Posted by Lois on -
|The Sole Sister creed|
|Photo Credit: miwaza|
Hoi An. We had gone out with other backpackers and ended up at the only place that was still open past midnight- a bar with a pool table. We played for a few hours and then invited a guy sitting alone to play with us. He was a pool hustler, actually. He beat nearly all the guys at nine ball. When he sat with us, he introduced himself as Nesty and we took him for a local guy. When we told him we were from the Philippines, he was a bit shocked and told us he was also Filipino and he was working at a hotel in Hoi An. Small world!
The next day, he invited us for dinner. He picked us up from our guesthouse on motorbike and showed us his place. Incidentally, he was also a photography enthusiast who was knowledgeable about equipment and technique and we had plenty to talk about. Nesty was a good cook and he made us some grilled seafood with lots of white rice. It's nice to meet fellow Pinoys on the road. Nesty was proof of how hospitable we really are.
|Don't talk to strangers?|
Hanoi. I was reading Glass Palace by the lake when a teenage girl sat beside me. She smiled at me and seemed very friendly. After a few minutes, she handed me a brown paper bag filled sweets and pastries. I declined politely but she was insistent. So I grabbed one. It was a round pastry covered in fresh coconut and tasted very good. We tried to converse with great difficulty. She spoke very little English but our hand gestures and smiles bridged the gap. I learned she was Flo from Laos, a neighboring country. She was working in Vietnam. I told her I was a traveler from the Philippines. Our 'conversation' went on for almost 2 hours. And then she said she had to leave. She left the remaining bag of sweets with me. Flo's generosity touched me deeply because it was so unexpected. She gave me something without asking for anything in return. And it wasn't just the sweets.
|Photo Credit: uncle_rich0101|
Hanoi. I realized I couldn't go online. The problem was, I had downloaded some programs to get on Facebook since it's blocked in Vietnam. That caused some problems with Internet Explorer. There I was, a travel blogger who couldn't go online. I felt like Sole Sister Chichi without her hair dryer! The logical thing to do was to look for a repair shop at the city center. But I was worried it would make a dent on the dwindling escape fund. I took it to the 'Laptop Hospital' anyway. The tech just tinkered on my laptop and got it working within minutes! When I asked him how much it costs, he just smiled politely and said the nicest thing I heard in Hanoi:
Seriously? I even offered him some money but he declined it. Even the offer of coffee or beer was also refused because he was still working. He could have charged me an exorbitant amount, but he chose to be generous.
These 3 people may not think much about what they have done. It may be simple acts of kindness. But as a traveler who has very little, these simple gestures are magnified.
Have you experienced kindness from strangers? Do you share what you have even when traveling?
Paying it forward,
Sole Sister Lois