Beef Jerky

A bit of sweat perched on my upper lip. My hair, sticking to my neck, has volume unknown to me in the States. Curly, wild, and hot. I need a hair tie.

I brush my lip with the top of my hand and shuffled through my sack for something to pull my hair back with. I found an elastic band and whipped my hair into a bun atop my head. Relief.

My backpack was digging into my shoulders, so I sat down and put my bags at my side. A moment of peace. I had made it.

I had made it….and I was starving. Thank goodness for my snack pack, which I had hardly gotten into on my way to this country due to excited nerves. My beef jerky hadn’t yet been opened so I grabbed the red package and with a quick pull I ripped it open. The smell, even for someone like me who doesn’t eat much meat, made my mouth water. Dang, I really was hungry.

At that moment something strange came over me. When I had sat down, I noticed a lady sitting to my right, with leather skin, and wise eyes. She was looking straight ahead waiting for the bus like I was, minding her manners. Within a half second from opening the fresh package of jerky I tilted my hand to the right, near the woman, and raised my brow ever so slightly. A silent offering.

With a quiet smile and a slight nod she gently reached into the bag and took a small piece of beef, without saying a word. I, too, reached in the bag and began enjoying my piece. We both chewed slowly, savoring the juices and salt. Her bus came and she got up, and just before getting on the bus she turned her head, just enough to look back at me, and flash me a huge, toothy smile, as if to say “Welcome to Colombia. You’re going to like it here.”

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Being Bohemia Business Casual is a collection juxtaposing the unconventional and professional. It’s an exploration of art and imagination peppered with the ordinary and routine. It’s more than surviving the 9 to 5 – it’s about thriving the 9 to 5. Join me as I navigate a budding career and the world around me as best as I know how.

2 thoughts on “Beef Jerky

  1. I absolutely loved this short story! I was there: hot, sweaty, hungry. I could smell the jerky, picture the woman perfectly and feel the shared kindness and peace. Well done Leah Jane.


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