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Author Topic: Kindness - travellers' saviours  (Read 2983 times)

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Kindness - travellers' saviours
« on: January 28, 2007, 09:44:29 AM »
I just thought about sharing this story with you in here. It happened to me when I was travelling the Asian countires.
I was in a overnight travel in a big boat, and as a poor student, I shared my room with three girls. They were all students who studied at the previous country, and going home for a summer vacation. We hit off very well, and had very nice conversations about our countries and funny stories. I can still recall the strong sea wind on my cheeks on the deck as we talked. 

After a night of trip, we are about to make a land. We said goodbye, promising to keep in touch. After walking out from the passport controll building alone, I suddenly noticed the shocking truth: the day was Sunday, which means every currency change (mainly banks) was closed. I planned to go to my Youth Hostel by subway, but they don't accept my credit card. Worse, the taxi in the country doesn't accept the credit card.

I was at a loss, cursing my foolishness in my head. Then I noticed that one of the girl I shared the room was standing there, with her husband. She noticed me too, asked me what's wrong. I asked them if they knew some place to exchange money in the city. They said yes, but didn't recommend it because of the ultra-bad exchange rate they have, and the place was too far from there. Next moment, he pulled out his wallet and handed me a few bills, saying I could survive by this until the next day. I hesitated, but said many thanks and exchanged the money with him (we knew the rate, it's almost always the same exchange rate). She told me not to worry about bothering them about exchanges, since she could use my money next time she went back to there.

And then, he picked out some coins from his wallet and gave it to me! Before I opened my mouth, he said "Buy a metro ticket - the machine does not accept paper bills".  When I opened my purse to pick up my coins, they stopped me, saying they didn't take ticket money from me. I insisted, but they talked me out of it. They also directed me to the right metro station.

When I got teary and said how nice they were, they just smiled and he said: "I was once in your country, and a lot of people helped me when I was travelling". I don't know how to say enough thank you to both of them, AND someone who helped them in my country.  I always do my best to help travellers from then.


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Re: Kindness - travellers' saviours
« Reply #1 on: January 28, 2007, 12:29:29 PM »
In my first summer at grad school in the UK, a friend and I decided to go "inter-railing" in Europe for a month. We set off on the ferry and then the train, and arrived in Paris late in the evening. We'd met up with some American boys, and since it was a warm June evening and we hadn't arranged anywhere to stay, we all decided to head for a Park and just camp out until morning. I was the only one who spoke much French, and my friend just a bit. So eventually we find this park (all carrying backpacks), about 11 at night, and a French couple notice us looking at our map and ask if they can help. We explain we're just looking for somewhere out of the way we can hang out, and they're very nice and ask if we all want to come over to their flat nearby for a cup of tea or coffee first. We were surprised, grateful, but a bit suspicious, but we had the big strong boys with us so thought it was worth a try.

And I think this couple were just the nicest people I'd ever met. We hung out there until about 2 am, and then said we'd better go. The boys headed back off for the park, but my friend and I were exhausted. We noticed a little corner behind the staircase in this apartment building, and decided to hunker down there out of the way until morning, hoping no one would notice us. Just then the nice French chap ran downstairs -- someone had forgotten something and he wanted to see if he could catch us. My friend and I were terribly embarassed to be caught camping out there, and explained we just wanted to nap a bit until dawn. And he invited us to come and sleep in their flat! He said they didn't have room for all of us, or they would already have offered, but my friend and I were welcome to stretch out on the floor.

That was the first night of my trip, and I think I managed to pay it back on my return. At the end of a hellish 24 hour journey back from Vienna, I was chatting to a German girl opposite me on the train. She was heading to my town, and asked me if I knew where the youth hostel was. But we were going to arrive about 11 at night, so it might have been a problem her getting in. I had a spare bed in my flat, so i invited her to come and stay at my place for the night.



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Re: Kindness - travellers' saviours
« Reply #2 on: January 28, 2007, 08:11:59 PM »
I remember decades ago, my mom and I would catch a bus at a nearby mall and go here and there.  My stepfather would drop us off at the bus stop and pick us up when we got back.

One day, we got back  late (about 9 pm) and I went off to find a pay phone to call my stepfather to pick us up.

I went back to meet my mother and she was talking with this lady, who had a small child.  She was from Poland and had been given bad bus directions and had missed the last bus of the day.  My mom (believe it or not) worked for the bus company and knew all the bus routes and schedules.

Anyways, she volunteered my stepfather to drive this lady back to her hotel.  He speaks fluent Polish and chatted with her the entire time.  He had a golfball on the dashboard of his car and the lady's child was fascinated with it.  What the heck, my stepfather  even gave him the golfball!