to bring our dream project to life we also had an adventure of a lifetime. Here are the stories behind the stories of the Million Person Project: http://www.millionpersonproject.org.


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