Favorite "Good Samaritan" story

Mar 21st, 2007, 07:50 PM
  #1  
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Favorite "Good Samaritan" story

Actually ours occurred in New Zealand this past year. Driving our rented motorhome into Queensland after dark, I had a blowout on a front tire. After wrestling the vehicle to the side of the road, I wondered about our fate.

The first vehicle to pass was another motorhome which pulled over in front of us. Out jumped an energetic Kiwi who exclaimed, "Let's fix it!" Turns out he had worked in a tire repair center and had all the heavy equipment with him to change the tire. And he promptly did. His wife and two children were also very nice and friendly--so we treated them all to a nice dinner when we made it on in to Queensland.

Also the lady at the desk of the camper park got on the phone and promptly lined up someone to bring a new tire out by 7am the next morning--amazing, since that day was a national holiday.

Amazing folks, those Kiwis.

Jinx Hoover
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Mar 21st, 2007, 08:12 PM
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Getting off the airport to town bus in Glasgow, a young woman ran up to me yelling 'You dropped your wallet/billfold type thing'. I was too jetlagged to even offer her the price of a pint. Hopefully what goes around.........
icithecat is offline  
Mar 21st, 2007, 11:01 PM
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I have told this tale before on this Forum, but it deserves to be told again.

Many years ago, 1973 to be exact, a Yugoslav fellow dove into the water to save my daughter.

Our family of six, Myself, Practice Wife, and four small kids were cruising the Med in our ketch. We pulled into Gruz, the port for Dubrovnik, for fuel and provisions. I had taken a bus to the airport to pick up a package forwarded to us, and got hung up in Yugoslav customs fantasy land.

Our kids NEVER were out of life jackets while on deck, but one of my daughters, taking advantage of my wife being distracted by the other three, wandered onto the quai. In her five year old logic she took off her life jacket because she "was on land".

Keplunk, into the water she goes.

Splash, into the water goes this nice, fully clothed, Yugoslav chap to rescue her. He deposits the sodden, bawling, child on deck in front of my terrified wife, smiles and walks off without even getting our heartfelt thanks.

Thank you Dalmatia!

nukesafe is offline  
Mar 23rd, 2007, 02:03 PM
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Back in 1994 my mother and I were returning to Mardrid after we spending some time in Seville. I had booked the same hotel and when we arrived in the early evening, they had given our room to someone else, even though I told them we were arriving after 6pm! They didn't care and I had to find another place. We had even stored one suitcase of our shopping goodies, so they KNEW we were returning! While my mother stood in the street with our suitcases, I went off to find a place (this was near Plaza Mayor) with this young man, who had booked the same hotel and overhead my conversation with the owner or manager of the evening. He offered to help me find a place. After going to about 4 hotels in the area, I finally found one. Got back to my mother who was frantic and worried and smoking up a storm. We were both ready for a drink! The man joined us and I bought him a drink - he declined my offer of dinner. I wish I had gotten his name/address, but I'll never forget him or that terrible night!

Monica
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Mar 23rd, 2007, 02:39 PM
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A while ago my friend and I ran out of money in Perugia. We didn't even have enough money to take the bus to go to Rome/Fiumicino for our flight. This sweet Moroccan couple that we befriended drove us there for free. They are quite possibly the nicest people I have ever met anywhere in the world.
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Mar 23rd, 2007, 02:44 PM
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Mar 23rd, 2007, 02:54 PM
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I was travelling in the US with my mom just before I graduated college. I was taking a tour of potential grad schools and we had covered a lot of miles.

One night, we had dinner at our hotel restaurant. It wasn't anything fancy and it was practically empty. We ate there because my mom, who uses a cane due to a spinal disability and is obese on top of it, was sore from sitting in the car all day.

After we ordered, I went up to the salad bar for her and got her a few things and sat back down. We ate, and had coffee and were wondering why the waitress hadn't brought the bill.

We flagged her down to ask for it, and she said the meal was already paid for. Apparently a gentlemen had been eating in the restaurant, and he picked up the tab for us.

Over the years, I've watched people give my mom incredibly mean looks and sometimes they make nasty comments due to her size. That night, she really felt special and almost normal again.

He probably had no idea.
aegris is offline  
Mar 23rd, 2007, 03:05 PM
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Lots of wonderful experiences, and the majority in Spain. Here are two recent events.

