I was on my solo trip to a foreign land. Out of a sense of adventure, I decided to use the public bus to get around places. As it turned out, I was on the wrong one and the bus was heading towards the opposite direction from where I intended to get to. Perplexed, I tried to ask the passengers around me, but apparently no one showed signs of understanding. Suddenly, I felt a tap on my shoulder, it was a woman cradling a crying baby. She was about in her 30s. Her other young son clung tightly to her leg.
She motioned for me to follow her out of the bus. She spoke little English but suffice to understand my situation. After telling me the bus number I needed to get, I thanked her and reckoned she would turn around and walk away. Instead, she was standing at the bus stop with me, nodding her head from time to time, with an occasional toothy smile flashing across her weary face. The baby already stopped crying and looked at her with wide eyes. Her young son wandered around the bus stop with a lollipop on his mouth. His earlier apprehension on the bus was totally gone.
We stood there for a good 30 minutes, almost half the time in silence. Usually, this kind of silence would slide into awkwardness but not in this case for the genuine kindness she showered on me has transcended beyond the language barrier.
When the bus finally arrived, she leaned in the bus door and spoke to the driver, waving at me to get on the bus. With limited English words, she assured me that the driver would alert me when nearing my stop. I thanked her profusely and boarded the bus. From the rear window of the bus, I could see her holding her baby’s hand up to wave goodbye to me. Her toddler son jumped up with both arms in the air and screamed in delight. Despite her being a stranger to me, I felt a tinge of sadness as we parted ways.
That was 18 years ago, both her sons must have grown up into a teenager and adult now. It would never have crossed her mind that a little good deed she did to a stranger many years ago has completely transformed a traveler’s perspective. A little act of kindness from a stranger I experienced on that humid afternoon has since inspired me to travel with kindness and without fear.
Humans are innately good at heart. Many people, no matter what circumstances and backgrounds they come from, will always come to your aid in times of need.
Cover image by 2d station on Unsplash. The copyright of this piece belongs to the author of this literary work.
Copied and pasted from Eksentrika.
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