"I've always depended on the kindness of strangers."

Paris Travel Blog

 › entry 28 of 31 › view all entries
    "I'm sorry.  No ticket, no ride."  As the Conductor walks away from me, I feel the bile in my gut rise as I start to simultaneously sweat.  My train is about to leave.  I am not on my train.
    "Please, sir."  I try to keep the panic out of my voice.  "Isn't there anyone else I can talk to?  I have to be in Paris tomorrow."  He shakes his head.  I beg again.  And again.  He takes me to the Train Manager.
    The Train Manager listens to my online f--- up of my ticket and has me follow him to another manager and the Conductor. 
    I tell them my sotry again.  I bought my ticket online.  I can't read Italian - I didn't know I was supposed to pick up a paper ticket in Milan, a city that a) I've never to and b) is NOT my departure city.  (I mean, who does that anyway?)  I need to be in Paris tomorrow.  Please.  Pretty please?
    The three talk to each other rapidly in Italian.  I listen intently despite my non-comprehension.  As they continue to debate my fate, I sense my situation is getting increasingly desperate.  I am two steps away froma  panic-anxiety-heart attack.  It'll be a new case for the Medical Examiner.
    Unconciously, I start to whimper.
    The three of them stop their conversation and look at me.  I must have looked pretty pathetic because they suddenly simultaneously agree to let me on the train.
    I break into relief - I try to express my gratitude in my clumsy Italian.
    The Train Manager takes a fatherly interest in my well being after he finds out I am traveling alone.  He checks up on me from time to time.  He makes me lock the door to my cabin.  He brings me water. 

    Safely on my train, I feel a rush of gratitude for life, the Universe, and everything.  I don't know about you, but I believe in Karma.  And it's not just about your reincartnated Next Life - I believe it's also about What goes around comes around and You get what you give and People get what they deserve.
    I took this Random Act of Kindness to me as a blessing.  Or, as someone watching over me.  Or, Karma coming back to me.  It only reinforces for me that as long as I work hard, do good, and love with everything I got - everything's gonna be alright.

    "In the end, only kindness matters." 
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photo by: Sweetski