In November, I met up with my sisters in Madrid and drove to Salamanca to show them the glories of Spain. We had lunch in Avila, spent some time shopping and it was late and dark when we arrived in Salamanca. The hotel was in the centre of the historic town and we drove around and around for over an hour, in heavy traffic, trying to find it. It was SO frustrating!!!! As we passed the same spot for the 4th time, we saw two guys chatting and my sister flagged them down and asked for directions. One of the guys pointed to his truck (he was a builder) and indicated we should follow him. He not only brought us to the hotel, 20 minutes out of his way, he hopped out, took our luggage from the boot and carried it up the steps to the hotel. What a sweetheart!

Last month, I drove into Ubeda, Andalusia and ended up halfway down a one-way street, in the wrong direction, of course, and was faced with on-coming cars. Firstly, I was impressed that there was no bad-tempered honking of horns at this silly, blond bint, just polite and amused finger waving that I have done something naughty. I managed to pull over into a “no parking” driveway trying to figure out how I was going to get myself out of this mess, as the street was way too narrow to back the car up. There was a rap on the window and I faced two traffic cops. They asked for my license (and international driver’s permit – Those of you that think you don’t need one, please TAKE NOTE!). I told them the name of my hotel. One cop stopped traffic, while the other directed me to execute a perfect three-point reverse turn. He then hopped onto his motorbike and led me to my hotel.

I LOVE the Spanish
OReilly is offline  
Mar 23rd, 2007, 04:15 PM
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Autumn of 1979. The last day of my Eurailpass - I had been travelling through Europe after college for several months, and I was going home, broke. Was scheduled to fly Capitol Airways from Brussels to JFK (anybody remember them?). I appeared at Brussels Airport - Capitol was on strike, with all flights cancelled into the forseeable future! After considerable pleading, they were able to protect me on an Alia flight out of Amsterdam in a matter of hours, same day.

I high-tailed it to the Brussels train station, and took the train to Amsterdam. I literally had ten cents in my possession, no credit cards, no other money. Frantically, I asked random strangers in cars if they could drive me to the airport, as it was the only way to catch my flight.

You won't believe this - a taxi driver agreed to take me to the airport FOR FREE!! I am forever indebted to this kind gentleman... I never got his name, and I can't tell you how many times I've wished I could contact him to let him know how grateful I was.

I made it to the gate with no time to spare, and spent the entire flight wedged in between two very large football players who read comic books all the way home.
 
Mar 23rd, 2007, 05:05 PM
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Wonderful stories & I especially liked Aegris'.
Carrybean is offline  
Mar 24th, 2007, 10:02 PM
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Mine actually took place in the good ol' US of A. I will never forget it. 26 years ago, I was in the first trimester of my 2nd pregnancy. We were moving from North Carolina to Houston. My husband had to go ahead of me for a new job. My mom flew down and agreed to drive with me and my then-2year old daughter from NC to TX. I was sick as a dog. (of course..no morning sickness with the 1st one, lost 13 lbs in first trimester with the 2nd!). Almost as soon as we pulled away from the curb, my 2-year-old developed a raging case of well, not wanting to be too graphic, "Montezuma's Revenge". After a day of driving and having to stop often for her, we ended up on a Sunday evening in Atlanta. My mother was a nurse and said we needed to find a drug store and get some paraghoric (now commonly sold over the counter as immodiump; back then, usually behind the counter); my daughter was really sick. Well, we pulled into a truck-stop-like pancake house. We asked the waitress behind the counter where the nearest drugstore was. She said about 5 miles, but we'd never make it...they closed at 6pm on Sundays and it was 1 minute to 6. Before I could even get a word out, a young man at the counter said, "wait a minute". He ran out the front door. Two minutes later he came back in. He was a truck driver and had gotten on to his CB and found another trucker near that pharmacy. That trucker pulled in, ran to the pharmacy as they were locking the door and demanded they stay open until we got there. He said the other trucker was not leaving the pharmacy until we arrived. Then the trucker from the pancake house told us to follow him and took us directly to the pharmacy. Never met such incredible folks in my life. Thank heavens I believe that what goes around, comes around. I've since "repaid it forward" many times. I will never forget that trip through Atlanta.
sarge56 is offline  
Mar 24th, 2007, 10:11 PM
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It's not my story but an old friend's story.

