From the September 1992 magazine.

A Favorable Rate of Exchange

This February 9 was four years since my bottom was reached and I began to experience God's grace one day at a time. Part of this sobriety has been spent traveling, both for business and pleasure. My first sober vacation was in the summer of 1987. I was a year-plus sober and my wife and I were off to London and Switzerland for a three-week trip.

After arriving at our hotel in London, I phoned AA. They told me of a directory of meetings and the nearest meeting to our hotel. I rested from the flight and then set off for the meeting, which was in the basement of a church in Shepherd's Market. There was a table out with tea and coffee and a Scottish lad with strong features, a hearty warm grip, and a smiling voice. He reached out and said, "My name is Robert and I'm an alcoholic." What a wonderful experience, all the way across the ocean and here was the Fellowship of AA available if only I would seek it. That meeting was a powerful one for me as I took it in and listened with all the intensity I could muster. The Scottish, Irish, and English accents were all new sounds to my ears, but they were all talking AA. After the meeting, Robert asked if I'd like to go for a coffee. We went around the corner to a little cafe for a few minutes. During that time it wasn't what was said, but the experience that took place. A friendship had been struck. Robert told me that they didn't commonly use medallions in England, but was interested in mine. I left with him my one-year medallion and sent him an eleven-year medallion upon my return home. The one-year medallion he passed on to the next person he knew who had a year birthday.

-- Jim H.

Scottsbluff, Nebraska

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