Saturday, May 17, 2008

Kindness of People

More than once on this trip I have been so struck by the kindness of strangers.
  • We arrived in Strasbourg after dark and did not have a good city map. Paul stopped at the only place we found open - a Chinese restaurant. A friend of the owner was just leaving and told us to follow him and he would indicate where to turn. We followed and thought he indicated turning and we did - lost again. A few minutes later, the man pulled up beside us and drove ahead of us so we could find our hotel. What kindness!
  • A small gesture - again in Strasbourg we were looking for a spot in the shade at a restaurant. A portly gentleman insisted we take the table beside him that his wife had vacated. Then when the waiter neglected to get us cutlery, he got up himself to get it for us.
  • We were looking for a place for a light bite in Budapest when we were stopped by a short elderly woman who asked us in impeccable French if we spoke French. She apologized that there was not a lot in the area, but directed us to some possibilities. She told us she was born in Paris but had lived in Budapest since the 30s
  • A man who spoke no English managed to understand we were looking for the metro and helped direct us there.
Small gestures, but they make travel a warmer, more human experience.

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