Homeless – Are You? Travel Tales From USA

Homeless? Handling two laptops at a time
Homeless? Handling two laptops at a time

It was November of 2006. I was in Houston, Texas for an assignment. It was my penultimate day there. Between me and a colleague, we had to submit this huge report of the work done before we could take off our flight back home. That was a lot of work and we were sure stressed out. Around 8 in the evening we left office. And decided to have our last dinner at our favorite Italian restaurant before going home to a working night. As luck would have it, the restaurant was full. There was an expected wait time of about 30 minutes. We looked at each other and decided to sit outside and wait. We did not want to miss our favorite dinner. Anyway, it would consume more time to find another restaurant in the vicinity.

Homeless? – Travel Tales

As the waiting area was also full, we sat on the pavement outside. And without a second thought opened our respective laptops and started working. We really did not have a choice, for 30 minutes was too much of a time to be lost. After 15-20 minutes, my colleague got up to go to the washroom. Now I had two laptops in my hand and I was actually using both of them as work involved cross-referencing few documents.

I realized a crazy looking man circling around me and trying to figure out what am I doing? His intruding gaze was irritating me. But in the interest of time, I decided to ignore him. Since there were quite a few people around waiting to get in the restaurant I did not feel any threat from him. He kept moving around, trying to read my face and sometimes the laptop screens.

Hungry with lots of work

Finally, I looked up with my irritated expression asking ‘What?’. Before I could utter a word, he asked me ‘Are you a homeless person with two laptops?’. And my reflex action response was ‘No, I am a hungry person with lots of work’.

He did not get my answer instantly. I spoke two more sentences to explain to him my situation and got back to my document. He was not convinced by my answer but he left me alone after that. Later when I thought about it I realized, It was one of those moments when I got to see my world from his perspective. Here I was sitting on a roadside pavement with two laptops. And two backpacks in front of me, he was obviously confused if I am homeless. But then how can a homeless person afford to have two laptops. It had not even stuck me that sitting on the pavement can be an indication of being homeless. I am sure my work stressed expression would have added to the required aura to the scene.

I usually tell this story as an entertaining incidence. But these are those unplanned, in between moments during your travels. That actually gives you the deepest insight into the local ethos that can be so much different than your own.

Recommend you read following on my travel in the USA.

Memories of a lone visit to New York, USA

Anecdotes from Houston, Texas – Short Trip

A game called Baseball – Houston, Texas


  1. India is a place where in every step you can experience something or the other. In fact, this is a place that gets you addicted as much as you explore. Each nook and corner is like a plethora of images and color and it gets better when you delve deep into it. India is a picturesque country and every moment you get something to get intrigued about. That’s how India is – colorful, adventurous and gorgeous. I love your blog and the posts because it is able to bring out that zing about India.

    Divya Bhaskar

  2. Hi! First I would like to give a lot of thanks for your experience in the USA travel. you shared here that you were accessing two laptops at a time, lt looks like a funny but your interests about the work are really great.


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