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NICEST thing a stranger has done for you while traveling?

NICEST thing a stranger has done for you while traveling?

Aug 2nd, 2000, 08:42 AM
  #41  
Monica Richards
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This isn't quite as dramatic as some of the stories, but when my husband and I were in Italy for our honeymoon we had three days in Assisi. On the third day we'd pretty much exhausted what Assisi had to offer, so we decided to go to the train station and take the first train out anywhere for a daytrip (we had Flexipasses). We wound up in Spello, a very tiny town, right during the afternoon siesta. Whoops! So we hung out in the park and walked the streets and took pictures for an hour or so. When stores started opening, we went into this deli type shop. The proprietor spoke absolutely NO English, and our Italian was the tourist "Get by in Italian" version. But he grabbed my hand, and was pointing very enthusiastically and we finally figured out that he was asking were we on our honeymoon. We nodded yes, and he gave us a bottle of their finest olive oil, which I gather is a traditional wedding gift. Very nice! Oh, and we also had the best gelato of our trip at the little shop in Spello recommended in the Rick Steve's guide.
 
Aug 2nd, 2000, 11:28 PM
  #42  
pete
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short & sweet this one but when in spain about ten years ago my wife & I decided to take a local bus to another resort ,we had never been to spain before let alone used a bus there,anyway my wife climbed on to the very full bus(it was full of young kids, old peaple,goats,ect)just as I was clambering up the steps a local peasant Woman in her late 60s by the look of her with crooked stained brown teeth & holding a goat suddenly leaned foward & grabbed me, with a huge smile on her face she pulled me on to the bus,all sorts of thing ran thruogh my head,did she want me as a toy boy? then a split second later the doors slamned shut.If she had not pulled me on I would have been squashed in them.her & her goat then spent the rest of the trip grinning at me & talking away in spanish but I could not understand her so I just knodded & smiled back.but beleave me I was very greatfull to that woman & her goat!
 
Aug 3rd, 2000, 12:06 AM
  #43  
Jill
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Good thread, my favorite so far is Cara very funny entry about the woman with the plant on the plane. My own story is about when I was in Japan on my own in Tokoyo. I was standing on a street corner trying to figure out from a map where to walk to see the Imperial gardens when a Japanese businessman who spoke English came up to me and asked me if I needed help. That lead to a conversation in which he told me he owned properties in Hawaii and then he asked me what I wanted to see in Tokoyo and when I told him, he said he'd like to accompany me and show these sights to me. As I had been finding it very hard to get around knowing no Japanese I said okay and we spent the day together. He even bought me lunch and after dark we went up to the Tokoyo tower so I could see the view which is where he left me so he could go home...and he gave me his scarf as it had gotten cold out. I don't recall his name but I will always remember the nice day sightseeing we had together.
 
Aug 3rd, 2000, 02:00 AM
  #44  
tina
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In Paris - my mum and I asked a male stranger (in English) how to get to Montmarte, expecting him to just point on the map...but he actually walked us there!! All the time I thought he was going to murder us or something
 
Aug 3rd, 2000, 02:47 AM
  #45  
Gytha
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On my first trip to NY one of the guards on the train from Jamaica to Long Island was VERY helpful. Telling us exactly which train we needed, how to run through all the other trains to get on the right platform (scary!!) and keeping an eye on us until we got there to make sure we were ok. We also encountered a really nice bus driver who did a similar thing by watching out for us to get off at the right bus stop. We actually got off at the stop before the one we needed to buy some food and he asked us if we were sure we wanted to stop there and let us know which way to go after our shopping.
Both occasions helped us to feel a little less lost on our first trip abroad and in a BIG city!
 
Aug 3rd, 2000, 07:54 AM
  #46  
Emily
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My little sister went to London for the first time and all by herself when she was twenty. The plane got in late at night, so she took a taxi to the small hotel that had been recommended to her. When they got there, it was in a very "questionable" area. The cab driver took one look and said, "I'm not letting you stay in a place like that!" Then he drove her to another little hotel in a better area and waited outside until she came out and told him that she was able to rent a room.
 
