Like I said, I was a bit too busy to do this yesterday, so I’m using it as today’s Weekend Extra instead.
Or something like that.
Have you ever had a random encounter or fleeting moment with a stranger that stuck with you?
Hmm. Let me think.
I used to deliver junk mail around my block, and I would sometimes have rather strange conversations with strangers, although nothing too exciting. One guy asked me once if I was carrying a baby in the backpack that I was using to carry the junk mail. That was weird. He was probably in his 50s or 60s. Another time, a kid poked his tongue out at me, and me, being the immature person that I was (and still am), I poked my tongue out at him in return. He then ran up to his dad, and told him that “that lady poked her tongue out at me!” I was about 14.
But I can’t think of anything particularly exciting or interesting.
OK. I just thought of something slightly more interesting. Still kind of boring, but it fits the requirements.
When I was eight, my family and I went on a month long holiday to Canada and the US. This was the first time that my brothers and I had left New Zealand, and the first time we had been on a plane, so it was pretty awesome. Add in the fact that we went to Disneyland, and you basically have a dream holiday.
Other then our bags getting lost, of course.
But anyway. I think we had a total of about 10 flights on this holiday, give or take a couple. And while we managed to all get seats together on most of them, there were a couple that we were split up on. I ended up by myself, away from my family on one of them. I think they were actually just a couple of rows back or something like that. So I was sitting next to this girl. She was probably in her late teens or early twenties. She didn’t talk to me very much on the flight, but at some point we had a conversation, and she seemed really nice. After we got off the plane and were collecting our bags, I saw her again and she smiled and waved at me.
I don’t know why I remember her. I think I was just really scared about being by myself (since I was only eight), and sitting next to someone nice just calmed my fears a bit.
Oooh now I’m thinking about a whole load of travel stories that I could share for this.
OK. Two more strangers.
The first was the guy at our hotel in Vancouver. Same holiday. We were at this really nice place, and the guy at the front desk was really nice and really friendly to us all the whole time we were there. At one point, we were leaving the hotel for the day, and I got in the elevator before everyone else did, and it left with just me. Being only eight, I was really scared and freaking out, but the guy in the lobby waited with me and talked to me to calm me down until the rest of my family made it down. He was nicer than he needed to be.
Less than half an hour after that, we were getting on the train, and I wasn’t paying attention, and I just about didn’t make it on. I’m pretty sure someone held the door open or something while my dad grabbed me and pulled me on.
That wasn’t the other stranger, by the way.
The other strangers (I’ve decided to just make it a collective group of strangers) were the people on my plane on my flight over to Brisbane. At the end of 2013, I went over to Aussie by myself to visit a friend of mine. I hadn’t been on a plane since our holiday when I was eight, and I had never been on one by myself before. I was fifteen, which meant that I wasn’t technically a minor, but I was a bit hesitant to travel by myself, so I got treated like an unaccompanied minor, to put it simply. I had someone with me at all times between leaving my family at the airport and meeting up with my friends’ family in Aussie. And every single one of those people was so nice. The air hostesses treated myself and the other minor like we were first class passengers or something. We got to sit at the back of the plane, away from everyone else. I got breakfast on the plane, even though I’m not entirely sure that I was meant to. The other minor, a thirteen year old girl, was also very nice. Everyone was just so friendly and caring, and it really helped to calm my nerves and get me excited about my trip.
Alright. One more person. The guy that held up the bus for me. My mum was dropping us off at the bus stop one morning, but the bus was early. I forgot to shut my car door, and by the time I had run back and shut it, the bus had pulled away from the curb. However, a random guy crossing the street held up the bus for me, getting it to stop and wait.
All of these encounters stick with me, because these random people went above and beyond to be kind to me, a stranger. Sure, some of them were paid for it, but they didn’t have to be as kind as they were. Their kindness helped to make a stressful situation into a good memory for me, simply because they did something small to be kind.
And I thought that this post was going to be short.