She was on a business trip to DC and sitting on the plane to head home to Boston when the announcement came over that the flight was overbooked and they needed volunteers. They would be put on the next flight to Boston which left from another gate in 15 minutes and have a free ticket to anywhere else they wanted to go. She volunteered as did two other men.

They had to grab their bags and run to the other terminal for that last flight to Boston. She was struggling in her heels and carrying her bag so one of the men stopped and took her bag in addition to his and grabbed her hand and they ran to the terminal, caught the plane, sat next to each other and talked the whole way back, took that free trip to the Bahamas together and got married.

I just always loved that story.
beaupeep is offline  
Mar 24th, 2007, 10:48 PM
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All the posters have wonderful stories but aegris your story really touched my heart. But to think of people giving your mother mean looks and making comments, how sick is that? I wonder if people like that realize it is they that are weird or strange, not your dear mother. And the lovely "unknown" gentleman, I would imagine he brought a lot of joy to many people throughout his life.

My story is very simple but one I will never forget and one I have posted here on Fodors before.

It was in the 1970's and we flew to Italy for the first time. We had the plane tickets to Milan, a hotel for a couple of nights and that was more or less it. Well except for a car rental after a couple of days. Way before Fordor's lol.

We got to the hotel rather late so ate close by. The next day we started wandering around Milan. We stopped for espresso a few times. We were to meet an Italian friend later for lunch. My husband wanted to check out some leather good shops as he was interested in buying the mens type bag that all the men in Italy were using then. So we went into a beautiful little leather store and the older gentleman started showing my husband the large selection of mens bags. I suddenly needed a restroom..all that espresso, lol. The owners daughter was also working in the shop. I walked over to her and asked in my poor Italian (along with some jetlag) dove toilette? Meaning where in the vincinity. She smiled, took my hand, and guided me up some stairs. At the top of the landing she opened a door and took me into their private residence/apartment. She took me through a few rooms, opened up the door to their bathroom, smiled and left. When I left the bathroom she was not there. I went through their apartment (quite beautiful btw) and down the stairs to the shop.

Now as then I have always marveled at that. I was a stranger. She allowed me free access to their residence without evidently any worry about my stealing anything etc. Such human kindness.

My husband purchased a beautiful soft buttery leather mans shoulder bag (honest that was quite the style then and so practical) at the shop. The bag always made me smile..the kindness of a stranger to a stranger.
LoveItaly is offline  
Mar 25th, 2007, 01:16 AM
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While abroad it happened in Ireland. We were on a bus tour and had traveled to a new town and I was in a small independent tourist shop when I realized I left our camera in a post office about 3 hours away. The shop salesperson/owner overheard me and immediately picked up a phone book and tracked down the office to see if he could find my phone. Not surprisingly the camera was long gone but he told me there was a good chance it still could have been there. I was just surprised that someone hunted down the precise post office for us and made a long distance phone call with such thoughtfullness. Part of why I love Irish folks, they are such kind people. In general folks are mostly nice everywhere though.
travelinwifey is offline  
Mar 25th, 2007, 01:56 AM
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I have a "virtual" Samaritan story, plus a more conventional one.

The virtual Samaritan was a member of Flyertalk.com, another travel discussion forum of which I'm a member. Last spring, my mother was diagnosed with late stage lung cancer. A few weeks after her diagnosis, she suffered a stroke. We flew home from Paris to Vancouver and spent a wonderful two weeks, including our first wedding anniversary, with her and the rest of my family. We flew back to Paris in mid-May and planned another trip for mid-June. I also booked a ticket with Aeroplan miles for one of my mother's sisters so that she could visit my mom. Unfortunately, before those trips could take place, my mother suffered another stroke and we were advised that she probably wouldn't live for more than a day or two. When I first got this news, I searched on Flyertalk for discussions about bereavement fares, etc. I found a discussion thread started by Nordsfan, who had praised the compassion of Aeroplan in allowing him to rebook reward tickets when someone fell seriously ill. I added a message to his thread, asking for advice about how best to approach Air Canada with respect to changing our regular and reward tickets. We learned a few hours later that my mom had died. When I got up the next morning, there was a private message from Nordsfan advising me that he had sent my query to a senior manager at Aeroplan and gave me her contact details. I called her and she told me that she couldn't promise anything but that she would do whatever she could to rearrange schedules etc and that I could turn my mind to other things. Over the course of the day, as we scrambled to get organised to go home again, this very professional, pro-active and compassionate woman called me every few hours to give me an update. She arranged to have unavailable reward released for the flight my aunt needed to make the trip to Vancouver for the funeral. There were no change fees. She also made special arrangements regarding our own tickets. It was such a relief not to have to worry about these details - and the kindness of Nordsfan and the woman from Aeroplan were greatly appreciated.