Aug 3rd, 2000, 08:56 AM
  #47  
Diane
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The string of good deeds always works:

(1) I work with a prince of a man who can get free Disney passes. A couple of years ago at Christmas time, I said the six of us would like to go on one of three possible days (expecting 6 passes). When we went to pick up our passes at guest relations, there were EIGHTEEN passes in my name. We really only needed four, because my parents had opted out. So we used four that day to visit MGM, and planned to go to Epcot the next day. Since we still had TEN extra passes, we sat out in front of the entrance to Epcot and stopped several families on their way to the ticket kiosk and simply gave away the extra passes. That was more fun than our visit to the park!

(2) Later in the year, we decided to go to the Orioles game on my son's 16th birthday. It was something we'd done for years, but with a teenager -- you never know and we hadn't planned to do it that year. But the night was lovely so we figured we'd stand in line and get bleacher seats. While we were waiting, a young man came up to my husband and asked us if we were interested in using his tickets -- he was supposed to meet some friends who cancelled at the last minute and they were good seats. We said sure, how much? He said, oh, nothing -- they're comp tickets for me, so they are free. He handed us the tickets and disappeared into the crowd. When we looked at the seat location, we went immediately to an usher and asked him if these were for real! Yup, he said -- they're in the owners box. We were two rows behind the Orioles' duggout.
It was a fantastic night. Our benefactor was visiting from San Diego, where he worked for someone who was a friend of a past-owner of the O's. Mike Mussina pitched 8 and a third innings of no-hit ball that night. I kept telling my son, remember this night when you have a chance to do something nice for a stranger some day. (3) Those chances pop up all the time. We readily help people with their bags, offer to take pictures for couples or families, and offer directions when someone looks lost. Besides, those random acts of kindness really make you feel good.
 
Aug 3rd, 2000, 10:32 AM
  #48  
Roxane Winkler
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When I was a student, I took "El Rapido"
from Naples across Italy. I had a cold and was guzzling cough medicine, as there was no drinkable water. Eventually I didn't feel well, and the
conductor took pity on me and led me to
an empty car, bought me a cold soda and
sat with me a while. Lots of italians
also warned me to "watch out for the
Italians"!!
 
Aug 3rd, 2000, 04:27 PM
  #49  
Annie
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Thank goodness for the kindness of strangers, especially when we travel, are lost, lose our wallets, get mugged, get stranded, lose our luggage. Thanks to all of you who have been kind to another human being.
 
Aug 3rd, 2000, 06:25 PM
  #50  
ca
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Great stories! My story may seem insignificant compared to the others. Years ago when I was flying back home from my parents house with my then 6 month old baby my faith in teenagers was renewed. The flight was late and my little girl was having a terrible time with the cabin pressure. Sitting next to us was a young man(I would guess about sixteen.) After two hours of my baby crying the plane finally landed. I was shocked when this teen leaned over , smiled, and asked if he could help me get my bags out of the overhead bin. I was shocked and grateful. I will always remember that teen and now that my "crying" baby is a teenager I would like to think that she would offer to help.
 
Aug 4th, 2000, 03:43 AM
  #51  
Linda
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So much for the "nasty" French! My husband and I were standing on a corner in Toulouse looking a a map last week and a woman walking her dog stopped, asked if she could help, gave us directions and apolopgized for her English not being better!
 
Aug 4th, 2000, 04:06 AM
  #52  
Annie
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No story is ever insignifican, ca, if it involves someone doing an unselfish good deed for a stranger. I'm glad that sixteen year old helped out and we can only hope he is now a just as nice adult.
 
Aug 4th, 2000, 08:42 AM
  #53  
Noach
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I was on South Beach and approached by a person asking if I wanted to have a good time. I said yes and asked how much. She said $100. I only had $75. She said that would do and we had a great time. I never did learn her name. Ah, the kindness of strangers.
 
Aug 4th, 2000, 08:58 AM
  #54  
palette5
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Twice on trips to England I have had the shock and pleasure of having a stranger invite me into his/her home to show me the history of it. An elderly woman had offered directions (which I didn't need but thanked her profusely for the offer); a few blocks away I saw her again and she invited me into her home to show me the Tudor part of it. This happened again a few years later; I met a man at a small town museum; my hotel was near his home; he was unloading groceries, and the next thing I knew I was inside meeting his wife, and getting the history of his "restoration" and his fight with the architect about what period the restoration should stop - Georgian or Tudor! The owner won and went all the way to Tudor. If there has been rudeness in my travel, I have forgotten it, but the kindness of strangers stays as part of my lore.
 
