By Nora Vasconcelos
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.”