Now, a more amusing, conventional Samaritan story involving my dad. About 10 years ago, he was flying on business from Vancouver to Toronto. He ended up seated beside a young mother with an infant who had already flown the trans-Pacific leg of the flight. She spoke very little English and clearly was very tired. When dinner service started, my dad managed to indicate to her that, if she wanted, he would eat first and then hold her baby while she ate. She accepted his offer, he took the baby and she promptly fell soundly asleep over her meal. My dad ended up holding the baby for almost all of the remainder of the flight - a time period that required a diaper change, which he carried out with the assistance of a flight attendant.
Kate_W is offline  
Mar 25th, 2007, 02:00 AM
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What a great thread. I love to read about good people doing simple things that help others so much. I've had some similar experiences but one stands out.

On one of my vagabonding trips through Europe a couple of decades ago I showed up in Amsterdam late in the afternoon. Rather than find a hotel I went directly to my favorite bar, the Cafe Hoppe at the Spui. It must have been summer because we were all drinking at the tables set up out on the sidewalk. It is not difficult to get into a chat with A'damers so I was soon engaged with a local lady. I told her that I had just arrived in town. She wanted to know where I was staying and I told her that I didn't know yet. It was getting on to 10 or 11 PM by then. This went on for a while and I thought that I was going to get lucky again. It happens often in Amsterdam. However she called to a gent at at the next table and spoke in such rapid Dutch that I couldn't understand. Then she turned back to me and told me that the gent was her husband, and offered a sleep in their apartment for the night. I accepted. They led me to their apartment in the center of the city and let me have their couch. In the morning they gave me a cup of espresso, I wished them a good day, and made my way out. If I could find them now I would buy them dinner.

hopscotch is offline  
Mar 25th, 2007, 04:01 AM
  #17  
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Help of fodor regulars in helping me with trip planning is a good enough samaritan story. Many of you reached out to me. Thanks!
 
Mar 25th, 2007, 04:54 AM
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A few years ago, I flew from Atlanta to Boston; DD drove there from Lewiston, Maine. We had a great weekend together and then headed back to our respective homes.

DD got caught up in a rotary and was spat out at the wrong place. In her attempts to get back on track, she became totally lost.

She spied a soccer game in progress at a roadside park and pulled over to ask for directions. Before she could even get out of the car, a young woman wearing white shorts, white tee, and white sneakers got out of a white VW Beetle, approached her and asked whether she could help. DD explained where she needed to go.

The young woman said the directions were a bit complicated, that DD should just follow her. The woman shouted to her companions that she'd be back "in a while." She drove for 30 minutes before waving DD in the right direction.

DD knew perfectly well why the woman was all in white.....
sallyjane3 is offline  
Mar 25th, 2007, 05:19 AM
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I just love these stories. A nice way to start my sunday morning!!

A short story took place here in my home town at a Target or some such store. A young couple with baby were arguing/discussing what they could afford - formula or diapers or groceries- how much, etcc..
I witnessed an older lady at the time (probably 50!) and she put many packs of diapers the brand of formula they were looking at and a gift card in a cart and purchased it for this couple anonomoulsy (sp) It was waiting for them when they checked out. The total look of disbeleif and gratefulness on their faces was priceless. I think I was the only privy to witnessing the unfolding of that whole event!
annesherrod is offline  
Aug 11th, 2009, 10:33 AM
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This is such an inspiring thread.

Driving from North Vancouver to our hotel near the airport we became completely lost. My husband pulled into a McDonalds where he and my daughter went in to ask directions. As they exited I asked if we were forever lost. Both grinned and said no, we have help. About that time a man as round as he was tall, came out smiling and said to follow him. He got inside his large black limo and waited while we pulled out. I imagine he was just resting there at McDonalds until his next fare. He made his way in and out the confusing roads and byways under the freeway, leading us straight to our hotel. Dear sweet man refused any offer of gratitude. I felt an angel entered my life for a brief moment.
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