Aug 5th, 2000, 01:43 PM
  #55  
NotAMS
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Noach, stop posting this crap.
 
Aug 5th, 2000, 04:05 PM
  #56  
NOTAmsEither
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Noach is what is called the anti-kindness to strangers. Unkindness. LOL
 
Aug 5th, 2000, 10:16 PM
  #57  
elvira
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Train strike in France, only half the trains were running. Four women trying to take the night train from Paris to Nice. The conductor found us an empty 6-bed couchette where he posted a 'complet' sign so we had it to ourselves. Wanted to marry that man.

Two women rented a house in a small town in the Languedoc, which was supposed to be only a short distance from the train station. Nighttime, we started walking and realized it was NOT going to be a short distance. Back to the the now-closed train station, where the stationmaster let us in, called the owners of the house. The owner came and picked us up, then the next morning drove us to Perpignan to rent a car. Wanted to marry that man.

Restaurant on the road from Dublin to Belfast, four American women. The waitress volunteered to go find Budweiser beer for us, since they were out of 'American beer'. We assured her we wanted Irish beer, and knew what we were doing. Her concern was so sweet, that we'd be unhappy with unfamiliar beer! Wanted to adopt that girl.

I had to pick up a woman at the Bordeaux airport and wasn't able to wait for my meal at the restaurant in town. When I got to the hotel, there was the meal, still on restaurant china. The waitress insisted that the other women I had been dining with take the food to me, telling them to 'just bring back the dishes tomorrow'. Wanted to adopt that girl. Oh yeah dessert was a SOUP BOWL of chocolate mousse.

 
Aug 5th, 2000, 11:46 PM
  #58  
Smitty
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Thank you everyone for these stories. It makes me happy to see that some kindness still exists in all of us!

When I first arrived in Tokyo I left my hotel and just started walking around downtown. Usually I have an excellent sense of direction and can remember landmarks to help me find my way back. Well after an hour of walking I realized I was totally lost! Nothing in English anywhere. So I went into a camera shop to try and ask for help. The employees didn't speak English, but they tried to show me a map, but it was all in Japanese so it didn't help at all. So the employee grabbed his car keys, put me in his car and drove me back to the hotel! This is just one of many wonderful memories that I have of Japan!
 
Aug 6th, 2000, 01:23 AM
  #59  
Jane
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In the late 60's I was driving through Anatolia Turkey with my family. At the time it was most unusual for a British family to be in that part of the world let alone dirving a British car. This car broke down in the middle of absolutely no where. Men carrying huge knives appeared out of the fields and my Father fearing the worst got my mother and myself back in the car whilst he and my brother [then about 15] stood by outside. They were however the kindest most thoughtful men we could have experienced and spent hours in the mid day son with bits of wire etc. mending the car enough to get to the enarest village. Once at the village the entire community took it upon themesleves to help us. The women taking my mother and I into a private back room of the village cafe [at this time women we heavily veiled and not seen out and about in this part of the world] and offering us refreshments. the men sending for a student who spoke some English who then drvoe aroudn the area to find a local mechanic who came especially to this village and soldered bits of our car back together. I will never foget the genorousity of these people.
 
Aug 6th, 2000, 03:42 PM
  #60  
Nancy
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It was last November. We had just landed in Glasgow and were driving to Callander for our first stop of the vacation. It was my first time behind the wheel in the U.K. and things were going well until we got to Stirling. There was a construction detour and somehow ended up in the center of the city. We had an idea where we were supposed to be, but it was one of those situations where 'you can't get there from here.' As I was turning around on a sidestreet, a lady got off of work. We asked her for directions back to the road to Callander. Instead of just telling us where to go, she asked us to follow her and drove her car there, leading us to the correct road. Then she got out of her car on the highway, walked back to our car and told us where to turn. We could not believe how wonderful this woman was to us. We were very thankful for her kindness and found that almost all the other Scottish people we encountered were extremely nice as well.
 

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