The Kindness of Strangers

By Nora Vasconcelos

kindeness by NVS

Finding the kindness of strangers is something that always brings back to me my faith in humanity, and I should say that I’ve been truly fortunate, because in many occasions, particularly while traveling, I’ve found a friendly hand coming to my help.

I remember in this moment particularly two situations that have marked my affection for the English people.

It was my first day in London, after some years I hadn’t visited the city, and even when I remembered well the main landmarks, I still needed the help of a map to move around.

While opening my map -yes, one of those that spread everywhere and unfold in an awkward way while fighting with the wind- a businessman who passed by me in a hurry to catch his bus, came back to see how he could assisted me.

Surprised, and really grateful, I thanked him, but asked him to hurry up so he could catch his bus. But he didn’t leave. He said he’d take the next one. He wanted to be sure I’d understood all the directions correctly so that I wouldn’t get lost.

One I got my bearings, I assured him I was really sure what way to go. It was only then when he left, in a hurry again, walking fast to catch the next bus that was arriving at that moment.

Some days later, after doing some traveling around the country, my bags had grown in size and weight, as it always happens when one is having a great time buying those unique things that you know you’ll be able to find only in that little hidden store of a charming town in the countryside far away from where you started your journey.

So, coming back to London, I didn’t find any problems getting onto the train, as it was a terminal station. But where I was supposed to get off the train, it was meant to continue to other stations, so I’d only  have a little time to pick up my luggage and leave the train.

I was still on route to my stop and I worried for a moment. I said to myself “how am I going to take everything out on time!” But the anguish lasted only for a short time, as I knew, I was sure, that someone would help me out. And so it happened!

Faster than I could realize it, a man and a woman helped me to carry my bags while exiting the train. So so nice of them!

Then, a couple of minutes later, while I was trying to place the bags in a way that I could carry them all the way to the door of the terminal in which I could take a taxi, a young lady, wearing a suit as if she was coming to the city to work, took one of my bags, smiled at me and said “let’s go”. And she helped me all the way until we reached the right exit.

Those moments, and the faces of these two people, have remained in my head over the years. Helping me feel better when times are hard and I need some certainty that in this crazy world there’s always someone kind enough as to take some time or go into some trouble, just to be sure that you wil be alright.

To all those kind people out there, thanks again!

***

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “The Kindness of Strangers.”

 

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Weekly Photo: Muse

By Nora Vasconcelos

Muse by NVS

Thinking about a particular thing or place I would choose as a muse, I chose this image because it includes all what I find a source of inspiration, and that’s all what comes with Nature, combined with some wonderful man-made structures.

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Muse.”

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The unexpected adventure of traveling through time

By Nora Vasconcelos

timetravel by NVS
From The Time Machine, first published by H.G Wells in 1895, to The End of Eternity, by Isaac Asimov (1955), Time Traveling has been a subject that has fascinated writers for years and years.

In some cases, the main character has some sort of control regarding the places he or she wants to visit, in some others, it’s totally at random.

In The Accidental Time Machine, by Joe Haldeman, as the title says, the adventures of Matt Fuller started after an experiment he was doing at a lab in Boston began to act funny.

One night, while taking a devise home, he discovers that it has “moved” a short distance from the original place he had left it, after he has manipulated this particular box. Working some equations, he thinks that what he has in his hands is some sort of time machine, so he decides to see how it works.

As it’s a small device, he places a small turtle, with all its habitat (food and water), onto the box, and with the help of a camera, he records what is the first time travel for such a little pet.

As time passes by, Matt realizes that the machine travels are exponential, so with some practice and a lot of equations, he’s able to determine up to what moment in time the machine will travel, however, up to this point, it remains unknown for him where the box goes.

As his experiments continue, and his life turns completely around them, Matt discovers that if he joins the machine with a car, using a wire, he’s able to travel through time as well.

This is when the real adventure starts for him. As he’s able to know for how long he’ll be away, he can prepare some supplies, however, he’s never certain where he will end up, so he has to prepare a bit of everything, “just in case”.

Accidents happen every time he uses the machine, and more people are affected, in positive or negative ways, when he arrives to different eras and places. But somehow, he manages to return to his hometown in Boston, many many years later from the time he started traveling.

Then he has to learn all about this new life, in which he ignores many customs and appears as an expert in some other fields. Currencies are different, although people always speaks his language, with some variations, and clothes vary a lot.

With every adventure, he has to learn how to trust people, and how to let them go as well, but problems always remain in the past, as any time things go sour, he just clicks a little button and there he goes, traveling through time again.

At the end, what might have seemed an ideal situation, turns into something unexpected, what allows Matt, finally, to find some stability and happiness, with a life that little resembles that one that he left behind that uneventful night when accidentally he discovered his time machine.

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Weekly Photo: Rainbow Colors

By Nora Vasconcelos

Truly Cheerful!

Truly Cheerful!

It’s quite a lucky day when you happen to find in only one place the colors of the rainbow making a place look brighter and more charming. This what caught my attention about this artistic display which colors a place that otherwise would be somber.

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “ROY G. BIV.”

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Book and Trees: A bet for the Future

By Nora Vasconcelos

Forest

Recently, it was announced that the first book of the Future Library project had been delivered by Canadian author Margaret Atwood. The manuscript, titled Scribbler Moon, will be published in 2114.

In an essay shared by the Future Library, Atwood considers this project “the material basis for the transmission of words through time… as a time capsule, since the author who marks the words down and the receiver of those words – the reader – are always separated by time.”

Margaret

This project was developed by the Scottish artist Katie Paterson. Along with the collection of unpublished works, the futuristic plan includes an ecological component, as 1000 trees have been planted in a forest right outside the Norwegian capital, Oslo, so that the plants and the words will grow together in time. When the 100 years have passed, the manuscripts will be published, using the wood from these trees to produce all the paper needed.

Katie

Year after year, an author will deliver a new manuscript, in this case, David Mitchell is the one in charge of creating the next new literary piece, which is set to be delivered in 2016.

Quoting Chinese proverbs, Mitchel said about this challenge: “is the basking in the shade of trees planted a hundred years ago, trees which the gardener knew would outlive him or her, but which he or she planted anyway for the pleasure of people not yet born.”

By this way, Mitchell sees this project as “a vote of confidence that, despite the catastrophist shadows under which we live, the future will still be a brightish place willing and able to complete an artistic endeavour begun by long-dead people a century ago.”

According to the Future Library, all the manuscripts “will be held in trust in a specially designed room in the New Deichmanske Public Library”, which will opened its doors in 2018, in Oslo, Norway. There, the authors’ names and titles of their works will be on display, “but none of the manuscripts will be available for reading – until their publication in one century’s time.”

future library

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Weekly Photo: Off-Season

By Nora Vasconcelos

Waiting for the kids to come!

Waiting for the kids to come!

 

Walking by a park I came across this empty carrousel, with some strings around holding some of the decorations, waiting for the tourist season to start.

***

In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Off-Season.”

 

 

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Weekly Photo: Vivid

By Nora Vasconcelos

 Vivid by NVS

I love the composition of this photo, all the elements combine quite well to reflect a vivid moment; it’s not only a couple dancing in a party, but also a palette of colors, the design of the place, the people standing around, the musicians playing live… It’s like being inside the picture!

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Vivid.”

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